By Saawua Terzungwe
PDP leaders have said that the December elective primaries of the party will determine its fortunes in 2019, including whether or not it will be taken seriously by the electorate.
A former Minister of Education and one-time Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Prof. Tunde Adeniran and ex-Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu said, yesterday, that the fate of the PDP in the 2019 general polls would be determined at its proposed December 9 elective national convention.
Declaring public his intention to contest the office of chairman at the party’s convention at Yar’adua Centre, Abuja, Prof. Adeniran said a transparent and credible convention would guarantee the survival of the party for years to come.
He said the PDP at the peak of its glory suddenly imbibed anti-democratic tendencies of indiscipline, disregard for party supremacy and internal democracy, which he assured would be restored if he is given the mandate.
He pledged to re-affirm and entrench the founding principles of the party and rejuvenate it to its original state of strength, devoid of impunity, imposition and subversion of the will of the people among others.
Adeniran said it would be “uncharitable and a despicable fallacy” for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to rubbish the achievements of the PDP administration in 16 years, especially when one considered the massive challenges the PDP inherited from long years of military rule.
“We are all witnesses to the near-death experience brought about by the leadership crisis spanning about 23 months which, fortunately, the party survived through divine providence. Now is the time for a new beginning for our great party.
“We must reconcile, we must unite, we must rebuild and we must reposition to face the challenges that lie ahead. These are indeed the imperatives before us as a party. As such, it is essential and I have confidence in the present leadership of the party, ably led by the highly experienced Senator Ahmed Makarfi to conduct a credible and transparent national convention,” he said.
On his part, Senator Mantu said the last time the PDP had a fair convention was in 2013.
“We must make sure that the right thing is done; the right person who will take us back to Aso Rock is elected as chairman of our great party at the December convention.”
He added that, “Since 2003, we have not conducted free and fair primaries in the PDP; imposition and impunity were the order of the day. After the 2015 general elections which we lost, it was expected that we would learn our lessons, but we haven’t. What happened recently in Anambra is bad news.”
Former minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri; former minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina; former governorship aspirant in Adamawa State, Dr. Umar Ardo; former minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Inna Maryam Ciroma; Senator Buruji Kashamu (Ogun East, PDP); Senator Ugochukwu Ubah and many others were at the declaration ceremony.