The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has called on Nigerians to take back their country by sacking President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Secondus made this known on Saturday while speaking at the National Convention of the party held in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.
Read full speech below:
“It is my pleasure and honour to welcome members of our great Party to this historic National Convention. About twenty years ago, our nascent party, the Peoples Democratic Party gathered in the City of Jos, Plateau State, to discharge the historic burden of nominating a candidate for the 1999 elections.
“In a keenly-contested primary, PDP laid the foundation of democracy by conducting a very transparent election.
“On that foundation, our party restored democracy to Nigeria. We inherited a divided country ravaged by years of military rule and alienation by the international community.
“For 16 years, we piloted the affairs of this nation without engaging in a needless blame game like we are currently witnessing. We rebuilt our foreign reserves. We paid off our London and Paris Club debt. We liberalized our economy, introduced reforms across public procurement, Banking, Insurance, Telecommunications and the Public Sector.
“We solved our national pension crisis through contributory pension scheme. We built the infrastructure for fighting corruption through setting up the EFCC and ICPC.
“We transformed our logo, the umbrella, to a national metaphor for inclusiveness. We reformed the electoral process leading to the unprecedented win by the opposition in 2015.
“Our defeat in 2015 enhanced and entrenched our democratic credentials as the Party of Democrats. It also humbled us and renewed our zeal to rebuild our umbrella of inclusion and hope.
“On December 11, 2017, in my acceptance speech, after you graciously elected the current National Working Committee, I solemnly promised; quote “that all necessary steps will be taken to avoid a repeat of our past mistakes. Indeed, we have learnt our lessons and by this convention, we are now set to forge a new path for our great party and Nigeria” unquote
“Exactly ten months after that pledge, I can with gratitude to God and in utmost humility report to you that the PDP of today is improved, enhanced and has migrated from an opposition Party to a ruling Party in waiting.
“Our reform package anchored on the three pillars of “Rebrand, Reposition to Regain” (3Rs) has been very successful with the first two almost accomplished while the last, the regaining of power is also at the verge of being realized.
“In our methodical manner and consistent with our pledge, the PDP is now in control of the leadership in the National Assembly. An unprecedented feat in our country’s democratic experience.
“The Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are with us here today.
“The Governors of Benue, Sokoto and Kwara States are here with us today swelling the number of PDP controlled States.
“The setting up of a Contact and Integration Committee led our Party to the ground-breaking working partnership with 40 other political parties under the umbrella known as Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
“I am happy to report to you that our reform process is on. It has yielded visible dividends. The reforms will transform our Party from a successful electoral vehicle to an Agenda Shaping Institution ready to provide modern, inclusive and transparent governance fit for the 21st century.
“Today we are gathered in furtherance of the third R in our reform program Regaining of Power. This convention is a crucial step in our unstoppable march to Regain Power.
“PDP is an organic Party. It is not a Special Purpose Vehicle. It will outlive this Primary election as it has weathered the storm as a ruling party and an opposition party.
“It is the Party with institutional memory and owned by Nigerians. Our candidate selection through indirect primaries at all levels has been marked by transparency, peace, decorum and credibility.
“Our fear, therefore, is that the disposition of the President and his party is such that free and fair election is not on their agenda for the 2019 election.
“However, we shall, together with global partners, use every democratic means to ensure that the Federal Government adopts democratic norms in the conduct of elections going forward.
“I salute the people of Osun and Ekiti states for their vigilance, bravery and courage that helped to bring to the fore the fraudulent rigging template of the APC government ahead of 2019.
“Just on Friday, I led the entire leadership of our party on a peaceful march to INEC and Police headquarters in Abuja to register our displeasure on the roles of the two bodies in the Ekiti and Osun states and to drop enough is enough warning ahead of 2019. While INEC welcomed us and took our message, the Police on the instruction of the Inspector General brutalized us with teargas canisters. The protest is a component part of democracy and no amount of threat will stop it)
“I want to assure the people of Ekiti and Osun states that PDP is not a violent party and would use the legal process to recover our stolen mandate
“The international community must note that the APC led government and the President have the lowest job approval rating recorded in recent times. International analysts, banks, respected newspapers and magazines are united in the single view that Nigeria does not deserve this type of government.
“Before I end this address may I appeal to you delegates to note that the choice you make today from among our eminently qualified aspirants each of whom has an extraordinary record of leadership achievements will go a long way in rescuing our nation from the inept governance of the APC.
“Nigerians and international community outside this arena are anxiously waiting for your choice because they expect you to choose one who will defeat President Buhari in 2019 and go further to rescue the Country.
“May I again reiterate to our aspirants that this Presidential primary is going to be conducted in the most transparent manner to make it a past setter in Africa.
“However, when we have finished our roles as human beings we must submit our will to that of God who it is that is the ultimate decider and this should be our guide as we accept the result that comes out of this process.”