By HENRY UMORU/Vanguard
THE National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Friday admitted that the mood of the nation especially against the backdrop of security challenge in the country will not allow it roll out its drums to mark fourteen years of its existence.
Members of the Boko Haram sect have threatened the security situation of the country following massive killings and wanton destruction of property in some parts of the country, thereby crippling the economy of Nigeria.
Addressing Journalists yesterday at the Wadata Plaza, National Secretariat of the party to mark fourteen years of the formation of PDP, the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP while admitting that there have been some shortcomings in governance and hiccups as it has not met its target of transforming the country, however, pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with the PDP led government.
Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has called on PDP to in the spirit of fourteen years of formation, look critically on how the party has fulfilled its social contract with the electorate.
According to Atiku in a statement, ‘’as PDP marks its 14years anniversary today, our attention must not only focus on how old our Party is today but how well has our party fulfilled its social contract with the electorate who has kept us going for the last 14years and how best we can do more.
‘’The 14years Survival of PDP cannot be written without a big salute to the strong efforts put in by people like you in seeing that our party flag continues to fly high. No matter the ups and downs, we must remain committed to the PDP vision of building a strong Nation where Economic & Socio-Political growth has no boundary and the only way we can survive the years ahead is by insisting on electing our leaders and not allowing others to impose them on us no matter the influence, threat or inducement.”
According to Metuh, since the party was registered August 31,1998, Nigerians have been looking forward to greater achievements, but was quick to add that the government has stabilized the economy, exposed corrupt members even among the party.
‘’PDP is not unmindful of such expectation. We recall that exactly today in 1998, the historic efforts of eminent Nigerians from all walks of life to form a credible nationwide, issue and people based political party were crowned with the official lunching of our great party at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
‘’The visions of the founding fathers of our party, the critical elements of its manifesto which centred on re-building Nigeria into a pride in the comity of nations, its untrammeled credibility as a truly national political party that has been providing a platform for all Nigerians to realize their political aspirations irrespective of religious, ethnic or cultural affiliations differentiate the PDP from its contemporaries, in deed, any other political party in the history of Nigeria. This unique character of our party has been the major reason for its preference by Nigerians who have continued to renew our mandate as seen in 1999, 2003, 2007 and in 2011.
‘’There have been some short comings, it has not been smooth all the way, there have been some hiccups; we are not an excellent organisation, Nigerians should exercise patience, it will be okay next year,” he said.
The PDP has also vowed that ahead of the 2015 general election, it will not interfere in the process of selecting candidates to fly the flag of the PDP both at the local government, state and at the national level, adding that even at general elections, the people will decide through one man, one vote on who will be their leaders.”
The PDP National Publicity Secretary who noted that an occasion of this kind calls for celebration, but it is marked this year without pomp, however called on its members in Nigeria and in the Diaspora to soberly reflect on the values of justice, unity and progress which is the motto of the party.
Speaking further, Metuh disclosed that as a party, it has put in place internal mechanisms to assess and evaluate all its ministers and other public officials as that will be the means of getting the party’s ticket for the 2015 general elections.
The spokesperson who listed the achievements of the party in the last fourteen years, was however silent on the controversial proposed N5,000 denomination by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and the ranging state police being canvassed for by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, adding that the National Working Committee, NWC was yet to meet to take a decision on the issues.
He however called on Nigerians to be patriotic and put the interest of Nigeria over and above personal interest, adding, ‘’the National Working Committee (NWC) has decided that our members throughout the Federation and in the Diaspora should use the occasion of this year’s anniversary to soberly reflect on the values of justice, unity and progress which is the motto of our great party. We wish to add that the significance of our motto has remained a critical essential in navigating through the current challenging trajectory of our national history.
‘’Our anniversary should be an occasion for us to celebrate really but we have chosen to mark it this year without pomp. This is in line with our determination to devote more attention to accelerating an all front delivery of our electoral promises to Nigerians and in deference to the mood of the nation.
‘’On behalf of the National Executive Committee of our great Party, our National Chairman , Dr. Bamanga Tukur wishes to commend Nigerians for their support over the years. We wish to promise once again that the PDP will continue to make the welfare of the people a priority. We shall do more than we have done in the last fourteen years and urge that we all keep hope alive.”
Listing some of the achievements, Metuh said, ‘’after fourteen years of the formation of the PDP and thirteen years in leadership of our dear nation, we are happy to express our deep satisfaction at the roles we have so far played in the course of the development of Nigeria. Nigeria has moved from a pariah nation which it once was, to an influential global player since the inception of the PDP Government. Our status as a regional, continental and global power has been enhanced.