The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has dismissed the impressions in many quarters that the resolution of the leadership crises rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Supreme Court last week is a big threat to the fortunes of the APC ahead of 2019 general elections.
Fielding questions from ROMANUS UGWU on the restoration of peace in the PDP fold, the ruling party boss mocked that if PDP did not pose any threat to the ruling party while in power at the centre, it is impossible for it to do so as an opposition party.
What is your impression about the Supreme Court judgement on the PDP leadership crisis?
As the chairman of the APC, I welcome the final resolution of the PDP leadership tussles by the Supreme Court last week. As a democrat and a leading politician, it is my desire to see restoration of peace in all the political parties in the country. If the parties are in disarray, they will not play their fundamental roles as strong oppositions.
As a politician and chairman of the ruling APC, I want all other political parties to resolve all their lingering differences and challenges so that together with the APC they can continue to give values required of political parties to Nigeria and Nigerians.
I want to put it clearly on record that APC has never been part of the PDP leadership crises. They should know better how it started, what went wrong and why it took such long time to settle the crises.
Sincerely, we are happy that as a political party, the PDP has resolved its problems. Political parties are necessary in oiling the progress of democracy. We don’t want and will never encourage dictatorship. PDP crisis and the resolution of the bickering is the least of APC’s concerns.
What about the impression that the reconciliation is a threat to APC?
I will advise those basking in such euphoria to perish such thought. Come to think of it, if PDP could not pose any threat to APC while in power at the federal level, when Nigerians voted them out after realising how bad they were, is it now that APC is in power that PDP will be a threat?
Under PDP, corruption assumed an alarming stage, money meant for infrastructural development was diverted into private pockets with impunity. The facts on ground now especially those facing trial and those that have voluntarily returned some money, show that APC knew what we have been saying when we told Nigerians that they looted the country blind.
May be I should add by way of emphasis that we are not part of PDP’s problems. In the contrary, we are rather happy that they have resolved the crisis but let me emphasise that PDP is not in any way a threat to APC.
As the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullah, rightly pointed out in the recent press release, we recently read Senator Makarfi announcing rather exuberantly that his victory at the court meant that PDP was ready to return to power. Makarfi’s statement was part of the excitement that followed the favourable court ruling.
The PDP brand of opposition politics had been characterized mainly by allegation mongering and open incitements of separatist agitations across the country. It appears however that the outcome of last week’s judgement is beginning to set them on a different course. We are however delighted that the PDP is beginning to talk about holding the APC accountable for the promises in our manifesto.
We want Nigerians, not just the PDP, to hold us accountable for every promise contained in our manifesto. We only urge them to be fair. A manifesto is not a four-year programme. If PDP had fully implemented its manifesto in the 16 years that it was in power, Nigerians would not have been attracted to the APC promise of change in 2015, because there would have been little left to promise.
The exact problem with the PDP as currently constituted is that there are only a few people left in the party whose faces do not represent the face of corruption.
We urge Nigerians to remain resolute in support of the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari. We are confident that whatever difficulty we are going through at the moment is only a passing phase.