National Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, yesterday warned his party members that the emergence of the All Progressive Congress (APC) is for real and poses a formidable threat in the 2015 elections.
“There is a group that just came up and wants to sweep the mat off our feet,” Tukur said in a veiled reference to the APC at a meeting of the Northwest zone of the PDP in Kaduna.
Three of the six PDP governors in the zone -Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Aliyu Wamako (Sokoto) -were absent at the meeting.
It was, however, attended by Governors Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State, Usman Dakingari (Kebbi) and the host, Mukthar Ramalan Yero.
Continuing, the PDP Chairman said: “PDP is all about patronage. We are going to dole out our patronage to all our members who remain in the party.
“I am here to tell all our supporters about the virtue of patience. Patience is such a priceless thing, that the Hausa people say, ‘a patient man can cook a stone and drink its sauce’. I want to plead with our members in this zone to imbibe this teaching.
“This is because without patience, we will all be in disarray. And we cannot afford to be. There is a heavy war ahead in 2015. A group has come up and wants to sweep the mat off our feet. We cannot allow that to happen. The PDP is the only party that is not religious, not sectional or tribal. We are one big party, and we intend, and we must remain so.
“What I am saying here is what I told our supporters in the South West. They are not happy, because of the problem they face in the party in that zone, a minority has taken over power there.
“Let me inform you. We are going to give patronage to all our members who have contested elections and lost. There is enough in the party to go round everyone. There is no need to leave the party.”
Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo who was at the meeting asked members to unite for the rebuilding of the party.
“This tour undertaken as part of the celebration of the first anniversary of the national working committee is also in line with the reconciliation, reformation and Rebuilding agenda of the party chairman,” he said, adding, “As a party that is fully organised and vibrant, well noted for its adoption of rule of law and natural justice in the discharge of its activities, the decision to embark on this tour in order to properly position the party to face future challenges is indeed paramount.
“The assembly of the crème of our party faithful at this meeting only signals and lends credence to our desire to ensure that we develop new ideas, initiatives and innovations that will further solidify the party and move it forward.
“I therefore call on us to approach today’s meeting with a clear mind and conscience and to develop more pragmatic ways that will consolidate the strength of our party by embarking on people-oriented projects and programmes in each tier of government that will not only improve the lives of our people but will create wealth amongst our citizens.
“We must shun all overtures by those who are bent on destroying the party through anti-party activities and be unified in our quest to strengthen a party that has made its mark and improved the lives and well-being of our citizens. We must be unified and steadfast for the growth and strength of our great party and in the interest of our dear citizens.
“Our actions speak for us. Our laudable programmes at all the three tiers of government coupled with our respect for rule of law, good governance and democratic tenets serve as our trademark. It is in this regard that it becomes pertinent among members of this great party to carry this trademark wherever we go as a good product sells itself.
“Our greatest asset is our unity of purpose and acceptability as the only national party that has as its centre piece the popular slogan ‘Power to the People’. Once we are fully reconciled, rebuilt and reformed, we shall continue with our capability of tackling any opposition from any quarters of this country.”