Contrary to the submission by former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, that the Peoples Democratic Party is a dying baby, former Military President, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida has said the party remains the strongest in Africa and would rule the country for 60 years as earlier pronounced.
Babangida spoke at his Hilltop residence in Minna, Niger State on Saturday.
He spoke when the PDP Committee on Strategy and Inter-Party Affairs, led by Prof. Jerry Gana, came to brief him on the outcome of their findings.
He said some of the retired military officers formed the military wing of the PDP for the party to rule for 60 years.
According to Babangida: “The PDP remains the only acceptable party to Nigerians at all levels regardless of religious or tribal affiliation.
“The current crisis that has bedevilled the party is a test, but the PDP will overcome it and come out stronger.
“The concept of the PDP to rule for 60 years is from the formation stage.
“I saw the PDP as IRA (Irish Republican Army).
“We took a lot of interest.
“When I say we, I mean my bosses, Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, Olusegun Obasanjo, myself, General Aliyu Mohammed.
“We started it.
“We are the military wing of the PDP.
“I termed us the IRA military wing of the PDP.
“I thank God we came up with the old concept.
“I believe one of our compatriots who said PDP will rule for 60 years.
“I believe when the party overcomes this challenge, it has the capacity to rule the country for the next 60 years.
“This is because the PDP has been accepted from top to bottom because their presence has been felt and accepted by the people.
“But you still need to work very hard to get to the top again.
“I am happy that you people are trying to put the PDP back together again and I still believe that two-party system is the right choice for Nigeria because it gives room for choice.”
While responding to journalists after a meeting that lasted for over one hour, the Gana pleaded with Babangida to intervene in the way the All Progressives Congress is witch-hunting the PDP, saying it is stampeding the opposition (PDP) in the country.
He said accordingly that governance is all about the security and welfare of the people.
He said: “But as things are now, Nigerians are suffering.
“They cannot feel the impact of the government.
“There is hunger everywhere in the land.
“APC as a party over promised Nigerians and now they cannot fulfil it.
“They have failed Nigerians.”
Gana, while praying for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari, said he would not want to say much, but however disclosed: “If not for the President’s health, I would have really punched them, but I do not want to punch them hard now, but the truth of the matter is that the APC has failed completely.”
Others who accompanied Gana to the Hilltop Mansion are former External Affairs Minister, Tom Ikimi; former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; former Special Adviser, Political, to the President, Prof. Ahmed Rufai Alkali; former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran; and Chief Ray Dokpesi.
The entire PDP executive in Niger State, led by the Chairman, Barrister Tanko Beji, was also present.