The Convention, according to Fintiri, provided a starting point for Nigeria’s “rescue mission.”
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDPtwo-day )’s National Convention began on Saturday in Abuja, with party leaders lamenting Nigeria’s poor state and urging citizens to support the party’s mission to save the country.
Former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was among the leaders who said the country had never been in such a bad state as it was now and urged the people to join hands with the PDP to save the country from mismanagement.
Abubakar specifically reminded Nigerians that the PDP grew Nigeria’s economy to become Africa’s largest and made the country the preferred destination for foreign direct investment.
“The PDP fought inflation to single digit and stabilised the foreign exchange market which the APC destroyed with its cluelessness and incompetence.
“All through my life, I have never seen our dear country in such a bad shape. We have become so disunited, with so much unemployment and insecurity in the country.
“Nigeria is now at a precipice because of lacklustre performance of the APC, but we now have the chance to atone for the mistakes of our past leadership, a chance to steer our country to its right position in the comity of nations.
“As humans, none of us is perfect and we will continue to strive to make our country better for the good of all Nigerians.
“The APC has proven itself to be incompetent and we are now ready to rescue, restore and rebuild the foundation of our beloved country.
“We have a collective aspiration to return Nigeria to the path of growth and development and I call on all members of our party and indeed, all well-meaning citizens of our great country to join us in this struggle,” he said.
Rt. Hon. Ahmadu Fintiri, Chairman of the Convention’s National Planning Committee, welcomed delegates to the convention, saying that it provided a starting point for Nigeria’s “rescue mission.”
He urged delegates to vote wisely, stating that their decision would have a direct impact on the party’s future strength.
Fintiri, the Governor of Adamawa, stated that the PDP was more than just a vehicle for winning elections; it was also a symbol of a free, democratic, and prosperous Nigeria that worked for all citizens.
“For Nigeria, the present APC-led government is hell-bent on rail-roading the country into multi-faceted recession in all fronts — from economy to governance, national security to diplomacy, poverty to unemployment, anti-corruption to the observance of the rule of law and citizenship to national cohesion.
“Indeed, the country has never had it this bad and that Nigeria was better by far when PDP was in power is not in doubt and that the people relished those golden moments when the PDP held sway at the centre is also not in doubt,” he said.
Nigerians, he added, were yearning for the PDP to return to power at the center as the 2023 elections approached because of the country’s untold hardship.
Mr Yomi Akinwonmi, the PDP’s Acting National Chairman, paid glowing tribute to the party’s governors, describing them as “pillars of the party.”
Members of the National Assembly and party leaders were praised for their outstanding contributions to the party’s growth.
Akinwonmi urged all party members to unite and put personal ambitions aside for the sake of Nigerians.
According to him, today is the day that our party’s new leadership will emerge, a new leadership that will lead the party to victory in 2023
“The APC government is so clueless that Nigerians are now yearning for our return to rescue them,” he said.
Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, thanked the youths and all the leaders who had worked to keep the party together.
He claimed that the allure and temptation of power had enticed many people to fall apart.
He emphasized that there were plots to weaken the party, but those plotting its demise were the ones who failed, while the party continued to win on all fronts.
He went on to say that the party’s governors were united and ready to work for the party’s return to the center in 2023.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate Minority Leader, said the minority caucus in the National Assembly would continue to speak out against the APC’s oppressive policies, incompetence, cold blooded arrogance, and treasury looting.
He said there was a slew of problems across the country, including state-sanctioned brutality, extrajudicial killings, and a crackdown on dissenting voices, all of which had sparked sectional riots.
While the APC continues to make excuses and gloat as bandits take over our highways, kidnapping of school children, and other vices in the country, the minority leader added.
Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Chairman of the Accreditation Sub-Committee and Governor of Delta, had earlier overseen the screening of delegates at Abuja’s Old Parade Ground before transporting them to Eagles Square for the convention.
During the accreditation, Okowa told delegates that the exercise was to ensure that the right people voted in the elective convention.
He praised the delegates for their orderly behavior, saying that the party was setting an example for others to follow.
The election for various officers was underway at the time of this report, with approximately 3,600 delegates voting to elect new national officers for the party.
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