• Opposition party begs Nigerians for past mistakes
Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a rare display of candour, has begged Nigerians for forgiveness for the several grave mistakes it committed while it held the rein of power at the centre between 1999 and 2015.
National Chairman of the party, Mr. Uche Secondus, while speaking at a public national discourse with the theme: “Contemporary governance in Nigeria” yesterday in Abuja, openly apologised to Nigerian for the impunity, imposition of candidates and other mistakes the party committed in the past.
“What went wrong in the past was part of evolution and the PDP at 20 is more mature to deliver on the wants of Nigerians,” he stated.
Secondus who took over the party after a protracted leadership tussle said the new agenda was to move the party from what it used to be to what it should be. He assured that under his watch, there would be no imposition of candidates or any form of impunity in the party’s activities.
“In the past, there were impunity and imposition, we are not spirit, we have to be humble to apologise for imposition, impunity and other wrong doings. While in government, there was no nepotism, but today nepotism has been taken to the highest level by this government of APC.
“We have to stand before the people and apologise. We made mistakes.
“I hereby, as the national chairman, do admit that the PDP made a lot of mistakes; we are humans, not spirits and the ability to admit is key in moving forward.
“We admit that we have made several mistakes; we have passed through all our challenges and have acquired the experience no other party can boast of. We were sanctioned by Nigerians at the polls in 2015. Let me seize this opportunity to apologise for our past mistakes. It is the honest thing to do, a legacy to transfer to our children; we cannot continue like that. When we make mistakes, we should come out boldly to the people and apologise.
“It is important to do so because we have learnt from our mistakes, unlike the All Progressive Congress (APC) that will make mistakes and lie to cover it.
“We apologise to Nigerians that we have made mistakes, we have learnt our lessons and we are ready to begin on a new agenda. Experience is the best teacher, no other party has it.
He took a swipe at the ruling party, which it said has sunk the country further from where it took over in 2015.
“Our currency has been recklessly devalued from N199 in 2015 to nearly N500 a dollar before it came down to about N365, only, due to increase in oil prices and not any significant thing done by this government.
“Fuel prices rose from N97 to N145, yet, the nation experiences unabated scarcity with its attendant long queues and suffering by the Nigerian citizens.
“From friends and members of this government, we learnt that while in 16 years, the PDP government was able to borrow N6 trillion and had some projects commissioned for it, in just less than three years, APC regime has borrowed N11 trillion and has not commissioned a single project.”
According to Secondus, when things were not positive and the mindset negative, it was then time to reset it.
He said the public discourse was an ample opportunity for the party members to collectively “press the reset button’’ and set a new agenda for the nation.
He confessed there was too much power at the party’s National Headquarters and expressed readiness to change the “anomaly.
“Going forward, power will be devolved to the wards, states and zones,” the chairman said.
According to him, candidates did not need to come to the headquarters to canvass for votes, adding that power and votes now resided at the grassroots.
Secondus said the PDP had been celebrated and mourned, won and lost elections, promoted and demoted and had remained strong with a unity of purpose.
He added that the party was aware of the cries of the people of Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Taraba, Kogi, Enugu, Lagos, Edo, and that it was morally bound to react favourably to the yearnings of the people.
Secondus said that the repositioned PDP had a new mechanism that would interact with people at the grassroots and hold leaders accountable.
Achieftain of the party, Chief George Bode, said the position of the party leadership rekindled his loyalty.
Bode called on members of PDP who left the party as a result of its past mistakes to return home from “wilderness.’’
According to him, to err is human and forgive is divine, it was time to walk the talk for the repositioning of the country.