• PDP, APC trade words
From Ismail Omipidan and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
Newly elected national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has said the party was battle-ready to take back power in 2019. He told President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to start preparing their handover notes.
In his acceptance speech after taking his oath of office, Secondus said the immediate task confronting the PDP was to save the country from the “clueless and rudderless” leadership of the APC, starting from the presidency.
“It is crystal clear to all Nigerians that APC is not a political party, but a body hurriedly assembled to seize power without a clear-cut plan for governance,” Secondus said.
He declared that the newly constituted National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP had a clear and and unambiguous mandate to return the party to power in 2019, noting, however, that though it may seem Herculean, the mandate was achievable.
“Let me assure you, great members and leaders of our party, that by the grace of God and with all hands on deck, the brief tenancy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Aso Rock Villa expires on May 28, 2019. By this, we serve them a quit notice,” he stated as he extended a hand of fellowship to all those who contested against him.
Responding to Secondus’ comments, the APC, through a statement signed by its national spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, mocked the PDP, saying the party’s convention was flawed and full of irregularities.
Abdullahi said the convention, which produced Secondus and other members of the new NWC, has further showed the PDP as a party rooted in corruption.
He said: “In reacting to revelations of how money-for-votes and systematic rigging was brazenly perpetuated during the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Progressives Congress (APC) is mindful of the popular axiom: ‘A leopard cannot change its spot.’
“The abnormalities that trailed the PDP National Convention have further exposed the PDP as a party not ready and willing to change. Indeed, the PDP has once again displayed itself to the generality of Nigerians that it is a party with corruption deeply rooted in its DNA.
“Again, it is tragic that the PDP which used to pride itself as “the biggest political party in Africa” has now been reduced to a regional party.
“By frustrating South West chairmanship candidates, it is unfortunate that the PDP has decided to punish the South West for not voting for the party in 2015.
“We urge members of the PDP that can pass the integrity test to join the APC so that we can together bring about the much-needed Change the country deserves.”
Hitting back at APC, the PDP said it was laughable that the ruling party, which has failed in managing both the country and its own internal affairs, would be criticising the conduct of the opposition party’s convention.
In the statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said the APC, which has flagrantly violated its constitution repeatedly, has gone into a panic mood, following the successful outcome of the opposition party convention.
Said he: “We were very much aware of the plots by the APC to scuttle the convention and failing. It has resorted to a failed attempt to discredit an elective convention that has been adjudged as creditable, novel and laudable by political stakeholders and lovers of democracy across the nation.
“This unwarranted attack is only symptomatic of a party that has lost control and only clutching on straws for survival having been outrightly rejected by Nigerians.
“Is it not disgusting, reprehensible and embarrassing that the APC that has repeatedly failed to hold meetings, congresses and convention in the last three years and has flagrantly continued to violate its own constitution is questioning our party’s rights to perform her legitimate and constitutional obligation?
“Perhaps, APC leaders have never read Article 25 (A)(i) of their party’s Constitution, which stipulates: ‘the National Convention of the party (APC) shall be held once in two years at a date, venue and time to be recommended by the National Working Committee (NWC) and approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) subject to the giving of the statutory notices to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and at least 14 days notice given to members eligible to attend.’
“Which impunity could be higher than APC violating its constitution? It is strange that APC could be moralising on the principles of social justice whereas its actions against Nigerians are a complete departure from the norms.
“It is important for this spokesman of a failed party and his pack of incompetent members to reminisce on the needless pains and suffering they have inflicted on Nigerians rather than being jittery over the successful outcome of the PDP’s elective national convention.
“Nigerians have come to discover that APC is a fraud, an organisation of deceitful characters who have failed to keep a single of its countless promises made to the citizens.
“It is no longer news that the nation is drifting under APC and the PDP has come to the rescue. We must, therefore, remind the APC that the era of deceit, trickery and scaremongering, which has been the hallmarks of their government, is gone and Nigerians are just waiting to kick them out come 2019.”
Dokpesi, Fani-Kayode congratulate new PDP chair
Meanwhile, Chief Raymond Dokpesi who came third in the PDP chairmanship election, has congratulated Secondus.
In a short statement, in which he said PDP was the ultimate winner in the convention, Dokpesi expressed his appreciation to all the delegates that participated in the exercise.
He said: “I write to thank you most wholeheartedly for voting at the just concluded Elective National Convention in Abuja. The delegates have spoken. I congratulate the newly elected Prince Uche Secondus-led National Working Committee. You will recall that I said that the PDP must be the ultimate winner at the end of the contest. God bless the Peoples Democratic Party. Congratulations PDP as I wish all our members the best of luck.”
In the same vein, former Minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, congratulated Secondus and other newly elected party officials.
The former minister commended and congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan, former Vice President Abubakar Atiku, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and others for their “profound and inspiring speeches at the convention.”
He added: “We must now all set aside our differences and prepare to face the monumental challenge that lay ahead. We must be ready and prepared to fight for a greater cause and to stand against a vicious, corrupt, deceitful, relentless and rapacious enemy that has divided our country, that has destroyed our economy and that has persecuted, marginalised, humiliated, demonised, massacred and pauperised our people. Together we shall “change the change” and “burn the brooms” in 2019. Together we shall raise the PDP flag in every part of this nation and send Buhari and his evil APC government back to hell where they came from.” (The Sun)