2019: PDP Senate Caucus Meets Minority Leaders of State Assemblies
… Says PDP Set to dislodge the ruling party
Former President Goodluck Jonathan Tuesday declared that the Peoples
Democratic Party needed a very courageous and committed person at this
point in time to lead the main opposition party as its next chairman.
The Ex-President who spoke ahead of the party’s forthcoming elective
congress in December also stressed that the next chairman must be a
competent and committed team player who will be prepared to carry all
the key organs of the party along, to ensure that the party always
selects the best candidates to stand for elections.
Jonathan spoke while welcoming to his office High Chief Raymond
Dokpesi who was accompanied by a powerful delegation of his supporters
during a courtesy call, in continuation of the PDP chieftain’s ongoing
consultation in his bid to lead the party.
Jonathan said: “I always say that there are two positions we must not
make mistakes in determining who occupies them; the chairman and that
of the publicity secretary. I wore the shoe, so I know where it hurts.
If we make mistakes in the election of these two positions, it will
spell doom for the party.
“We need a chairman that will encourage us in the interest of the
party and in the interest of the nation. we need a very competent
person, a team player who will not negotiate away our collective
interest because of personal gain. We need a chairman that will carry
every organ of the party along, to ensure that PDP will always
presents the best candidates for elections. If you select the best
material, your chances of winning elections become brighter.”
Jonathan also commended the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker
Committee of the party, saying that they had done very well,
especially during the period of crisis in the party.
Jonathan further noted the observations of some people like the former
Head of State, Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar who recently faulted the way
the party was carrying on as an opposition party, stressing that it
was an indication that people expect PDP to do more as an opposition
“We must migrate from a ruling party to an opposition party for the
purpose of strengthening our democracy. I am not saying that as an
opposition party you must be saying whatever you like. No! PDP is a
very mature party. We will not go to the gutters to be seen to be
criticizing the ruling party. But all over the world, opposition
parties constructively checkmate the ruling party so that things can
be done properly and there will be good governance. If the opposition
party goes to sleep, the ruling party will be doing whatever it
He said further that the party did well within the 16 years it was in
power, adding:” Our achievements are well known, they are properly
documented and we will continue to talk about them. There is no way
anybody can bury it.”
Earlier, the Ex-President commended Dokpesi for his dogged commitment
to the affairs of the PDP, describing him as a man who had always been
there for the party.
Jonathan who recalled how Dokpesi held a reception in his honour when
he left office, also commended him for his open-mindedness in his bid for the
Chairmanship position saying: “I commend Dokpesi for saying that he
will be ready to accept the outcome of the election whichever way it
goes. That’s a good spirit. I encourage other contestants to emulate
him. The winner must be the party, PDP, and not the individual.”
While speaking earlier, Dokpesi commended for former president’s
resilience and efforts in ensuring that the party’s leadership crisis
was resolved. “I am very positive that this party must come out of
December elective national convention stronger and united to be able
to give the needed opposition to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“As our leader, you have to look for means to ensure that we come out
of the forthcoming convention stronger and united,” he said.
Meantime, Minority leadership of the Senate on Wednesday met with the Forum of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Minority Leaders of State Assemblies, assuring that the party was stronger and set to dislodge the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, from power in 2019.
Briefing newsmen shortly after the meeting, which held behind closed door in the Office of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio, said a teeming number of stalwarts of other political parties, from the APC, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and others were on their way to the main opposition party in droves.
He said: “These are the Minority Leaders of the PDP in different State Houses of Assembly, who are in Abuja to interact with the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, and the Minority leadership of the Senate.
“We congratulated ourselves that we stood firm and at the end, God gave us victory at the Supreme Court and the party is now waxing stronger.
“We have reviewed the state of the party and reevaluated the situation, state by state, and we found out that the party is stronger than it was. And as I speak, stalwarts and thousands of members of other political parties, starting from APC, all the way down to APGA, are on their way to the PDP
“We also want to urge the leadership of the party at the national level to open the door wide open between now and the next convention to receive them”.
Senator Akpabio said the caucus also discussed the guideline for the forthcoming national convention of the PDP in order to make meaningful contributions to the meeting of the National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party, which he said comes up on Tuesday.
“At the end of the day, we shall come out with a strong guideline that will ensure a free and fair electoral process at the convention that can bring out a new leadership that Nigerians can depend on.
“It is very reassuring that, yes, indeed, Nigerians have a shoulder they can cry on, and that is the PDP” he added.
Speaking on behalf of the PDP Forum of Minority Leaders of State Assemblies, the Minority Leader of the Imo State House of Assembly, Hon. Ken Agbim, assured the PDP Senate Caucus of total support and mobilisation at the grassroots to give the party victory in 2019.