The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday admitted it made mistakes and its asking Nigerians to forgive its wrongdoings between 1999 and 2015.
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, who made this declaration however promised that the PDP would bring a genuine change if given the opportunity to rule again in 2019.
Secondus spoke in Abuja at the party’s one-day programme tagged, “A public discourse on contemporary politics and governance in Nigeria.”
Secondus said the PDP was seeking the forgiveness of Nigerians because in its 16 unbroken years in power, the party took Nigerians for granted and engaged in impunity.
According to him, it was these misdeeds that made Nigerians to reject the then ruling party at the 2015 polls.
Secondus says though the PDP was guilty of imposition of candidates.
The PDP chief says, “In the past, there were impunity and imposition of candidates. These were wrong things that we did. We took voters and Nigerians for granted.
“We are not a spirit and this is why we have to be humble to apologise for imposition, impunity and other wrongdoings.
”But while we were in government, there was no nepotism, but today nepotism has taken over the polity.
“We have to stand before the people and apologise. We made mistakes. Unlike the All Progressives Congress that will lie and use another lie to cover it, we will apologise for our past mistakes.
”We are human beings that are bound to make mistakes. How long are we going to lie to our children?
“Since it is said that charity begins at home, I am the very first to admit that our party, the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria, made many mistakes.
”Consequently, we were roundly sanctioned by Nigerians occasioning our loss at the polls in 2015.
“Let me seize this opportunity to apologise to Nigerians unequivocally for the several shortcomings of our party in the near and far past.
”It was all part of an evolution process without which there can be no maturity. We are indeed very sorry.”
Secondus pledged that the PDP under his watch would do away with imposition of candidates.
He stresses that nobody would be allowed to influence the party’s primaries that would lead to the emergence of presidential and other candidates for the 2019 general elections.
“Under our watch, there will be no imposition of candidates and no impunity. My colleagues and I at the National Working Committee have vowed to uphold the rule of law as enshrined in our party’s constitution.
“Power has been devolved to the zonal, state and ward levels. The PDP National Headquarters at Wadata House (party headquarters) will only coordinate affairs.
”There are no votes to be solicited or won at Wadata House. We are committed to the rule of law and assure you that not only will your votes count in our primaries across the land, your voice will also be heard.”
The PDP chairman says the party would stand by the truth, adding that the wrongs of 2015 would not be allowed again, as the Independent National Electoral Commission would not be able to rig elections.
Secondus lamented that “our currency has been recklessly devalued from N199 in 2015 to nearly N500 a US dollar before it came down to about N365 only, due to an increase in oil prices and not any significant thing done by this government.
”Fuel price was increased from N97 to N145, yet the nation experiences unabated scarcity with its attendant long queues at the filling stations and suffering by the Nigerian citizens.”
He also lamented what he described as the borrowing spree of the APC administration.
“From friends and members of this government, we learnt that while in power for 16 years, the PDP government was able to borrow N6tn and had some projects inaugurated for it, in just less than three years; the APC regime has borrowed N11tn and has not inaugurated a single project,” he says.
APC to PDP: Return looted funds, not apology
Meanwhile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked the PDP to return looted funds rather than apologise to Nigerians.
A statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday quoted the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, challenging the party to show the genuineness of its apology through a discernible change of attitude.
Mohammed says PDP should complete its apology to Nigerians by returning all the funds looted from the public treasury during its 16 years in power.
“The PDP presided over an unprecedented looting of the public treasury, perhaps the worst of its kind in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world.
“Therefore, the best evidence of penitence for such a party is not just to own up and apologise, but to also return the looted funds as anything short of that is mere deceit.
The minister said with the paucity of funds, the administration had spent an unprecedented amount of money on infrastructural development and Social Investment Programme, among others.
He added that returning looted funds would provide more money for the programmes and make life more meaningful for Nigerians.
Mohammed also reminded the PDP of the quote: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging,” saying it applies to the PDP at this time.
“PDP, press the reset button. Stop sabotaging the work of this administration, which is packing the mess you left behind, through your reckless statements and unfounded allegations.
“Play responsible opposition politics. Put Nigeria’s interest over and above partisan interest.
“Temper your desperation to return to power. Spend quality time in the purgatory and you will be forgiven,” he said.
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