FROM LEFT: DIRECTOR-GENERAL, PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC INSTITUE, DR
LANRE ADEBAYO; CONVENER OF RESTART PDP PROJECT, MR NWOSU EMMANUEL; AND A MEMBER OF ZAMFARA ELDERS COMMITTEE, ALHAJI GARBA GUSAU, AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE ROAD MAP TOWARDS THE SPEEDY RESTRUCTURING OF PDP AHEAD OF 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN ABUJA
By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – Top members of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, including the former Governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi and immediate past Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, a founding member, Chief Osita Nwaneri , amongst others, met, Monday in Abuja, in order to proffer solutions to the protracted crisis rocking the party
The party chieftains who converged under the auspices of the Restart PDP Project, resolved to realise a road map developed towards the speedy restructuring of the PDP in readiness to reclaim its position during the 2019 general elections.
But before the meeting went into closing session, Senator Makarfi said in his remarks that PDP remains the national party and that it must do everything possible to return to its glorious moments.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the opening ceremony of the one-day summit, tagged, Restart PDP Project Stakeholders Consultative Meeting, the Convener, Engr. Nwosu Emmanuel Butches, said the team has identified all the issues that caused the defeat suffered by the party at the last general elections.
Butches said it is imperative for the party to restart its machinery well ahead of the 2019 elections and that the party must play its new opposition roles effectively to be able to rebuild Nigerians confidence in it.
“We will stop at nothing to restart the wheel of progress which the PDP represents after over 16 years before we made some mistakes that led to our 2015 electoral defeat.
“All our members that defect would be brought back and those planning to go will now stay, they have seen that it is not greener in the APC (All Progressives Congress).
“The blueprint we are presenting today has been accepted by our leaders and all the stakeholders as it contain all the four major cardinal points agitating our aggrieved party members,” Butches said.
According to him, “PDP is a moving vehicle that stopped somewhere and about to be restarted. It is not dead. What will Restart PDP Project is set top do is to reengineer and restructure our party. The PDP remains the only national party as at today.
“The ruling party today is dismembered party. Different blocs came together to form it unlike PDP that few great men, men of repute came together and say let us build a party where al interest will be represented. They came up with Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. The party went on to win elections and stayed in power for 16 years.
“Most unfortunately, the party lost elections. And we decided, having lost the elections, there must be reasons. And we must have to re-cultivate the values that make us to win these elections in the past so that we will come back to power. In that extent we put together Restart PDP Project.
“Definitely, you notice that bulk of the complaints by members of our party is imposition of candidates, lack of internal party democracy these forced a lot of people out of the party.
“ And we have been told by many people who read the blueprint that the moment the party begins to implement this blueprint, they will all return. After all, it is not greener on the other side.
“So what we have begun will bring a comprehensively reunited PDP. And most importantly, it will give Nigerians the confidence again to consider us again worthy of holding power,” he said.
Co-convener of the meeting Hon. Dennis Emmanuel Ukpabio said the dissent in the party was disturbing and that rather than continue on the path of asking the NWC and the BoT or other organs of the party to resign leading to more divisions, it is better for them to close ranks and return the party to its enviable height.
Chief Nwaneri on his part said it is important for the party to do a soul searching and to also allow members to speak their minds so that the reconciliation would also be extended to the zones and states.
A member of the steering committee Ibrahim Galadimawa said the party’s loss remains painful especially that it was the first time it was losing an election at the centre after 15 years of sustaining democracy and allowing opposition and civil societies to thrive.