From Ndubuisi Orji and Okwe Obi, Abuja
Supporters of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar; Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Bauchi governor, Bala Mohammed; former Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso; and other northern Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders yesterday took over the Eagle Square, Abuja, venue of the national convention of the party, to drum support for the presidential ambitions of their principals.
This is as the opposition party elected its national officers, most of who were returned unopposed.
Basking on the euphoria of the large gathering, Chairman of the PDP National Convention Organizing Committee, Ahmadu Fintiri, while declaring open the 2021 Convention, said that it is the starting point in PDP’s quest to rescue the country from alleged misgovernance of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Fintiri, who is also the governor of Adamawa State, said that Nigerians still relish the 16 years the PDP controlled the reins of power in the country.
The governor noted that the fortunes of the country have allegedly dwindled under the APC-led Federal Government.
Consequently, he stated that the citizens were looking unto the opposition party to rescue the country in 2023.
According to him, “for Nigeria, the present APC-led government is hell-bent on railroading the country into multifaceted recession in all fronts; from the economy to governance; national security to diplomacy; poverty to unemployment; anti-corruption to the observance of the rule of law; citizenship to national cohesion, etc. Indeed, the country has never had it this bad.
“That Nigeria is better by far with PDP in power is not in doubt. That the people relish on those golden moments when the PDP held sway at the centre is not in doubt. That citizens are yearning for the return of PDP at the centre as the 2023 elections draw nearer, is equally not in doubt.
“We, therefore, have a duty not to disappoint our teaming supporters. We have to take back our country as we have always done. We have to save Nigeria.
“If we could force the country out of the clutches of the military, we can do this one huge task – push the people who don’t know the true definition of good governance and national coexistence out of power. This is a Nigeria rescue mission. This is the role PDP was invented to play.
“The 2021 National Convention, presents a starting point for the Nigeria rescue mission. I commend the decision of all the organs of the party, especially the BoT and NEC for recognizing that the party has a beautiful chance to reinvent itself with this convention.”
Fintiri noted that the outcome of the convention would have a direct bearing on the strength of the PDP as it moves into the future.
“Fortunately, the choices before us have been made easier by the power of consensus which is an integral part of our processes.
“That most of the positions have emerged with single contestants is not only a pointer to our bond of familyhood, but a demonstration of our entrenched democratic culture and strength as a party determined to soldier on in unison,” he stated.
On his part, the acting national chairman of the PDP, Yemi Akinwonmi, while declaring the convention open, charged aggrieved members of the party to bury the hatchet and close ranks, in the overall interest of the party.
Akinwonmi stated that there was need for the PDP leaders to put the interest of the opposition party and the country above their personal interests.
“I am personally happy to associate myself with the winning party in the coming 2023 election. I call on all members of this party to come together, bury our personal, individual and collective differences and put PDP and interest of Nigeria above any consideration,” the PDP chairman stated.