From: Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Chairman of the All Progressives Congresss (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, has formally congratulated the new chairman of the People Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, charging him to make PDP a responsible opposition party.
In a statement he personally signed and made available to the media, the ruling party boss however assure the PDP chairman of his willingness to engage him robustly in an atmosphere devoid of acrimony and rancour.
Contrary to the earlier statement from the ruling party’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, which faulted the National Elective Convention of the main opposition party, Oyegun urged the PDP national leadership to balance partisan interests with overall national considerations.
The initial statement from the APC spokesperson read; “In reacting to revelations of how money-for-votes and systematic rigging was brazenly perpetuated during the National Convention of the PDP, the 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,” the statement read.
However, the statement released by Oyegun read; “On behalf of our great party, the APC, I congratulate the new National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus on his election at the PDP’s recent National Convention. I also congratulate other newly-elected PDP National officials.”
“It is my hope that the newly-elected PDP National Chairman will use his experience garnered over the years to ensure that the PDP assumes its role as a responsible opposition party in the country.
“Our party wholeheartedly welcome opposition because we believe that democracy cannot thrive without a vibrant but responsible opposition that puts the nation first. This will often challenge you to balance partisan interests with overall national considerations.
“I assure the PDP national chairman of my willingness to engage him robustly in an atmosphere devoid of acrimony and rancour. I believe that working together we can both elevate the language and temper of politics in our country, thereby providing the enabling environment for democracy to thrive in our country,” Oyegun noted.