ADDRESS BY THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP, PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS, ON THE OCCASION OF THE 88TH NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) MEETING OF THE PARTY AT PDP NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, WADATA PLAZA, ABUJA, 27th JANUARY, 2020.
Dear great leaders of our party, it is with gratitude to God that I welcome you to this very important 88th National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting.
We have had to call you back within a space of ten days due to the exigencies of the time.
The landmines laid by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, against democracy in our beloved country are exploding and the consequences are confronting us.
When President Muhammadu Buhari and his party began the process of muzzling the other arms of government, our party cried out and alerted the nation and indeed the international community of the brewing dictatorship.
Here we are watching helplessly as the legislature and the Judiciary are put right in the pocket of the executive. An anomaly in a democracy that makes nonsense of the separation of power that is beautifully enshrined in the rule book to check the excesses of each arm of the government.
At the NEC meeting ten days ago, we briefed you about the judicial abracadabra where the apex court in the land, the Supreme Court delivered a bizarre judgement on Imo State where it took our PDP’s governorship victory and handed it over to the APC candidate that came fourth.
Unfortunately for the Justices, the arithmetic of the judgement refused to add up. Instead, the apex court boxed itself into a tight corner where it created over a 100,000 ghost voters unknown to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which it awarded to the APC to enable its candidate on fourth position to win. We are using this medium to reiterate our earlier call on the Supreme to tell the World where and how it got the unaccredited ghost votes it awarded to APC.
Concern for democracy.
Leaders of our great party, all of these should worry us because no democracy strives if the legislature and the Judiciary are caged as we can see.
We are witnesses to the emerging dictatorial tendencies in our dear country. As we all can see, a dictator is not just on the way but has arrived the scene already. They have rolled out the process of establishing a one party state so as to pave the way for a full blown dictatorship.
To allow them have their way is to abdicate our responsibility as an opposition party who has made enormous sacrifice for democracy to blossom in our country.
We have, therefore, called you today to deliberate critically on the state of democracy in our land to draw up far reaching decisions that must help check the growing excesses of the ruling APC. Even the Presidency has abandoned governance amidst mounting problems and indulges in attacking us but we not deterred.
After the international Corruption watchdog, Transparency International technically endorsed our position that the worst form of corruption is taking place under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidency unable to offer any convincing reason has as usual chosen to attack and blame the PDP. But we want to reiterate that the worst form of corruption is going in this government and relevant agencies have been made incapable to perform because of the numerous “no go areas’’ being handed down to them..
Protest for Justice.
At the last NEC meeting, approval was given for a nationwide protest rally against the Supreme Court ruling on Imo state. The states held rallies on Sunday January 19th while the National rally was staged on Monday January 20th in Abuja. I can report to NEC that the protest was a huge success as it underlined our resolve to defend democracy.
Meanwhile the NWC wishes to report to NEC that the party after extensive consultations with legal experts has decided to fully back our Imo state governorship candidate Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha as he returns to the Supreme Court to seek their review and possible reversal of the January 14 curious judgement. We are highly optimistic that the Justices may bow to superior reason and reverse themselves by returning the mandate to the PDP.
Victory in other PDP states.
The four states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue and Sokoto that APC were planning to give Imo state treatment were returned to them according to the will of the people of the states as clearly expressed via ballot last year. I congratulate the affected governors for their victory.
May I also use this medium to appreciate specially those who took part in the protest both in Abuja and in the states.
They denied us Kano states.
Our party notes that despite the overwhelming evidence both in court and the public opinion the Supreme Court still denied us victory in Kano state. As far as we are concerned, Kano state like Osun state represents justice denied for our party.
Local and international communities must continue to see any court ruling giving Kano to APC as a clear rape on democracy given what the World saw during the election in the state.
NWC set to review all elections and look ahead.
As the issue of the last general election is drawing to a close with the conclusion of court cases, the National Working Committee, NWC, is set to put machinery in place to review the 2019 general elections with a view to looking ahead. We expect members to cooperate with such review committee to enable them get to the root of election challenges.
NASS and Electoral Reform.
If the 9th Assembly is concerned about growth of democracy in our country they should take urgent needful steps to save our democracy by making amendment of the Electoral Act a top priority. We are therefore calling on them to commence a comprehensive review of the Electoral Act immediately.
Edo Governorship Elections.
With our faith in democracy not shaken despite all the provocative and frustrating antics of the ruling APC, NWC has put a machinery in motion for active participation in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo state. The first step is to put the party in order and ensure that members work as a family. We are therefore appealing to members of our party in Edo state particularly critical stakeholders to bury their differences, be selfless and put the party interest and victory as paramount.
Your Excellences, great leaders of our party as I end this address May I plead for all hands to be put on deck as we contend with APC’s anti-democratic antics. Members should also be ready and willing to offer selfless service to our party as NWC will be knocking on your doors soon for assignments.
Thanks for listening and God bless.
PDP- Power to the People
Prince Uche Secondus
PDP National Chairman.