Merger: They can’t beat us – PDP chair

A merger of opposition parties cannot defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 general elections, PDP national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur said yesterday.

Bamanga Tukur

Bamanga Tukur

Reacting to the merging of four opposition parties yesterday, Tukur said the merger does not constitute any threat to the ruling party in future elections.

With palpably feigned enthusiasm, the PDP chairman described the merger as “beautiful”, adding “the more the merrier”.

Apparently trying to make light of the threat, the chairman said the PDP remained unfazed by the merger, inferring that the ruling party would always have its way.

Tukur said: “We are the only party. That shows the acceptance. It is the party in government now that is in the majority. It does not mean that we want to be one party without opposition. In fact, opposition is a charge to action.

“Let me tell you this. There is no polling booth in the whole of Nigeria where you do not have one member of the PDP. PDP is the only party in the country that fields candidate in every polling booth in the country.

“People tend to believe there is a threat when they see people (opposition parties) coming together. If they have the strength, why do they come together.

“When we came to form PDP, we did not tell anybody we wanted a one party state. It all depends on the Nigerian people. Nigerians should really be allowed to decide their fate.

“It is the electorate that will decide. Our party is a grassroots party. My job is to handover this party to the owners, they are there. They are the ones to decide from the ward, local government, the state, the zone up to the centre. PDP is the party that is steering the national government”.

Tukur likened the 2015 general elections to a football contest between the PDP on one hand and the coalition of opposition parties on the other.

He likened the performances of the PDP to the exploits of international football star and Barcelona Football Club striker and prolific goal scorer, Lionel Messi.

“If you go for a football contest, you have the top striker. You know Lionel Messi? PDP is Messi in that contest. They (opposition parties) are not a threat at all. It (merger) is better. It inspires the PDP to action. In that contest, tell them (opposition parties) that I said PDP is Lionel Messi”

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Labour Party Chairman, Mr Adejobi Peter yesterday said only purposeful leadership could ensure Nigeria’s progress not the merger of opposition parties.

He made the remark in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

According to him, the corporate existence of Nigeria is greater than aggregate interests of a group of individuals brought together by the inordinate ambition of wrestling power.

“We should not be thinking of what we can grab from the country,” he said.

The chairman urged politicians to eschew sentiments when Nigeria demands sacrifice from the political office holders irrespective of their political affiliations.

“Sentiments, be it of section, religion or tribe will not make us move forward in this country.’’

According to Peter, Labour Party is not part of the ongoing merger talks because similar exercises have never yielded any good result.

“The labour party is studying events, we are not condemning those in the merger, but we are just studying events as they unfold.

“We have not seen what will make us merge; when we see that politicians have turned a new leaf then we can start to think of merger.

“Check the history of merger in the country; initially, we have had very fantastic arrangements, but at the end of the day there was nothing to show for it.

“The parties in the planned merger, do they have programmes that are different from what the country has always had?

“Let them make known to Nigerians their programmes so that we will see if the merger will be a more credible exercise,’’ he said.

Peter urged the political office holders to build legacies from the people oriented programmes by shunning actions that would promote their selfish interests.

The Nation

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