Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the “tenancy” of President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa in Abuja expires on May 28, 2019.
Speaking shortly after he was elected to lead the opposition party, Secondus appealed to PDP members to unite ahead of 2019.
“By my understanding, the mandate you have given us today is clear and unambiguous. It is to return our party to power come 2019,” he said.
“As Herculean as this mandate seems, I know it’s achievable. My campaign pillars for this election are ‘To Rebuild, Reposition and Regain’. Let me assure you great members and leaders of our party, that by the grace of God and with all hands on deck, the brief tenancy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Aso Rock Villa expires on May 28, 2019. By this, we serve them a quit notice.”
He ignored the allegations of rigging by the candidates who lost out in the chairmanship race, declaring that the era of impunity was over.
Tunde Adeniran and Raymond Dokpesi, who came second and third respectively, said the process fell short of the acceptable standard.
But Secondus thanked his opponents for “being part of history because this marks the first time a stiff contest of this magnitude is taking place toward producing the leadership of a political party in Nigeria”.
The new chairman pledged that under his watch, PDP would adhere strictly to internal democracy with a deliberate policy to return “real” power to the people.
“We have to learn from our mistakes; by this convention, we are now set to forge a new path for our great party and Nigeria,” he said.
“Under my watch, internal democracy will be strictly adhered to with a deliberate policy to return ‘real’ power to the people. No more imposition, no more impunity.
“Every member of this party can, from this moment, consider him or herself, an equal shareholder in our common destiny.”
He called on all Nigerians to embrace the new PDP and join its quest for a new Nigeria.
Secondus also asked old PDP members, who, for one reason or the other, left the party, to “please come back home”.
He said PDP’s contributions to the growth and sustenance of democracy of Nigeria in the last 18 years were still there for all to see.