Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Uche Secondus, yesterday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, declared that the ruling APC had only succeeded in spreading hunger, poverty and uncurbed killings in the last three years of its reign.
Speaking when he joined Governor Seriake Dickson at the inauguration of the Oxbow Lake Pavilion in Swali, a tourist centre built by the current administration, Secondus noted that the country was presently under the control of a cabal which has left President Buhari helpless.
He also maintained that there would be no pre-conditions for new defectors to the party and directed that all politicians and their supporters who have decided to return to the PDP must be treated like old members.
Secondus, who was addressing a mammoth crowd of PDP supporters who were also at the venue to receive scores of defectors from the APC in the state, insisted that the PDP was on a mission to rescue the country from the fangs of the ruling party in 2019.
â€œAll rights and privileges (of returnees) are hereby restored. There will be no barrier to your aspiration. It is like as if you are seven years or 17 years in the party. By extension, no state chapter should bar anybody from coming into the party.
We have opened the door. The space is hereby open. You and your supporters are welcome. You are free to contest elections. We are waiting for other prominent stakeholders in our country to come back to PDP to rescue our country from this challenge of difficulty hunger, killings , poverty. From today you will no longer carry brooms,â€ the PDP chairman told a tumultuous audience.
He added: â€œOur country has witnessed the era of broom from 2015, but this broom has brought us evil, this broom has brought us vengeance, hunger, poverty and killings in our land.
â€œFrom today, we will throw these brooms into the ocean, into the river. Never again shall our people witness poverty and killings.
â€œWe are repositioning our party. Bayelsa State has laid that foundation. This crowd is too much. The governors of PDP are performing, all the 11 governors of PDP are the best today. This is the party that can rescue us from hunger and poverty. Me and my NEC will provide a free and fair process for primaries and the general elections.â€
But the politician expressed pessimism over the readiness of the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) to conduct free and fair elections in 2019, describing the electoral umpire as a parastatal of the present government.
â€œOur fear is that will INEC play the game regarding the provision in the constitution?. Will they not rig elections. Our fear is that they are getting ready because they are parastatals of APC to rig election.
â€œBut in 2019, nobody can rig election. Come to the people and reconnect. Our votes will count in the next election. It is time to take out this evil, this evil party called APC. They have visited vengeance on this country. From the north, south, west and east,â€ he said.
While describing the pavilion as an aqua stadium similar to the ones in Florida United States, Secondus predicted a return of the PDP in 2019, stressing that â€œtoday, the PDP government is broken, the APC is broken, there is confusion, this is a government ruled by cabals, there is a lot of evil in our land.â€
In his remarks, Dickson highlighted some of the achievements of his administration, and said PDP remained the only platform to win elections in the state.
He said the APC is not on ground in the state and challenged his opponents to test their popularity without relying on security institutions and other federal agencies to rig the election.
â€œBayelsa State wonderful healthcare facilities, infrastructures like roads and bridges, and we will continue to do more. Bayelsa is one of the safest, one of the stable State to invest and live in.
â€œWe are utilising this occasion of grand launching of the pavilion to signpost another side of the state, that we will also become the headquarters of tourism in Nigeria. We will be inaugurating the new Yenagoa City, the International Airport with the longest runway.
â€œTo those who are out there deceiving people with newspaper articles, who are not on ground, let me call on you to play according to the rules.
â€œIf you are truly on ground and you are willing to test your popularity in elections, mobilise your people, sell what your party has done to our people, tell our people in your communities what the federal government has brought to them. Because what we have put on ground is in every community for people to see.
â€œYoung people of this state should not allow themselves to be deceived and misled. Politics is not about cultism, promoting killings, buying arms for misguided youths and promoting and funding drug abuse.
â€œPolitics is about service to our people and that is what we have been doing. If you are out there know that those people donâ€™t have a party on ground in this state,â€ he said.