Fri. Aug 12th, 2022

There’ll Be No APC by April 2023, Says PDP Chairman

Dr, IAyu, PDP Chairman

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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, yesterday, sent a strong message to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its government, saying by March or April 2023 there may not be a party called APC in the country.

Ayu spoke at the weekend at Government House, Makurdi, when he addressed party stakeholders. He described the ruling APC as “a contraption” with neither programme nor ideological position, predicting its collapse by the next general election year.

In a related development, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike urged the PDP chairman to bring his enormous political knowledge and experience to bear on his new assignment. Wike said the ultimate challenge for Ayu was the rebuilding of the main opposition party and its restoration to winning ways.
Wike made the assertions yesterday at an interdenominational thanksgiving church service and reception organised for the PDP national chairman by the Benue State government in conjunction with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Benue State Chapter.

Ayu reiterated that PDP would win at least 25 of the states in the 2023 governorship polls.
The former senate president assured the stakeholders, who included aspirants to various elective positions, that the party would not impose candidates on the people ahead of the 2023 general election.

A statement from Ayu’s media office said, “By March/April 2023, there will be no APC in Nigeria. APC is a contraption, a contraption to win power, but they have no programme or any ideological position on what to do with power.

“Therefore, we will be coming back in every state and at the federal level to take over power, with a coherent programme of action, and with which we will implement workable policies, as we were doing before.”
The new PDP chairman was full of praises for the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, saying he is following in the footsteps of the late Moses Adasu. He dismissed reports of competition between himself and former Senate President David Mark. Ayu disclosed that it was actually Mark, who advised him to go for the PDP national chairmanship.

He stated, “I am telling you this story, because it shows that at any one time we are united in Benue, definitely, Nigeria will not ignore us. This is not the first time we have attained victory by our collective effort. In 2019, when they said there was federal might, we said the allied forces of Benue were ready for the federal might, and we defeated that federal might.”

Ayu emphasised the need for party unity and respect for popular decisions, stressing, “I urge us to continue to work together. Don’t be afraid of federal might. The allied forces of Benue are still as united as ever. And today, we are even stronger.

“I believe whoever emerges as a candidate for any elective position, once the list is forwarded to Abuja, I don’t want Governor Ortom or his candidates to come to lobby. This is because the decision of Benue people will be respected at all times.”

He bemoaned the deplorable security situation in the country, especially, the daily killings, but said Nigerians should not lose hope, as PDP was coming to rescue and rebuild the country.

“Do not lose hope, Nigerians,” Ayu stated, adding, “Do not lose hope in Nigeria just because a small group of people have come to destroy her. Let us join hands and get rid of them, and reclaim and rebuild our country.”
He charged party faithful to intensify work at the ward levels so as to commence the rescue mission from bottom up, adding that the immediate task of the party is to ensure victory in Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.

Ayu said the party would work vigorously to regain leadership of the National Assembly, enlist more women and youths, as well as halt defection from PDP to other political parties.
He said, “For the presidency, we will be fair to all aspirants. There will be no favoured aspirant. We will provide a level playing ground for everyone.

“The next president will be a product of the PDP. We will come up with a strong manifesto indicating what programme will be given to our candidate to prosecute, unlike the APC that had no programme in 2015.
“We urge Nigerians not to lose hope, because a small collection of people have come together to divide us. We are a productive people, who are respected across the world. Do not allow the current leadership to destroy the tenacity of this nation.

“PDP will be back with good policy, the economy will come back to life, and we will start exporting again. As a party, we have done the needful. We will work hard to rebuild our nation and shame the foreign detractors, who say Nigeria will break up.

“We will be in the forefront of world affairs again. I’m determined to follow in the footsteps of Aper Aku, JS Tarka, and Adasu. APC is using propaganda to make it look like PDP is gone. We have mapped out strategies and agenda to take the party to the height. We will work as a team, leading the army to victory. Every member of the party will be carried along. PDP will fight to win Ekiti and Osun governorship elections.”

Speaking at the thanksgiving service, Wike admonished the PDP national chairman to restore the party by ensuring the reconciliation of aggrieved members, who had left the party, with a view to winning the 2023 general election. The governor extolled Ayu’s vast political experience, but reminded him of the enormous task ahead to rescue Nigeria from the APC federal government in 2023.

Wike said, “Today is not a day to talk about APC. Today is the day to join the people of Benue State in thanking God for His mercies. Today is a day we shall be able to tell our National Chairman plainly what the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) expects from him and how we are going to stand by him to make sure this party is rebuilt, in order to put themselves together and to take over power in 2023.

“History is beckoning on you. Yes, they have said you are former Minister of Industry, you are former Minister of Interior, you are former Minister of Education, even Environment. And former Senate President, but you have never been saddled with the responsibility to rescue Nigeria.

“As a former minister, you were not given the opportunity to rescue Nigeria. Nigeria was not what it is now. Therefore, the battle to rescue Nigeria, the battle to change leadership in 2023 is on you.

“It is not going to be easy for you. The time for work has come and that is when we will know the experiences you have gathered, how you want to put it to use and rebuild the Peoples Democratic Party. It is very, very important.

“We want you to use your experiences, as people have said, to make sure even those, who have left the party, should be brought back to the party.”
Wike urged Ayu not to be distracted by the political ambitions of party members, but focus on rebuilding PDP into a formidable party.

He told the new PDP chairman, “Let me also tell you, Mr. Chairman, do not be distracted about who will be presidential aspirant, let them not disturb you. Go, focus and rebuild the party. Once the party is rebuilt, I can assure you, you have somebody that will stand in this party, and Nigerians will vote for that person. What is important for you now is to see what you can do. Be focused; let nobody distract you.

“I want to plead with you, let people not tell you to begin to go to one governor’s place or the other in order for the governors forum to be divided. At the end of the day, the party will suffer. Your business is, if the governors are not united, unite the governors, so that they can work for the interest of the party. It is very key.

“Today we have lost focus in the National Assembly, and so you have to put our party together to make sure our members of National Assembly speak with one voice and be opposition party they’re supposed to be.
“Yes, I supported you, I voted for you, because I have the belief you can turn PDP to success in 2023. But if you’re not doing well, Mr. Chairman, I will shout, I will say, Mr. Chairman, this is not what we expected from you.”

Wike commended the successful election that ushered in the new leadership of the party and assured the national chairman of his commitment, along with other governors of the party, to his success in the national rescue project.

Mark and former Senate President Bukola Saraki, while extolling the virtues of Ayu, said he had the competence to lead the party back to power in 2023.

Saraki said, “We are here to give confidence and hope to Nigerians, but I see a brighter future. PDP always gets victory from Benue. North-central assures you of total cooperation. I do not have any doubt because you are a man of character.

“The new leadership will address the myriad of problems confronting the country. We re ready to rescue the country. Passion and love will guide us to achieve our goals.”
He called on Ayu to be honest and frank.

Meanwhile, new National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, described the APC as a party of strange bedfellows, who were power grabbers. Ologunagba alleged, “APC is a gathering of strange bedfellows. Today, it has 90 states chairmen, instead of 36, and each of them loyal to a warlord. How can they elect their national leadership?”

He also said the goal of the Ayu-led PDP was to improve the economy by implementing well thought-out policies and programmes, and pay special attention to infrastructure, especially, electricity and rail transport.
In a statement, Ologunagba said the National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP appreciated the unprecedented courage displayed by Nigerians in the last six years of the APC government.

He said, “Under the APC, Nigerians continued to experience insecurity ravaging the country, unprecedented unemployment, an economy in shambles, almost collapsing, the naira failing daily, industries are packing up daily, education standards falling, health sector in comatose, infrastructure decay and stagnation, and scaring disunity and suspicion pervades the country.”

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