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Politics of Sunday, 7 November 2021


Loss of Presidency good for PDP - Iyorchia Ayu

PDP National Chairman-elect, Iyorchia Ayu PDP National Chairman-elect, Iyorchia Ayu

The ouster of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from power and its replacement by the All Progressive Congress (APC) has worked in its favour as Nigerians now that they were better off with the main opposition party.

This is according to the national chairman-elect of the PDP, Professor Iyorchia Ayu, who also said that the PDP might have plunged the country into a dictatorship or become complacent of it had remained in government.

Fielding questions from journalists for the first time since being elected, the incoming party boss said at the weekend in Abuja that his leadership will re-energize the PDP to take back power in 2023.

He said: “My priority is for the party to take power. Political parties priorities is always to win. Therefore, I reviewed the reasons why we lost power in 2015 and going to work to unite the party, to sharpen the programs of the party, market the party to the Nigerian electorate in a way that they will be prepared to vote for us.

“In a democracy, it’s normal for a political parties to lose power. If we didn’t lose power, may be we would have become a dictatorship or become complacent. To believe in democracy…there must have been something we were doing wrong or must have done wrong that the Nigerian electorate shifted.

“But today, if we didn’t lose power, they won’t experience the policies and programs of the other party. They would think there is something better than us. Thank God we lost power. Today, Nigerian people know better.

“And I believe we will re-energize the party and take over power again, not only at the centre, but in Nigeria, there is a lot of attention taking power at the federal level.

“There was time PDP was controlling about 20 states. That has been reduced to 13. We hope and pray and we will work very hard to increase that number from 13 to control over 20 states, possibly, we will win the federal government.

“So, that is really my vision for this party. We will unite the party as I have said and I believe that very soon, we will have a very united, a very focused political party.”

Ayu said the PDP’s delay in zoning its presidential ticket is tactical move, assuring that the decision will be reached democratically when the time comes.

He explained: “We are a very democratic party. We don’t have problems in resolving our problems within the party. Everybody thought the zoning of party offices will destroy the party. I think Nigerians were pleasantly surprised that we resolved it without any controversy whatsoever.

“So, those who are visiting controversies on the party are not getting it right. I believe that when the time comes, because today, we have separated the zoning of party offices and zoning of the executive and legislative offices and it’s very tactical.

“When the time comes, we will subject ourselves to another democratic exercise and we will come out with a winning candidate. I believe Nigerians will be very happy with what we will offer them in the next couple of months.”

Ayu expressed confidence that many politicians will returns to the PDP because, according to him, the party has started to her things right.

He explained: “In the party the previous administration had started processes of reconciling the differences among members. There was a committee set up headed by Senator Bukola Saraki to investigate what the problems were and to reconcile the party. So, that process is on.

“I intend to build on that when they submit their report when I resume. Necessary reconciliatory processes will be undertaken to reconcile party members and to resolve issues in chapters in various states.

“We have already started that by talking to people. I am happy to inform you so many people have already indicated interest to return to the party, those who are aggrieved who have left the party.

“If you recall, a few days ago, former governor of Ondo state, Governor Mimiko, returned to the party. My colleague, Senator Ladoja from Ibadan also returned. There are some people who are trooping back.

“A few months ago, the traffic was one way, we lost about three governors to the APC. But I believe before the end of the year, you will hear so many people coming back to the PDP because they now have confidence that the PDP is getting it right.

“So, we will build on that and work very hard to make sure that the PDP is a unified force to fight the next election.”

The former Senate President was of the view that Nigerians will defend their votes in 2023 irrespective of whether the ruling party accept the electronic transmission of election results.

According to him, “Nigerians will be ready to defend their votes in all ways possible. It is clear that PDP won the 2019 presidential election, but we had difficulties with the ruling government because they don’t believe in democracy. So, they were manipulating things.

“We’ve learnt our lessons. We will take necessary measures to ensure that does not repeat itself. There are many other things they did that were undemocratic which Nigerians didn’t know which we are aware of and which we have taken necessary measures to ensure the votes of Nigerians count. If that doesn’t happen, then, it means we are not running a democracy.”

He dispelled arguments about Nigerians being divided saying that what they need is good leadership, justice and fairness.

“Nigeria is a very diverse country but there’s unity in our diversity. Every organization will have some conflict here and there but we are not a divided people as I will always say. Nigerians are a united people. What they need is good leadership, justice, fairness. Once you have that in any organization, I think Nigerians will rally round and move forward,” he stated.