The Peoples Democratic Party on Monday boasted that it had no reason to lose sleep as it would convincingly win most of the 36 states of the federation during the 2015 general elections.
While its Chairman, Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, believes that through hard work, the party would win at least 32 states, the Board of Trustees Chairman, Chief Tony Anenih, said, “We will do what we know how to do best” to sweep the polls.
Tukur spoke when members of a PDP caucus from the South-West visited him in Abuja while Anenih did same after a three-hour closed-door meeting with a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
“We need to work hard now because we have a (presidential) mandate to move beyond 23 states in our control and win at least 32,” the PDP chairman told the caucus led by a former governorship aspirant in Oyo State in 2011, Prof. Taoheed.
But one of the main opposition parties, the Action Congress of Nigeria, flayed the presidential mandate, saying, “It is clear that the PDP does not believe that Nigerians are going to vote and have their votes counted.”Tukur, however, believes that for the PDP to achieve the mandate, reconciliation must first take place in the party so that all its members would begin to invest in the future through hard work, diligence and dedication to the cause of the party.
With this, he said, the PDP would win the polls without any foul play.
Tukur said, “We have to show electoral strength this time. In doing it, we will work hard and work well. We will move with the speed of jet and we will deliver without any foul antics. I use this opportunity to appeal to our members to bury the hatchet and cast away whatever forlorn hope they nurse about the future.
“I appeal to our members to begin to invest in the future right away and doing so involves hard work, diligence and dedication to the cause of PDP.”
He said that the National Working Committee of the party under his leadership had concluded plans to embark on a tour of all the states to carry out reconciliation and to put the party on a sound footing for the general elections.
Tukur said that it was worthy of note that the Independent National Electoral Commission had been known to conduct elections that could be adjudged to be free, open and credible under the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The PDP National Chairman stressed that the membership of the party had a responsibility to prove that the party had the widest spread in the country.
Earlier, Adedoja, who spoke on behalf of the 15-member delegation, had said that they were in Tukur’s office to discuss critical issues involving the PDP in the South -West.
In Abeokuta, Anenih, told journalists after his meeting with Obasanjo that the internal wrangling in the PDP would not stop it from winning the general elections.
“PDP is the party to beat; when the time comes, I assure you we will do what we know how to do best,”Anenih, who is known as “Mr Fix it,” boasted.
He dismissed the planned merger of opposition political parties as incapable of posing any threat to the ruling party during the polls, saying that all hands were already on deck to ensure that the party was repositioned for better performance in 2015.
Asked to give an insight into the agenda of the meeting with Obasanjo, the BOT chairman said they discussed issues affecting the nation, including insecurity and the crisis rocking the ruling party.
“I am here to see my leader (Obasanjo); I am here to pay my respect and, indeed, I am here with my colleagues, some members of the BOT of our party, to discuss some issues that affect the corporate existence of this country; some issues about the insecurity in the country and some issues about the party itself,” he said.
Anenih however declined to make public, the outcome of the meeting .
“As you see, we are all smiling. Can’t you see me smiling? And my leader too is smiling. So, we are quite happy about the outcome. For now, it is not for public consumption,” he stated.
He also used the opportunity to debunk recent claims by Governor Ibikunle Amosun that the Ogun State chapter of the PDP was “dead and burried.”
“Let me tell you, almost all of us here are members of the PDP in Ogun State; so you cannot say that PDP is dead in Ogun State. The leader of PDP in Nigeria is here and that is the former President,” Anenih said.
When approached by journalists, Obasanjo merely retorted, “Did you hear what our chairman said?”
Among the party chieftains at the meeting were the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Committee on Reconciliation in the South-West, Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State; his Jigawa State counterpart, Alhaji Sule Lamido; a former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi; former Nasarawa State Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Adamu, and the party’s BOT Secretary, Senator Walid Jubrin.
The sacked PDP National Vice- Chairman (South-West), Chief Segun Oni, a former National Auditor, Chief Bode Mustapha; and former Ogun State PDP Chairman, Joju Fadairo, were also in attendance.
Meanwhile, the ACN has denounced the presidential mandate, saying that Jonathan and Tukur must begin to realise that Nigerians would not vote for them in 2015.
National Publicity Secretary of the ACN, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, said, “ They have been talking about plans to capture 32 states.
“If you observe the lexicon of the PDP, you will see that there is nothing democratic about them. By the time Tukur and Jonathan wake up, they will realise that they have been living in a fool’s paradise because Nigerians have deserted them a very long time ago and no amount of coercion can make them achieve that kind of fathom ambition.
“The only thing is that it probably confirms our fear that there may be no election in 2015 since they have been given a mandate to capture 32 states. They are not talking about elections.
“Nigerians should be very, very weary. Don’t forget that last week, we raised the alarm that the way the Federal Government was going there was no guarantee for free and fair elections. Nigerians should take note and be very, very vigilant but we want to assure Tukur and Jonathan that Nigerians will not vote for them in 2015.”
Speaking in a similar vein, his counterpart in the All Nigerian Peoples Party, Chief Emma Eneukwu, dismissed Tukur’s assertion as an empty boast.
He said, “He (Tukur) is only trying to console himself by talking big. The elections will be done by Nigerians who will rate them according to their performance in the past 12 years.
“Nigerians are not fools who can be deceived by mere boasts by a party that has plunged the country into terrible darkness. The day of reckoning is approaching.”