ADDRESS BY THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP, PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 83RD NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) MEETING OF THE PARTY AT PDP NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS, WADATA PLAZA, ABUJA, 28TH NOVEMBER, 2018*.
It is with great pleasure and gratitude to God that I welcome you to the 83rd National Executive Committee, (NEC) meeting of our great Party.
This meeting is essentially to review the primaries and set the agenda for a successful campaign following the formal Flag off of Campaigns according to the INEC time-table.
May I use this opportunity to once more congratulate all of us for the historic and landmark fit of conducting what has been globally acknowledged as the most credible primaries in the history of Nigeria.
In this regard, the National Convention was a remarkable success. I wish to happily report that due to the credibility of the exercise, all the 12 aspirants have come on board under our “united we win” slogan to work for our success in the general election.
As we go into the campaigns with the inauguration of the National Campaign Council later today, we should remain loyal and resolute in order to achieve the historic agenda of rescuing our dear country from the hands of the APC.
We are coming up with a pragmatic campaign structure that will devolve power to the grassroots where the polling is to take place. It’s not going to be business as usual.
State of the nation
The state of affairs in our dear country is getting worse by the day as the APC government continues in all ramifications to show that it lacks the wherewithal to manage the country.
The nation has been in a great mourning mood since last week when troops were brutally murdered in Metele, in Borno State by the Boko Haram sect with exact figure of casualties yet unknown one week after. It was five days after the distressful incident that our President and Commander in Chief of the country’s armed forces reluctantly responded with a statement. The incident happened the day our Service Chiefs betrayed their professional calling of neutrality to attend the Presidential campaign declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Military institutions are encouraged to stay apolitical in a democratic dispensation is to avoid loss of concentration and over indulgence in political matters which often leads to compromise and dereliction of duty. The politicization of the nation’s military is the latest of the harm the APC administration is doing to our security architecture.
As a party, we stand with our troops in this challenging times and pray that God will comfort the families of our fallen heroes who died in the course of duty.
May I therefore, crave your indulgence for NEC to stand up and observe a minute silence in honour of our gallant soldiers who lost their lives in the Metele killings. (May their souls and that of all the faithful departed rest in peace, Amen). Also, let us use this opportunity to observe a one minute silence in honour of our late founding father and former Chairman of BOT, Chief Tony Anenih. May his soul rest in peace.
Your Excellencies, these developments arising from the failure of governance from the ruling administration have placed enormous challenges on us as the main opposition party to up our game to save our democracy and rescue this country from the ineptitude of the APC regime.
Majority of Nigerians who are disillusioned about the state of affairs in the last three years, are all excited and praying ceaselessly that we continue to get it right so that the APC administration can be chased out of their life.
Use of the Security Agencies to undermine democratic institutions
After the embarrassing invasion of the National Assembly last August by operatives of the State Security Service, DSS, and the subsequent invasion of the Benue State House of Assembly, the Nigerian Police has continued on this trajectory by aiding 5 Legislators and some thugs to invade the Akwa-Ibom State House of Assembly. We strongly condemn this terrible turn of events and warn the security agencies especially the police to carry out their constitutional functions without fear or favour in the interest of peace and sustenance of our democracy.
May I use this forum to reiterate our earlier call on the Chairman of the Independent National Commission, INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to resign. Our experience during the recent elections conducted under his leadership clearly shows that he does not have the will and the courage to exercise effective control of the electoral body and as a result cronies of the APC in the commission have had a field day in the blatant manipulation of the process. Also intelligence report before us shows that these agents are bent on manipulating the 2019 general elections. The consequences of rigging the 2019 general elections may be terrible for our dear country. So we call on all Nigerians, and the International Community to add their voice to this agitation towards ensuring that the APC Federal Government and the INEC conduct free, fair and transparent elections in 2019.
It is equally critical to alert us all on the plan to use the security agencies to rig the upcoming elections just like was done in the recent elections. Associated with this is the agenda to harass PDP leaders and PDP State governments in the guise of fighting corruption in order to weaken our resolve to conduct an effective campaign and win the general elections. We will not be intimidated!!
In the face of hunger, starvation and killings, the APC government has continued to strangulate the economy through a “curious” policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria to micro-manage the issuance of loans by Commercial Banks.
Finally, Your Excellencies, the task ahead in the next three months is enormous but not insurmountable provided all hands are put on deck. The only known sure way of winning election is to connect with the voters, get out the votes, and protect the votes by all legitimate means possible. This we are determined to do and by the special grace of God and unity of purpose of all PDP members, we will resoundingly win the 2019 general elections and get our dear country working again.
Thanks for listening and God bless.
PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS