By Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, National Publicity Secretary, APC.
We read with dismay, but without surprise, the statement released by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), calling on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to annul the results of the highly-successful National Convention of our Party held last Saturday June 23.
We imagine the utter shock and disappointment the dying opposition Party must have felt to see that their prediction of collapse for our Party ahead of the Convention did not come to pass. Unable to recover from the shock, they now indulge in ignorant whimper, calling on INEC to help them do what they are best at doing; annulling elections.
It is quite distressing to see that a Party that held power for 16 years did not know that INEC has no role in internal elections of a political party. We also wonder which position the PDP contested for at our Convention which entitles them to take it upon themselves to challenge the process. If the PDP now sees itself as an interested party in our internal elections, we would encourage them to send their petitions to the Convention Appeals Committee of our party. We however do not expect them to understand this process of internal democracy.
It is clear to everyone that having been kicked out of power, the PDP still has no idea what to do three years after. However, playing the busybody and so openly advertising their ignorance of basic electoral rules will make it even more difficult for Nigerians to grant them the forgiveness that they have begged for.
What is PDP’s grouse? That INEC should not recognize the new APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, as his emergence by affirmation is according to the PDP in violation of democratic requirements of direct voting by delegates. Our election guidelines provides that all Party posts prescribed by the Party constitution can be filled by democratically conducted elections or by Consensus, provided that where a candidate has emerged by Consensus for an elective position, a vote of “Yes” or “No” is called to ensure that it was not an imposition. This was clearly adhered to in many positions, including the National Chairmanship position which was unopposed.
But we understand PDP’s problem. They are terrified by Comrade Adams Oshiomole. They know that with him they will no longer have a breathing space. Hence the baseless allegations peddling and conspiracy theory which we are now accustomed to as part of PDP’s sorry attempt to play ‘opposition politics’.
It is indeed ridiculous that a Party whose Convention was a bazaar where delegates were bought and sold with dollars could brazenly allege corruption against our Party. They should go ahead and show which governors contributed the amount being alleged to the convention. We have dealt with the issue of membership contributions in an earlier statement. We however ask this “new anti-corruption crusaders” to start with the basic task of producing audited accounts. Till today, APC remains the only political party in the country to have done so. Nigerians know that PDP talking about corruption is like prostitutes preaching sexual morality. They dont take them seriously.
We also find it quite amusing, the PDP’s ill informed attempt to politicise the recent poverty reports by a United States think-tank. Of course we do not expect the PDP to be aware that the Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics releases report on poverty rates every year to help the work of policy planners and not to play politics.
The only difference however is that such reports were never allowed to see the light of the day under the PDP administration. Yet, this is the same party under whose Nigeria was not able to achieve a single one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which they conveniently turned to another racket.
For avoidance of doubts, we refer the PDP to a similar report by the Fitch International in 2016, which reported that reported a “constant decline” since 2011 culminating in Nigeria’s 60% poverty rating by 2015. The challenge of poverty is a global challenge and not a competition among countries or a race for the bottom.
Our party acknowledges this challenge and will continue to work hard with both local and international partners to find solutions. What we will not do is to exploit the reality of poverty to create another ineffectual “palliative” that will end up as another slush fund or “job for the boys.”