Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has boasted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is no match to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He said returnee members of the main opposition party who had defected to the ruling party have regretted their actions.
Speaking to newsmen at the Eagle Square Abuja, venue of the PDP’s non-elective National Convention at the weekend, Wike said the success of the event is a positive signal that PDP is set to reclaim power in 2019.
“We want to reassure Nigerians that the party which meant well for them is back and better. PDP is not a party of propaganda like the APC, it is not the party that intimidates people. I am happy to be alive to witness the success of this convention,” he said.
Asked if he had any regret being part of the decision that brought Ali Modu Sheriff to PDP, which resulted in the crisis that rocked the party, he replied: “I am not a coward, I am the type that stands by my decision, whether rain or sunshine.
“It’s unfortunate some people were in the meeting when the decision was taken, only to deny being part of the meeting. I don’t live that kind of life; and for your information, I don’t have any regret taking that action, and even if such opportunities crop up again, I will not withdraw.
“One thing you must know in life is that it is even bad not to take a decision at all. We said he has to leave the party and he has left. I have no regret over the decision I took,” he emphasised.
“Thank God that Nigerians have compared and seen that the APC is not a match to PDP. Some of them who left and returned to PDP agreed that they made a mistake and cannot continue with a party that has been telling them lies,” the governor said.
Similarly, the senator representing Enugu north in the upper legislative chambers, Senator Godfrey Chukwuka Utazi, also argued that the successful conclusion of the national convention was an indication that PDP has risen from the ashes of defeat to reclaim its position as a ruling party.
Meanwhile, the APC declared yesterday that it was not bothered about the PDP prediction that Nigerians would reject the main opposition party in the presidential race and other key elective offices in 2019.
APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, while reacting to PDP’s threat to kick APC out of office in 2019, said the ruling party, from all indications,remains the preferred party of most Nigerians.
He told newsmen in Abuja that PDP members were clutching on a number of things, including restructuring to gain the attention of Nigerians, but insisted that the country cannot be deceived by the opposition party.
Abudullahi said: “Restructuring is the main issue for Nigerians right now. Nigerians have concluded that the status quo is not working for them and they want some structural changes that would enhance effective governance; that government operates for the good of the people. But the PDP has shown it does not believe in restructuring. It is not in their manifesto.”
PDP chieftains at the non-elective national convention of Saturday had said the party will wrest power from APC in the 2019 general election. Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, while addressing the convention, said the opposition party was praying for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari, but vowed to defeat him in 2019 .
Makarfi said: “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.”
Similarly, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who was the Chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, said the fact that the PDP had surmounted its greatest difficulties in the last two years was a proof of its resilience and determination of its members to regain power in 2019.
He stated: “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 partnership and resolve to do things right is
all we need to build the strength to recapture power.”
Dismissing the threat as empty, Abdullahi boasted that Nigerians will eject PDP at the next general election.
The APC spokesman said: “The PDP never believes in restructuring; for that alone Nigerians won’t vote for them come 2019. They held two National Conferences and it was never on their plans. It is not in their manifesto and it cannot be in their plans towards 2019.
“Nigerians want a country that will work for them and they know the PDP cannot provide the kind of government that would deliver. APC remains the party to beat by a wide margin in 2019.”