This is coming at a time when the 15-man post-election assessment committee set up to review and evaluate the party’s performance in the last general election is going round the country in line with its terms of reference.
As a prelude to the conference, which is titled: Power to the People, a 40-man committee has been set up to ensure that the cardinal objectives of the proposed gathering are realised.
A statement by the chairman of the Conference Organising Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, indicated that the committee is made up of notable leaders of the party, who had occupied elected and appointive public offices.
It also said the committee for the proposed conference will be inaugurated tomorrow in Abuja.
Prominent among the issues to be discussed are, the need to remobilise nationwide support for the party and the revival of the practice of genuine internal democracy, among others.
The statement reads: ‘’We are pleased to inform PDP supporters nationwide of the decision to convene a party reform conference to re-ignite the noble ideals and good image of the party, to restore the party’s core values, ensure zero tolerance for corruption and the promotion of transparency in governance, generate fresh ideas on people oriented programmes for ensuring good governance, balance development and human security with social justice, equity and fairness.”
Tukur, who spoke with journalists at his residence in Abuja as one of the activities to mark his 80th birthday, said the party was winning elections when he was in office.
The former PDP chairman was forced to resign from office when he sanctioned some governors of the party.
Tukur, who was a former governor of the defunct Gongola State, identified lack of internal democracy as the bane of the former ruling party.
The defeat suffered by the PDP was unprecedented as the then opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, won the power at the centre and many states where the PDP had hitherto remained unbeaten.
Tukur however said the situation would have been different if he had not been booted out of office unceremoniously.
He said, “Well, when I was there I won elections and in the same vein, if I was there I also expect to win the election.
“But first and foremost, this is a democracy and in every democratic system, you have the opposition and the party in government.
“So, it is time (for the opposition) because it is a democracy and it is the people who decide who they want to vote for and that is what the people have done.
“Sure the PDP will rediscover itself. I am sure about that; it is their own party and they can find out what have gone wrong.
“If for 16 years people allowed you to rule them and in the 17th year they say no, you have to find out why they said no.”
He said he faced problems in the party because some of those he described as strong members of the party were afraid of election and would rather prefer selection.
He said such powerful men were ready to leave the party, but he decided to leave for them.
Tukur added, “Well, I thought we were in a system of democracy and my views were such that what I believed in were what I will preach.
“I wanted election and people said they wanted selection. If the majority or the strong people in the PDP did not believe in it then the choice or the next thing for me to do was to leave.
“It is either I leave or they leave but I did not want them to leave, so, I decided to leave. At that time, people said I was preaching internal democracy instead of imposition. So, it was difficult for me to sit down and be part of them.”
Despite the way he was treated in his party, Tukur said he would not defect to the APC, saying that it would be difficult for him to change his principle at 80.
He said, “At 80, what do you want somebody to do? You want to change somebody’s character at 80? Is it possible?
“At 80, you remain because you cannot bend. You are unbendable anymore and if you do it by force, you will break.”
In a statement, Governor Fayose commended the president for his efforts at ending the Boko Haram insurgency saying “I wish to call on all Nigerians to support the President in restoring peace to the Boko Haram ravaged North Eastern part of Nigeria.”
He, however, berated the Buhari administration for the alleged lopsided appointments, selective anti-corruption crusade and the recent invasion of the Akwa Ibom State Government House by officials of the Department of State Security, DSS.
Besides, he said “As at today, the only achievement recorded by the President Buhari’s government is the harassment of leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and those perceived as not on the same political page with the president in his party.”
In addition, he said: “President Mohammadu Buhari’s government is now 100 days and even though I align with most Nigerians, who opined that 100 days is too short in the life of a government, it is important to make some clarifications as regards the administration. This is more so that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and some political jobbers that are looking for appointments are praising the President, citing imaginary achievements.”
Also, he said: “Former President Goodluck Jonathan and those who worked with him as well as PDP governors and leaders are now targets of harassment, and by this, the president is telling Nigerians that it does not pay to be honourable. Dr Goodluck Jonathan was honourable enough to allow a peaceful transition and conceded to the president even though it was obvious that his victory was questionable. Visiting such a person and those who worked with him with persecution as being done now, is no doubt a sad reminder of the reason we have many sit-tight leaders in Africa.
Interestingly, some of those who worked with Dr Goodluck Jonathan that the APC called thieves are now being appointed to manage the affairs of international organisations like the World Bank and African Development Bank.”
Over 100 days after the President assumed office, the PDP has yet to hang his portrait at any of the offices in its Wadata House national secretariat, located at Zone 5, Abuja.
The party has also said it would never put Buhari’s portraits on its walls though it has removed that of the former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, who ruled on the platform of the PDP.
“We will never hang his portrait in this office, because President Buhari is not known to our party. He is not a leader of our party and therefore we will never put his portrait here. We are a political party, very partisan and therefore, we are not going to hide that,” National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, told our correspondent on the telephone on Tuesday.
Jonathan was also the presidential candidate of the former ruling party during the last general election but he was defeated by Buhari, who was the presidential candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress.
The defeat was the first to be suffered by the PDP since the return of democracy in 1999.
Before now, the party has always been hanging the portraits of all the Presidents at the party’s reception area as well as the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee halls within the secretariat.
Metuh said the APC also did not hang the portrait of Jonthan in its offices before the former President was defeated in the March 28 election.
“Can you find out if the APC had the portrait of former President Jonathan in their office before he was defeated? That is just it,” he told our correspondent.
When asked whether the party was taking its own pound of flesh, Metuh said no but that since Buhari “is not a member of our party, we won’t put his portrait here.”
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lai Mohammed, expressed shock at Metuh’s comment.
“This is ridiculous and we have no comment. Let Nigerians judge the PDP on this matter,” Mohammed said.
He said the PDP spokesman had a shallow understanding of the concept of opposition politics.
Meanwhile, work has stopped at the new secretariat of the PDP, located in the Central Business District, Abuja.
Investigations by our correspondent indicated that contractors handling the project were only doing skeletal jobs at the site.
When our correspondent visited the site on Tuesday, there was no visible job being done at the site.
It was gathered that the cost of the project was put at N11.5bn when it was awarded some years ago. At completion, the building is expected to have 12 floors, with two other floors serving as the car park.
The party had claimed that the project was being financed from levies and contributions from members.
When a fund-raising dinner was organised a few years ago, the party was able to realise about N5bn, and the project, which started more than four years ago, was to be delivered in 126 weeks.
The former National Chairman of the party, under whose leadership the project commenced, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, had then said that the complex, when completed, would strengthen the capacity of the PDP to discharge its role effectively in Africa.
The party had claimed on January 5, 2015 that it was going to spend part of the N21.8bn it realised from the party’s fund-raising on the party’s secretariat.
A former Minister for Information and the Chairman of the party’s Fund-raising Committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, had said the money donated to the PDP was not meant for the campaign of the defeated Jonathan alone.
The man who once called Buhari ‘brain dead’ meets his wife and son and takes pics with them.
PDP supporter Adeyanju Deji met both the First Lady Aisha Buhari and her son, Yusuf Buhari in London and took pictures with them. The thing is, Deji has used ‘certain’ words against Buhari in the past and once referred to the President as ‘Brain Dead.
Nigerian Twitter users who are familiar with his attacks were quite shocked to see the photos with the first family he shared on twitter and questioned the kind of security the first family has. See the photos he took, his former tweets and the reactions from some Nigerians after the cut…
The PDP governors led by their chairman and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Olusegun Mimiko, in a communiqué, said that the invasion was against the spirit, ethos, values and fundamental tenets of democratic norms and tradition, more so with the existence of a duly elected and sworn in governor of the state.
He said: “We insist that the trend must stop henceforth. No democracy survives without a viable opposition in any part of the world and we must also remember to remind the All Progressives Congress, APC that they are the real beneficiaries of the liberal democratic ethos of the PDP.
“We again advise the DSS to preoccupy itself with the task of ensuring internal security and desist from daily intimidation of members of the opposition. We implore the international community, the civil society organisations and human rights activists to call the APC-led Federal Government to order and to insist that it respects the well entrenched democratic tradition.
“We all have a duty to prevent what looks to us like a steady slide of this country into dictatorship.”
Mimiko, who said that the PDP governors were alarmed and shocked by such desecration, noting that it was an assault on democracy.
He said that what happened in Akwa Ibom State posed serious danger to the country’s fledgling democracy.
The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday condemned the invasion of the Akwa Ibom government house by operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS, describing the scenario as a reincarnation of the dark era of Lawal Rafindadi in the defunct National Security Organisation. NSO.
The acting National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, who disclosed this in Abuja, alleged that the DSS invaded the government house with the motive of kidnap the governor, Udom Emmanuel.
Secondus spoke while receiving the Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, who led a delegation to submit his governorship reelection forms at the national headquarters of PDP.
He accused the DSS under Lawan Daura of almost executing a civilian coup d’état in the state as operatives of the security agency ransacked the entire Government House, in search of the governor.
Secondus, decried the action of the DSS, under its Director General, Lawan Daura, and warned that enough is enough.
The Acting who said chairman said the action of the DSS was influenced by the plot by the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government to forcefully take away PDP controlled states of Abia, Delta, Taraba, Rivers and Akwa Ibom at all cost, however, called on the international community to intervene before matters get out of hand.
Secondus who was visibly angry over the development, described Daura as a re-incarnation of the former DG of National Security Organisation, (NSO) under Lawal Rafindadi, who served under President Muhammadu Buhari, during his days a military head of state between 1984 to 1985.
The National Security Organisation, NSO which was established in 1976 metamorphosed into the DSS.
According to him, “Let me alert this nation that a few hours ago, there was a civilian coup d’état in Akwa-Ibom State where the Department of State Security headed by Lawan Daura invaded the Government House of Akwa-Ibom, ransacked the entire Government House, looking for the governor (Udom Emmanuel) to kidnap.
“Again, we want to alert this nation that this is part of the strategy of APC and its Federal Government to forcefully take Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Abia and Taraba States by force because they are not satisfied with the control of the Federal Government.
“They still want to take over by force all the states controlled by PDP. This nation belongs to all, to both PDP and APC a situation where consistently, the DSS has assaulted states controlled by PDP, the international community should be aware of what is going on. Is this democracy? Is this how PDP ruled in 16 years? Enough is enough.
“We want to advise and point out to the President that we will not tolerate this anti-democratic arrangement by APC and DSS because it will be a reincarnation of Rafindadi days when he was in charge of SSS. This is exactly the format. Daura is a reincarnation of Rafindadi. And Nigerians are not ready for what happened 30 years.”
He added that, “This is a clear warning that they should desist from taking laws into their hands.”
Other suspended members included Prince Ossy Ezenwa, Basil Ejidike, Ejike Oguebego, Mrs. Jessy Balonwu, Kenneth Arinze, Hon. Uche Ogbonna, Chuks Okoye and Tony Akachukwu.
Chairman of the party in the state, Chief Ken Emeakayi, in an exclusive interview, told Vanguard that suspended members who were found guilty in line with the party constitution, chapter 10, section 58 (1) could still be forgiven if they showed remorse of the offence they allegedly committed, either orally or in writing to the disciplinary committee.
He said it was in compliance with the provisions of the PDP constitution 2012 (as amended) that Nwoye and his group called Equity Forum, were suspended for declaring a parallel state Exco when the party had successfully organized a congress at all levels in the state as directed by the national secretariat.
According to Emeakayi, Nwoye never indicated interest that he was contesting for any position in the last state congresses of the party, only for him to gather his group at Emmaus House, Awka, to declare themselves the leader, the state chairman, secretary, woman leader, among other positions, contrary to the PDP constitution.
Besides, Emeakayi said Nwoye had on Saturday, July 28, 2015, addressed a press conference where he castigated and mocked the national officers of the party, including the national publicity secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh.
He said the party was currently in the process of restructuring and re-positioning with the aim of taking over the government of Anambra State from the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA.
He said the reformation of the party was not only going on at the state, local government and ward levels, but at the national level under the committee headed by Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
Briefing Journalists in Abuja, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, who catalogued the achievements of the party in its 17 years of existence, said it lost some of its founding and leading members because they could not withstand what he termed, stiff competition within the party and some mistakes the party made.
Metuh who tagged his speech, ”PDP At 17..Still The Only True National Party”, said that in spite of the exit of some of its founders and leaders, the party is still in line with the vision and mission of its founding fathers.
He listed the achievements of the PDP-led administrations in economy, transportation, agriculture, healthcare, rule of law, entrenching democracy among others and wondered why the eletorate rejected the party at the polls in 2015.
PDP pioneer members and leaders, who left the party at different times include former National Chairmen, Audu Ogbeh, Barnabas Gemade and Abubakar Kawu Baraje; former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Iyorchia Ayu andYahaya Kwande.
Former PDP National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola; former governors Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) Musa Kwankwaso (Kano); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Kebbi State, Senator Atiku Bagudu; Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai and their Benue State counterpart, Samuel Ortom among others also dumped the PDP just before the March/April general elections.
Metuh who enumerated the party’s achievements in all the sectors beginning from 1999 to date, however, said that only the voting public can explain why the PDP lost the last general elections to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
”Some of those who defected could not just cope with the level of competition in the party; and some members felt that they were not well protected when they sought assistance. Others left because we lost election, others for selfish reason while some others left when they felt they were honestly not accommodated in the party.”
Metuh was the only member of the 16-man National Working Committee (NWC) on a day the party announced that it was marking its 17 years of existence.
On the causes of its loss in the last general election, Metuh said that the statement credited to the acting chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, Haliru Bello, to the effect that disrespect for party rules caused its loss was not the position of the party, which he did not disclose.
Listing the achievements of the party in the last 17 years, Metu said: ”We recall with pride that the founding fathers of the PDP are heroes who rose to the challenge, stood up for million of other citizens, confronted the military and restored genuine democracy, national unity
and stability, entrenched the rule of law and enlarged the political space we all enjoy today.
“Over the years, the PDP has shown strength as the only Nigerian political party that is completely owned and controlled by the Nigerian people; with structures in all the nooks and crannies of the country; and where no individual or group of individuals can claim ownership or allowed to appropriate the interest of the generality of the members.
“This unique national outlook clearly informs PDP’s irrevocable stance on politics of national integration, which ensured that no group or section in the polity is excluded from power, public office and spread of development projects, in line with the federal character principle of our great country.
“At the time PDP came to power, Nigeria’s image internationally was in a deplorable state, with very poor human rights records. The onus of restoring it from its pariah status then rested squarely on the PDP-led government, which it successfully executed, returning the nation to its
pride of place in the comity of nations.
“The PDP-led government under former President Olusegun Obasanjo went further to work assiduously to settle foreign debts accumulated by previous administrations and extricated the nation’s economy from burdens of the London and Paris Clubs debt overhang.
“Furthermore, in line with the determination to establish a moral and ethical society guided by such core values as honesty, integrity and justice, as contained in its manifesto, the PDP administration set up the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit, otherwise known as
Due Process Unit, which ensured transparency in government procurements and spending.
“The PDP government, in the same vein, immediately established the two major anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) with strict establishing and
operation laws to ensure effectiveness and immunity from executive interferences. Down the years, SERVICOM desks were opened in ministries and agencies to further ensure ethical standards in government businesses.
“As a result of this deliberate policies, human rights and business friendly environment were created and it saw to the massive return of Nigerians in the Diaspora and the influx of direct foreign investments into the country.
“Also, in keeping with the vision of our founding fathers to build a qualitative democratic society, successive PDP administrations for 16 years nurtured and sustained national unity and cohesion through strict application of the principles of federal character and social justice, for equitable distribution of wealth and opportunities.
“We initiated series of amendments to the constitution to make it more responsive to the wishes and aspirations of the people; reformed the electoral system to allow for greater political participation, granted operational independence to INEC, enacted the Freedom of Information law, while upholding the sanctity of the rule of law in all sectors of the polity.
“To reposition the economy for greater productivity, successive PDP administrations applied an economic policy, which enhanced a dynamic economy, in which market forces are combined with the forces of partnership, solidarity and cooperation to boost private sector participation and emergence of an empowered middle class system in the country.
“As you are aware, the hallmark of the PDP administration was anchored on the policy of transfer of wealth from the public sector to hard working and enterprising Nigerians. This resulted in the rapid expansion of the nation’s economic frontiers with an unprecedented growth in small and medium scale enterprises, which helped in providing employment for millions of our citizens across the country.
“It is incontrovertible that within the 16 years of successive PDP administrations, more businesses opened in the country in all sectors of the economy; in telecommunication (with one of the world’s fastest GSM and internet penetrations), transport, aviation, hospitality, education, agriculture, the media, auto mobile, real estate, oil and gas, food processing, among others, than in any other period in the nation’s history.
“In the same vein, hitherto weak banking sector was repositioned and strengthened, thereby providing support for businesses and restoring investors’ confidence in our system. By 2015, the PDP has grown our nation’s economy to the largest in Africa and one of the fastest growing
in the world.
“Under the PDP administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, our nation witnessed the successful unbundling of the power sector with massive investments, resulting in the construction and rehabilitation of various power projects. This is in addition to investments in oil and gas sector including the Turn Around Maintenance (TAM) of our oil refineries, which dividends, the nation is now enjoying.
“In the works, transport and aviation sectors, yearly investments by PDP administrations resulted in the revitalization of the railways, inland water ways, re-modelling and re-equipping of our aviation system to international standard, rehabilitation and construction of thousands of kilometres of roads and bridges across our country.
“Similar yearly investments by successive PDP administrations changed the face of agriculture in our country from a development Programme to a business for national wealth creation, focusing on the private sector.
By 2014 our national food production had expanded by an additional 21 million metric tons, a record, exceeding the national set target of 20 million metric tons for 2015.
“In education and health, meticulous execution of deliberate policies resulted in significant achievements. While healthcare become more affordable and accessible, series interventionist initiatives in life threatening diseases such as malaria, fibroid, HIV and AIDS, VVF, Hepatitis, Sickle Cell Anaemia, cardiac related ailments, polio which was successfully eradicated in 2014, among others, culminating in an unprecedented 50 per cent drop in maternal mortality and increase in national life expectancy by 2015.
“In education, while all levels of learning received adequate attention, the National Open University of Nigeria was established to boost opportunity for tertiary learning. By the end of first quarter of 2015, 14 new universities were established by the immediate past PDP administration to ensure that all states in the federation has a federal university, in addition to the establishment of the Almajiri system of education in the northern parts to ensure that no Nigerian child is denied access to education.
“As you are aware, one of the major challenges we faced was security. Despite the daunting challenges, successive PDP administrations ensured a well-equipped military, police and para-military agencies to tackle external and internal aggressions and ensure safety of lives and property.
“The record ending of the Niger Delta militancy by the Late Umaru Yar’Adua-led PDP administration, using the Amnesty Initiative, the containing of kidnapping menace in the south east, the drastic reduction in cases of highway criminality, using a combination of combat system
and regulations on electronic money transfer, and the vigorous confrontation of the fight against insurgency in the North east, all give credence to the efforts of the PDP.
“Also, the passing into law of “The Prevention of Terrorism Act 2011,” which provides for prevention, prohibition and combating of acts of terrorism, the re-equipping of the armed forces with officers and men undergoing retraining to enhance operations and professionalism; the
streamlining of security agencies for better cohesion of their roles, including improved intelligence gathering and sharing, which are now being deployed in the services are all to the credit of the PDP.
“Despite our temporary electoral setback in the last election, the PDP is a success story. Unarguably, the PDP is still the only pan-Nigeria party, wholly committed to the Nigerian project, accommodating all national interest and whose only agenda remains the unity, stability and prosperity of Nigeria and its people.
“While we restate our gratitude to the Nigerian electorate who stood by us in our 16 years in government at the centre, and who for obvious reasons now have greater confidence in us than before, we deeply celebrate past and present leaders of our party, past and present members of our National Executive Committee (NEC), past and present elected government officials at the national and state levels, our development partners and teeming members nationwide.
“As we play our new opposition role, the PDP as a highly responsible party, will continue to provide a firm but credible opposition, presenting alternatives to the programmes and policies of the present government while firmly standing on the side of the citizens in opposing acts and policies that are inimical to the health of the nation and the happiness of the people.
“We therefore call on all well-meaning Nigerians to continue to support the PDP as it relentlessly pursue and defend those values and tenets that ensure our unity, stability and prosperity as one people under God.”
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/09/pdp-list-achievements-at-17/#sthash.PXjiS2C4.dpuf
According to the PDP, Nigerians have been scammed with empty promises since the President was inaugurated on May 29.
In a statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the opposition stressed that instead of gains, official reports showed that the last three months under the APC-led government had brought a sudden decline in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with attendant losses and hardship to the citizens, while government embarks on propaganda of imaginary achievements, in addition to attempts to foist harsh economic regime to cover its ineptitude.
Metuh said, “The shambolic state of the nation’s economy within the period, which represents the worst in the nation’s contemporary history, is a direct fallout of uncertainty created by the inability of the Buhari-led government to chart a clear-cut economic policy, worsened by abuse of regulations, and flagrant violation of constitutional provisions.
“If not for crass incompetence or a possible ulterior motive to subjugate Nigerians for selfish reasons, what else explains the adamant stance of this administration in running a government without the statutory components of a full cabinet and precise fiscal policy direction, even when the negative consequences of this strange totalitarian approach are taking serious toll on the economy and the polity in general?
“Whereas the APC led government is busy with its propaganda of imaginary achievements, official reports from the National Bureau of Statistics show that that the economy is being grounded with Nigeria’s real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) plunging with about 2.35%, while job creation has dropped by 69 percent”