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Former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, has charged the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to be ready to provide a better choice to Nigerians in 2019. This is as the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, said that the party is set for its eventual return to power in 2019. Babangida and Secondus, who spoke over the weekend, said Nigerians were happy with the rebranding and repositioning going on in PDP.
The former military president, who spoke when members of PDP National Working Committee (NWC) visited him in Minna, the Niger State capital, expressed satisfaction with the rebranding so far achieved by the PDP ahead of the 2019 general elections. “I am happy at your assurances that there will be no imposition in all your primary elections.
It is all about choice and you have promised to provide the best choice,” PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, quoted Babangida in a statement. Babangida told the PDP leadership that not a few Nigerians believed that the elective national convention of the party would hold. “Your ‘reposition, rebrand and regain’ agenda is working and I mean particularly the rebranding.
Some people believed that having been in government since 1999, the PDP will find opposition difficult, but you are carrying on well and providing a better alternative. “You have also not abandoned the people in times of crisis. I monitored your activities in Benue, Taraba and you just said your party has sent members to Zamfara to commiserate with the people. Surely you have made the people the centre of your return and they will not forget you because you were with them in time of sorrow,” he said.
At a meeting with Forum of Speakers of PDPcontrolled state Houses of Assembly, Secondus assured them that what would come out of the reengineering going in the party would make it a formidable opposition ready and determined to regain power in 2019. In a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, the PDP National Chairman noted that many Nigerians were anxiously waiting for PDP’s return to power.
“Our visits to states reveal that only PDP governors are delivering in their campaign promises and their people are happy and supportive. “In Abia, Delta and Bayelsa states where we visited recently, PDP governors are phenomenal in their performance. No wonder the people are trooping back to the party from the wobbling ruling APC,” Secondus said.
He told the speakers that their position is very critical to the mobilization programmes of the party because of their closeness to the grassroots, and urged them to “remain connected to your people because we are taking the party back to the real owners, the people at the grassroots where you are closer.”
The National Chairman told the speakers that the party is planning a deliberate policy that would take the party to the youth through a new programme called “Generation Next” that would soon be launched and called on the speakers to key into it as most of them belong to that generation. He lamented the killings and economic hardships, which Nigerians contend with on daily basis, stressing that “our country has never witnessed the type of division our people are currently facing.
“Today, our nation is drifting and as leaders (we) cannot afford to keep quiet and watch on the sides. Leaders must come together and take a firm position on how to save our nation from the precipice. “PDP remains the only alternative platform based on our experience more so because we have learnt our lessons. We have resolved to play by the rules and operate within the confines of our party’s and the Nigerian constitution.
“We are rebranding and repositioning to make our party open to all and regain the land for the people. We are determined to give opportunities to the youth and our women. We also want to mentor a new generation of young Nigerians that will take our nation to the next millennium,” Secondus said.
Earlier, the Chairman of PDP State Speakers’ Forum, Sheriff Oborevworio, told Secondus that they came to congratulate and identify with the new party executive. Oborevworio, who is the Speaker of Delta State House Assembly, said speakers were ready at all time to assist the party in its efforts to regain power in 2019.