Posted by News Express | 1 May 2015 | 2,596 times
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday assured members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that those who had dumped the party and defefected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), following the loss of the Presidential elections on March 28, would return with empty stomachs.
The President, who described the defeat as a temporary setback, stated this at the submission of the report of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO) at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“So, those people running and those already cross-carpeting, they will come back on an empty stomach because they (APC) will look after the primary members of their party, before they get to you, they know you are coming because you are hungry, before it will get to you, the food will be gone.
“So, let us be committed to the party, yes, we will have challenges at the beginning, but surely of we will get to where we want to be,” he said.
The President admitted for the first time publicly that the phone call he made to President-elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, saying though he didn’t consult anybody, he did it on behalf of the party and for the peace and unity of the country.
Jonathan said PDP remains the most organized party, not owned by anybody, saying that it was time for the party to put the loss behind it and consolidate so as to bounce back with a big bang in 2019 and 2023 elections.
He praised the team for a job well done, adding that he was happy that countries who were ready with ships in nearby countries to evacuate their citizens because of the perceived crisis that will follow the elections, didn’t do so.
Jonathan said, “The key thing isn’t whether we lost or won, but that Nigeria as a nation must move forward. Political parties can only thrive when there is peace and stability in the country. If there is military intervention, all the parties will disappear.
“And for PDP, whatever happened now is like a slip, you don’t need to go to America to know how power goes from the Democrats to the Republicans. It is like once you serve eight years, you are ready to hand over to either the Republicans or the Democrats. So, theirs is almost an established setting. But our close door neighbour here, Ghana, the present ruling party lost some eight years back and of course, they came back and won the elections.
“So, the problem is not whether we lost the elections, that is history now, but how do we consolidate our party and move forward. If we are committed and if we work very hard, definitely, PDP will bounce back.
“PDP is still the dominant party. If you look at the result, the difference is just over two million votes and if you look at the areas where it is perceived that PDP scored so low, PDP couldn’t have got those scores, but the elections are over, the country first”. Jonathan said he was not the only one that sacrificed for the nation but, the party as well.
“It is not as if Jonathan alone made the sacrifice, it’s all of us. I made the pronouncement, but some of us are paying the prize. Some people pay more prize than I do, I know how some of you are already being persecuted and the kind of situation facing you. The key thing is that we must continue to unite, as a party we must continue to work hard so that as we go into subsequent elections in 2019, 2023 and so on and so forth, PDP will continue to come up strong. Even in the interest of the nation, we need PDP.
“I still believe though we have lost the presidential election, some National Assembly elections, governorship elections especially in the North, PDP is still the dominant party. Let us not judge PDP by the results of the elections for the presidential poll.
“Our duty is to go back and identify areas of challenges so that the party will come up strong and play the role as a very strong party. PDP is still the most organized party, it is still the party that is not owned by anybody, is still the party that whatever you are, you can get to any level with your competences and so on.”
*Adapted from Daily Sun. Photo shows Jonathan
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