PDP Convention: Fintiri, Tambuwal, Atiku, Ayim react

Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, the Chairman of the National Convention Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on all Nigerians to join hands with the party to regain power and reposition the country.

Fintiri made the call while welcoming delegates and party officials to the PDP 2021 National Convention on Saturday in Abuja.

He said that the convention was the starting point of the rescue Nigeria mission embarked upon by the party.

“We have to take back our country as we have always done. We have to save Nigeria; if we could force the country out of the clutches of the military, we can do this huge task.

“We can push the people who do not know the true definition of good governance and national coexistence out of power.

“This is a Nigeria rescue mission. This is the role PDP was invented to play. The 2021 national convention presents a starting point for the Nigeria rescue mission,’’ he said.

The governor said that Nigeria was passing through a gloomy phase and that the state of the nation very bad.

He said that in the international arena, Nigeria which once stood tall as the giant of Africa was no longer occupying the exulted position.

He told the delegates that the convention was a moment to take tangible decisions on the fate and direction of the party.

He said that 34 candidates indicated interests for various national positions in the party, out of which 28 were cleared, two withdrew voluntarily and four were disqualified.

Gov. Fintiri said that there are 21 positions to be contested for and a total of 3,600 delegates were to elect the officials to pilot the affairs of the party.

“I call on all delegates to vote wisely as today’s decision has a direct bearing on the strength of the party walking into the future.

“Fortunately, the choices before us have been made easier by the power of consensus which is an integral part of our processes.

“That most of the positions have emerged with single contestants is a pointer to our bond of `familyhood’.

“It is also a demonstration of our entrenched democratic culture and strength as a party determined to soldier on in unison,’’ the convention committee chairman said.

The Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, on Saturday said it is not easy keeping the major opposition party united.

Tambuwal, who is the Governor of Sokoto State, disclosed this at the on going PDP national convention in Abuja.

He said it was tough to keep PDP together as a big party, with members from across the country and with various interest and desires.

“Diverse as we are, it is, however, clear to me that we are at our best when we remember that we must remain focused and disciplined for the sake of our country and for the benefit our fellow Nigerians.

“In Nigeria, it is tough to remain an item, focused and disciplined, when being an opposition party.

“The temptation and allure of power can be overwhelming. Some have fallen along the way,” he said.

Tambuwal, however, commended all those who found the steps to remain focused and disciplined and do the hard work that opposition requires.

According to him, although there are attempts to scuttle the party’s activities, PDP remains united.

“I am happy to report to the naysayers that PDP today is the strongest and formidable party in Nigeria.

“I am happy to report to those who want to divide and weaken us that we are winning by the grace of God.

“Allow me to welcome new members to our party. They are here because they want to work for a better Nigeria.

“They are here because they have realised that the PDP is the best platform to move Nigeria forward, we say welcome.

“We encourage other patriots and concerned Nigerians to join us in the PDP.

“We will soon be welcoming more members to our party,” he said.

Tambuwal, who noted that the country is going through tough times, added that Nigeria needs a strong and smart citizens that could provide the leadership that woud help sustain institutions capable of promoting collaboration in the areas of security, innovation, trade, investment and defence of the democracy.

“Our young people need a secured safe and enabling country that will allow them realise their desires to be educated, employ and deploy their entrepreneurship skills.

“They need to take advantage of their potential to make the best of the best to fulfill their ambition,” Tambuwal said.

Also, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar charged all Nigerians to take the opportunity presented by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to set Nigeria aright.

Abubakar gave the charge will addressing delegates and party officials at the 2021 PDP National Convention.

According to him, there are many differences, but Nigerians can achieve anything if they put their differences aside.

He said that the convention was an opportunity to make decisions that would shape the future of the party for the benefit of all Nigerians.

Abubakar said Nigeria was passing through the most difficult period of its existence saying that he is 70 years plus and had never seen the country in such a shape.

He said there was so much insecurity and social tension which were threatening the unity and corporate existence of the country.

He said the situation of the country was an opportunity for the PDP to carry out its responsibility and save the country.

“We have a chance now to set the ship on the right course; we have a chance to atone for our collective mistakes and those of past leadership.

“We have a chance to unite the country as we march towards achieving the dreams of our founding fathers at independence so many years ago.

“We have a chance to set our country on an enviable position in the comity of nations; we can save ourselves, we can save the party, we can save Nigeria together,” he said.

Earlier, the Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe, noted that Nigeria was going through difficult moments.

The senator decried the insecurity, socioeconomic difficulties and separatist agitations in the country.

He said that Nigerians were tired and were following proceedings at the convention anxiously waiting for its outcome.

Abaribe urged delegates and party officials not to disappoint on-looking Nigerians.

He pledged the commitment of all PDP lawmakers in the National Assembly to ensuring that the party enthroned a better leadership in 2023.

Meanwhile, former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim says he will contest for presidency in 2023 whether the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will zone it to South-East or not.

Anyim made the disclosure on Saturday in an interview with newsmen.

He said that the party was being repositioned.

The former Secretary to the Government of the Federation noted that the party’s national convention would signal the commencement of its political activities.

“Posters of my presidential bid and agitations by groups for me to contest flooded the social media in 2020 and I disassociated myself from such calls.

“I felt that it was too early for such a declaration, to enable the present administration concentrate on governance.

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“Such calls resurfaced in the early part of 2021 and I chose to be quiet over the issue.

“We currently have less than 18 months to the next elections, and I feel the time is ripe to indicate my interest,” Anyim said.

He said that the zoning committee instituted by the party was only saddled with zoning party positions and not other positions.

“Zoning of such positions was deferred but nothing stops anyone from South-East Zone from contesting the presidency even if it is not zoned to it.

“The most important thing is that the party’s national convention is a sort of rebirth for a group of people who have recovered from a setback.

“The party members are focused and determined,” he added.

Anyim said that in spite of the party’s seeming conflict with its former Chairman, Chief Uche Secondus, he remained a friend to many members.

“He is particularly my friend and we do not have any problem with him.”

“The issue is that the party needed to move but be assured that he is not going into the wilderness,” Anyim said.

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