•As Makarfi harps on unity among members
By Lateef Ibrahim
Newly elected National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has declared that under his watch the party, in its quest to return to power in 2019, will not be distracted by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Secondus made the declaration yesterday at the PDP headquarters, Abuja, after the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, handed over the affairs of the party to him. While describing the ruling APC as a ‘broken’ government, Secondus pointed out that Nigerians now know the truth – that it (APC) is a party of propaganda.
He described the NCC Chairman, Sen Makarfi as a hero for being very firm in managing the affairs of the party at its most trying period.
The PDP national chairman revealed that he has started the process of reconciling all the party members who feel aggrieved with the outcome of his emergence last Saturday. Noting that his emergence is divine, Secondus stressed that there are no barriers to former party members who left for whatever reason and intend to return to the party.
In his words, “We want to assure our people that we are now ready to take this party, put it together and make sure we are ready for election in 2019. We will never be distracted by the propaganda of the ruling party.
“Nigerians now know the truth that all they (APC) are saying are lies and that they are out to intimidate. We don’t need to be distracted by them.”
Secondus declared that there is no victor and no vanquish over the outcome of the convention.
According to him, “Our first assignment is to bring all and sundry together – that is reconciliation. We will go out to reassure our party members who left for any reasons to return to this party. We have already started the work, and it will be productive.
He assured that party leaders at state and regional levels will have more powers to resolve conflicts so that the party at the national level will be free of distractions, to ensure victory in 2019.
He added, “We have only one agenda; and that is to reclaim power in 2019. State executives should carry out their duties. You are the field commanders. Start addressing national issues in your various states. We will decentralize power from the center, so that we can achieve our main mission.
“We want to be free at national level, so that we can focus. All conflicts and settlements must be conducted from the state and end at zonal level. We want Wadata (National Secretariat) to be free and not to be under pressure. The pressure is too much here; we want to free ourselves from pressure so that we will remain focused. With all your support we will win the election in 2019.”
While assuring PDP youths of a special place in the party, he said: “APC is running a broken government; and we need to rescue the nation from their hands.”
He added that the party’s leadership will embark on a retreat soon and come up with policy statements.
The former NCC Chairman of the party, Sen Makarfi urged the new leadership to continue to pursue reconciliation, stressing, however, that he is handing over a party that has become a darling of Nigerians. Makarfi said the party members should have no regrets because they have become a better people now and have become more rugged. He underscored the need for the new executive to carry all formal and informal organs of the party along, adding that they are all crucial in the party’s match to recapture power in 2019.
According to him, “This party has been supported by all these organs and non formal organs; and in all that you do take them into consideration they stood with us.” He charged the new leadership of the party to embark on the continuous reconciliation of aggrieved members, noting that the perception that some sections have lost should not arise.
He said, “What is the need of controlling a party when you are out of government. No person should feel that they are not part of the party or they have lost something. If you have not gotten any thing now there is always something to give you in the party.
“As PDP, we look out for Nigerians because they are our first responsibility; and then we look out for our family members, the PDP.”
The former chairman however hailed the staff of the party’s national headquarters for being indispensable through the leadership crisis period. He said “in spite of all the “hardships they remained resolute and dedicated. I am sure you have the capacity to alleviate their sufferings immediately.”