With a Successful Convention, PDP Ready to Take on APC in 2019

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L –R , Governor Darius Dickson of Taraba state ; Former President Goodluck Jonathan ; Former Vice President , Namadi Sambo at the National Convention of Peoples Democratic Party held at the Eagles Square , Abuja on Saturday. Photo: GODWIN OMOIGUI.
  •  Affirms Makarfi’s leadership, tenure to end in December

Onyebuchi Ezigbo, Wale Ajimotokan, James Emejo in Abuja and Bassey Inyang in Calabar

Smarting from a prolonged leadership tussle that was resolved by the Supreme Court, the Peoples Democratic Party saturday held its non-elective National Convention, signaling its readiness to take on the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2019.

The convention, held at Eagle Square Abuja, attracted a huge crowd of party supporters from all the states.

Most of the prominent leaders of the party who spoke at the convention expressed optimism that PDP was on its way back to power. The gathering was also an opportunity for some party leaders to hint members of their presidential bids.

From one speaker to the other, their speeches were greeted with loud ovation from an enthusiastic crowd made up of delegates and party stakeholders that thronged the Eagles Square for the convention.

At the convention, the Senator Ahmed Makarfi committee was affirmed as the national leadership of the party for another four months, when an elective convention would be held in December.

In what seemed like a calculated attempt to remind Nigerians of what live was like under PDP government, former President Goodluck Jonathan, reeled out key achievements of his party in the period it was in charge of affairs of Nigeria and called on party faithful and delegates to brace up to reclaim power in 2019, when general elections will hold.

Responding specifically to claims by the APC that the economy would have been worse if PDP had remained in office, Jonathan, who spoke for about 20 minutes, said it was not true and couldn’t have been the case. He said, “We had a sound economic team in place managing the economy. Let us not forget that the great floods of 2012 were a major calamity that damaged homes and farmlands on the plains of River Niger and Benue. But despite the devastating effect of this natural disaster, there were no food shortages or arbitrary increase in prices, because of what we were able to accomplish with our Agriculture Transformation Agenda, which considerably boosted food production.

“If we say that we rekindled hope in our people and regained international goodwill, it is because we pursued a number of policies and programmes that were not only richly rewarding for our people, but were also being copied by many countries across the globe, a few of which I will mention here,” he boasted.

He said the PDP administration provided focused leadership through institutional and sectoral reforms, which impacted positively on the fundamentals for growth, especially in the last four years that he was in power.

According to him, the result was that, “The administration was able to keep inflation at a single digit, maintained price stability, grew the economy to become the largest in Africa with a GDP of over half a trillion US dollars, and the number one foreign direct investment destination on the continent”.

Specifically talking about the exploits of his administration in agricultural transformation, he claimed the initiative rapidly transformed key agricultural value chains, boosted local production, and created a new generation of young commercial farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs.

He said one of the very remarkable achievements of the reform in the Agricultural sector was the end to decades of fertiliser corruption, which it achieved through electronic wallet system, adding that the initiative has continued to resonate outside the shores of Nigeria and that it was not only being scaled up by the African Development Bank, but it’s already being replicated in close to 20 African countries.

Jonathan also said the PDP government introduced an entrepreneur scheme known as You-Win, which he said has won the admiration and acceptability of other countries around the world.

On corruption, Jonathan said though the approach adopted by his administration to fight the hydra-headed problem may not have plugged all the leakages in the system, it no doubt laid a sustainable foundation for tackling the scourge.

“But we went about it in a sustainable and measurable manner, among other measures, creating institutional tools like bank verification number (BVN), the treasury single account (TSA) designed to block leakages, as well as the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS), which eliminated tens of thousands of ghost workers, during our time.”

The former President said Nigerians were in a better position to compare what the PDP and the APC had been able to do to improve their well-being.

“We should always celebrate the fact that the PDP introduced key policies that improved governance, enhanced welfare, boosted and stabilised the economy of our great country, and above all, gave our people hope.”

Against this backdrop, the former president declared: “Let it be known, in all nooks and crannies of our country, that the PDP is back to claim its rightful place in the affairs of the nation. As we have always done, we are ready to return Nigeria to the path of unity, peace and prosperity.”

In his speech, Makarfi commended the patriotic zeal displayed by party faithful whom he said had sacrificed a lot in the ongoing efforts to reposition the PDP after its protracted leadership crisis.

On PDP’s resolve to win back the presidency in 2019, he said they would work hard to replace the APC government come 2019 election.
“We wish our president well and will continue to pray for his full recovery. We want him to be fit and well when we’ll defeat the APC in the next general election. We will continue to pray for him, but that does not mean we will go to sleep. We will work hard to replace the APC government come 2019 election,” he said.

Makarfi, who dedicated the convention to the youths of the country, also assured them that one of the things PDP would consider if it regained power was to see how to institute students’ loan scheme that would enable indigent students attain their ambition in education.

Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee and Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, said there was no doubt that the last two years had been the greatest test PDP had faced. He however noted that the fact that the party survived its baptism of fire was a testimony to the resilience of its grassroots structure, organisation and appeal.

“Let it be known, today, to all Nigerians, who prayed for us during our time of travail that the PDP is back with a bang. We shall not disappoint you. We are back. We must realise that there is a champion in each and everyone of us in the party, and that a collective leadership and partnership, resolve to do things right is all that we need to build the strength to recapture power,” he said.

Meanwhile, the race for the presidency might have taken off with the successful outcome of yesterday’s PDP convention as presidential hopefuls thronged the venue with their supporters. Among them were former Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido; his Sokoto and Kano State counterparts, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and Mallam Ibrahim Shakaru, as well as the Gombe State governor, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim Dankwambo. Also, some youths were sighted dancing round the convention ground with posters of Makarfi.

In his short remark, former Vice-President Namadi Sambo, said the gathering was a statement to all Nigerians that PDP was back and alive.

Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, said the gathering was a testimony of what is happening in Nigeria at the moment.

He said the APC-led government could be described as “power miss road” for their inability to get a grasp of governance and to deliver on their campaign promises to the people.

“PDP is now a religion in Nigeria. PDP made a mistake and it is ready to correct it. This party will overcome its challenges,” Fayose stated.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi was more forceful in his criticism, when he said “PDP has a Board of Trustees (BoT) but APC has no Board of Trustees, cannot hold NEC meeting nor convention.”

One of the founding fathers of the party and former governor of the old Gongola State, Ambassador Wilberforce Juta, also said the party had the ability and capacity to win the 2019 general election and form a government without alliance with any political party.

He said as the largest political party in Africa, which had ruled the country for 16 years, and with former and present elected members at both national and state levels, the PDP had the ability to wrest power from the APC almost unaided.

“It’s our duty now to try to reshape the party and form a new PDP in a way by trying to do away with some of the shortcomings that brought our downfall and to make sure we have a party for a good future so that we recapture government again and that’s what we are doing.”

Meanwhile, some of the key resolutions passed at the convention included the extension of the tenure of its National Caretaker Committee by four months. By this arrangement, the tenure of the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee would now end on December 12.

Also, the party ratified the dissolution of its executive committees in Anambra, Adamawa, Borno, Kebbi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun and Osun States. The dissolution of the executive committees, according to the party, was informed by the failure of the different warring camps to agree and have one executive committee in each of the states.

  • Bukola Ajisola

    Jonathan’s pontificating is highly preposterous,contextually demeaning and smarks of an egregious insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians.The present economic woe is the legacy of pdp’s ‘lootospheric gigantism’,uncautionable thievery,licentious greed and economic gangsterism.
    The Biafra agitators should first ask Jonathan where the money appropriated for the second Niger bridge went to,that was the only thing the southeast would’ve gainedfrom Jonathan’s exchequer in declivity.
    Yes the southeast got a lot of appointments of there folks into that discredited government but those appointments had no intrinsic value that could abnegate the heinous poverty foisted on the people of that region by pdp.
    Most of the appointee could only have appropriated billions of dollars like Daizeane Madueke yet under the watch of Jonathan.What a shame.

  • Joseph Nkashi

    Time will definitely tell. A vibrant and virile opposition is a plus for us. PDP should expunged themselves of those impunities and excesses that led to their humiliating defeat in 2015. Nigerians yearn for good governance and if ABC can provide that we won’t mind. The suffering in the land occasioned by poor government policies is worse now than ever.

  • chukwudozie duru

    If the current situation continues ,there is a very high chances that APC will loose the 2019 presidential election, They do not have any thing to boost of, i give them credit for arresting people for corruption but there is no real conviction yet .there are little things they could do and win the hearts of Nigeria, for instances ensuring that national identity card is readily avaliable and other things that discourage people from trusting the government.

  • JOHN

    The APC is a party based on lies, propaganda and deception. It has made lies, deception and evil propaganda its fundamental objective and directive principle of state policies. It has been lieing terribly about the last federal government but Nigerians cannot be fooled twice. The APC and the Buhari government is the worst that has ever happened in this country. Empirical evidence available proved that Nigeria has been taken backward for over a hundred years by their incompetence and wicked policies. Nigerians are eager expecting PDP to rescue the economy and the political polity come 2019. Welcome hope and progress.

  • Henry

    No matter the sins that PDP committed GEJ has stated the facts here. The APC government has led Nigeria downhill. If Nigerians are to choose between the 2 evils, the APC despite their propaganda will definitely not be the choice. They have about one and half years left in real terms and they cannot point to any solid and measurable achievement besides the newspaper trial and conviction of those who stole monies. Unless something dramatic happens in the next one year to change the fortune of The APC, this Buhari government will go down as the worst in history of this nation.

    • asuevie

      But the “devil come not but to steal, kill and destroy”. Any difference between this present gov and the quote?

  • Romla

    I hope,though I am skeptical that Nigerians have learnt their lesson.If they have then they should ensure that both PDP and APC which are basically different den of robbers meet their Waterloo in 2019.

  • Stanley

    If APC tenure is in a boxing ring. The referee would have long stopped them from further batching by governance. They have been technically knocked out but sadly no referee to rescue them. The people know now who is the better boxer between the two. PDP don’t complain, don’t give excuses, don’t run away. They give people better value for their votes.

    • Ade Whenu

      PDP don’t complain, don’t give excuses, because they were busy siphoning our coffers, confident in the knowledge, that Nigerians like you, used to mediocrity will celebrate them.

      The problem is as a nation, we are not prepared to make any sacrifice for the future generation. We are extremely self centred, selfish and wicked people. Hence wicked people normally get what they deserve.

      The consequences of the abysmal performance of PDP, is why APC won the election. I am absolutely not giving APC the thumps up. As they could do better.

      APC made so much noise about oil subsidy only to bring in their own fraudulent forex subsidy.

      • JOHN

        APC got to power because they lied and deceived Nigerians by their evil propaganda. They are worst in all evil characteristics such as corruption, incompetence, nepotism, Islamic terrorism etc. The list is endless. Just don’t mention APC to the suffering and patriotic Nigerians again. We are very angry with APC and its cabal because of the destruction they have visited on this country.

        • Ade Whenu

          My brother it is imperative for us to do root cause analysis, with objectivity, honesty and openness. PDP got Nigerians into the mess we are in, premised on their mismanagement of our economy and siphoning of our commonwealth. To destroy as the saying goes is easy, fixing is a different preposition. Therefore it is inevitable APC will be criticised.

          Particularly as Nigerians inherently think of here and now, and no concept or will to facilitate an enabling environment for future generation. All great civilisation invested heavily in the future, through major capital project.

          Westminster City Council, were I work, with a citizen of approximately 260000 people, have a 30 years housing development strategic plan that they have invested over £1.7 billion in. To ensure the future quality housing needs are meet for the next 30 years. Yet they also put in place a formidable control.framework to ensure there implementation plan is aligned to their strategic objectives. If there are any deviations, then the responsible personnel.will be held to account.

          APC are surely trying their best. Yes they can do better but trying nonetheless.

      • ubong

        Neitber any of them now in APC excluding the president and his VP that most of them still treating us like scums rode on their (particularly Buhari) to be selected ir elected by you and i foolishly

  • Akin Adedotun

    Can the former President Honestly be proud of the Thievery under his watch.
    Deiziani gate, Fayose Election bazaar, Dasuki gate, Tompolo and others.
    What of the uncompleted infrastructures and the bad quality jobs at the Airports and others.
    While acknowledging the positives of Agric projects, BVN etc but you could not implement TSA, which is now a game changer…
    Not forgeting that the Avengers created the economic problems that we are still in and you experienced Boko Haram but not on the same scale as the Niger Delta Avengers..
    Just puting some perspectives to the issues

    • Chuma Anierobi

      CORRUPTION:

      FBI Releases List of Nigeria’s Richest

      Politicians – The Herald.ng

      June 12, 2016

      A recent list of Nigeria’s Richest
      Politicians operating offshore accounts in the
      United States
      is currently trending the internet. According to the Herald.ng, where the list
      was spotted reveal names and amount monies lodged in foreign banks overseas by
      prominent Nigerian politicians. Below is a copy of the report

      The American Federal Bureau of
      Investigation, FBI has released a shocking list of the richest politicians in
      the Nigerian political sector.

      The FBI further in its revelation
      exposed the details of the top richest politicians’ US bank accounts.

      The list is alleged to have been
      framed up from the investigative Amanpour Live show, the report also states that
      investigations are ongoing into revealing other Nigerian politicians who have
      amassed offshore wealth.

      Among names listed in the initial
      reports are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Lagos state Governor,
      Tinubu, former Vice-President Atiku including Sylvia, IBB, Jega, Maina,
      Oransanye, Lamido, Talba, Alamyeisegha and Adamu Muazu.

      The list as published by NIGERIAN
      WATCH in its 20 MAY – 2 JUNE 2016, ISSUE NO 075 reads below:

      NIGERIA’S RICHEST POLITICIANS

      1 ROCHAS OKOROCHA $1.4 BILLION JP
      MORGAN CHASE/NEW YORK

      2 MOHAMMED RABI MUSA KWANKWASO
      $1.15 BILLION AMERICAN EXPRESS, NY

      3 KASHIM SHETTIMA $1.1 BILLION
      WELLS FARGO, SAN FRANCISCO

      4 VICE ADMIRAL MURTALA NYAKO, GCON,
      CFR $805 MILLION CITY GROUP, NY

      5 IBRAHIM $798 MILLION CITY GROUP,
      NY

      6 ROTIMI AMAECHI $757 MILLION US
      BANCORP, MINNESOTA

      8 M NYAKO ABDULAZIZ $626 MILLION
      ALLY FINANCIAL, DETRIOT

      9 ADAMA OSHIOMOLE $625 MILLION
      BB&T, NORTH CAROLINA

      10 RAUF AREGBESOLA $513 MILLION
      CITY GROUP, NY

      11 UMARU TANKO ALMAKURA $510
      MILLION STATE STREET CORPORATION

      12 ALIYU MAGATAKARDA WAMAKO $476
      MILLION WELLS FARGO,
      SAN FRANCISCO

      13 BABATUNDE FASHOLA $448 MILLION
      CITY GROUP, NY

      14 IBIKUNLE AMOSUN $$442 MILLION
      BANK OF AMERICA

      15 AHMED $437 MILLION US BANCORP

      16 ABIOLA ADEYEMI AJIMOBI $422
      MILLION ALLY FINANCIAL

      Uncle Chuma

      • Akin Adedotun

        Just check your source and the it is not any media known to the world… just google their name or search FBI and nothing comes out but try with Dieziani and you will be amazed….

      • MUYI Edosa

        Fake news bro, FBI does not release list of rich people. Forbs magazine do that

    • asuevie

      Can the present President honestly be proud of former SGF, Rotimi Amaechi, etc.?
      And we all know that he is proud about the hunger, killings by herdsmen, etc in the land call Nigeria.Shame!

    • heavy

      How market now? with PDP i was able to achieve much from tokunbo from europe to millinum cars from America now APC is offering me wheelbarrow if they did not use lies take my PDP away i could have now ordering mint cars from INNOSON in Nnewi .

  • OJAY

    Thank God the largest opposition party is awake & alive to give APC a run for their administrative ineptitude and the lies of propaganda. APC will now have a rival that has the opportunity of comparing notes to inform Nigerians of who has done better. APC has entered the Guinness book of records for a country whose president rules his country from another country to the point that the VP had to leave this country to go & receive instruction. This is quite unimaginable that Nigeria could be without a President & VP for up to 46 hours.
    God has enabled us to test alternative administration yet Nigerians are yet to have a credible leadership. If PDP has realised their mistakes & have heard the yearnings of Nigerians are ready to put Nigerians on the part of good leadership then the party is quite welcome to cleans the “Augean Stable”.
    APC, if on the other hand you’re ready to write your name in gold as the 1st opposition to topple the ruling government in the Nigerian politics stand up also to be counted as an administration whose track records is comparable to non in terms of good governance & not the negativity that is being associated with it.

  • Daniel Obior

    A successful convention is good, but these fools should get down to cleansing their party of all the filth that resulted in its downfall. It is too early for a sensible party to indulge in self glorification at this point, unless of course the members are still the idiots they were.

    • OJAY

      Well Obior, you’ve said it the way you feel, however, they have the right to glorify/celebrate themselves looking at the performance of this administration there is nothing to make them feel ashamed of their past misdeeds. Calling them idiots doesn’t make them less better than current members of the ruling govt. All we are yearning for is good governance. For the 16 years PDP held sway we’ve never been divided the way we’re today. The sufferings has nver been as severe as it is today. Is this the Nigeria of our dreams where we’ll be casting aspersion on each other? Certainly, I don’t agree with that. They’re about 40 political parties in this country choose which you wish to usher in good governance & I particularly will queue behind you. I tell you that the mega opposition party is back irrespective of their past sin, afterall one learns from his past mistakes. Some of us are happy perhaps this will wake the ruling party from their slumber or we’ll turn to the “lesser devil” for survival. Thank you.

      • olloz

        .,

      • heavy

        Great mind

    • Stanley

      That is democracy that PDP gives. The right to call people fools and go to sleep. Try it with APC.

      • asuevie

        People have the right to chose between hunger/hardship govt and alleged corrupt govt.
        Chose one; and the one you chose shall be your potion.

        • Akin Adedotun

          I will choose APC before the assembly of rouges that I saw with PDP…If there is other alternative outside the two, I will embrace

          • asuevie

            You have chosen what you want. Good to also know that in the APC assembly we have people like Lawal, former SGF, Rotimi Amaechi,Gov Rochas Okorocha, Gov Yaro (Zamfara), etc.
            The people are now wiser. The satanic lie will never fly again in 2019!

          • Toby

            “Good” choice.

      • olloz

        ..

    • asuevie

      The People have the right to chose between hunger/hardship govt and alleged corrupt govt.
      Chose one; and the one you chose shall be your potion.

      • olloz

        ,,

    • Ade Whenu

      Very well said!