The incoming National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu, says political parties need to educate Nigerians that eight more years of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) administration will lead to a breakup of the country.
He said this Monday while receiving a delegation of the Coalition of United Political Party (CUPP) led by Ikenga Ugochinyere at his residence in Abuja.
Ayu underscored the need for all stakeholders to work together and defeat the APC, which he described as the biggest cancer affecting the country.
He said only an “unserious” political party would allow an incumbent Governor as interim National Chairman.
He said: “Because this government came in on a prospect of massive propaganda running down the PDP that did a lot for this country, therefore, you have the duty to educate Nigerians that eight more years of this government will cause complete disaster for the country.
“It will lead to the breakup of this country and everything should be done to educate Nigerian to democratically remove this government because they are the biggest cancer affecting Nigeria today at every level.
“Even their governors, if you look at their governors, they are the worst in this country. How can a governor leave his state for years and stay in Abuja because he is the national chairman of the political party? Who is governing your state? That is how unserious they are.
“They have no intention directed to the people who elected them. And you as coalition of political parties of Nigeria, you have to draw the attention of Nigeria. I think if we work together as a multi-party system not just attacking each other, attacking personalities.
“I have no personal quarrel with President Muhammadu Buhari or all the people working with him in the Villa. In fact, some of them are my friends, like the Chief of Staff, Professor Gambari, I respect him. He is a friend of mine for years but he is in a wrong government. What should he be doing there? Why should a decent Nigerian like that be there?” he asked.
Ayu said political parties in Nigeria must be allowed to grow and driven by varying ideologies and issues like environment.
“These are issues that most parties can identify with. Politics in Nigeria should be about issues, those things that affect the lives of Nigerians. It should not just be about winning elections.
“That is why the PDP is trying to tackle those issues that are affecting ordinary Nigerians. And under my leadership, the party emphasis will be on issues not just attacking personalities.
“What is it that APC as a government has done wrong? For example, they are destroying the quality of life of this country…, they are borrowing money heavily, decreasing the lives of Nigerians and generations to come will be paying off those debts they are not investing that money into any productive venture. Insecurities are posing challenges to this country because the level of poverty has increased.
“So, I charge all of you to strengthen Nigeria so that more voices will be speaking about that. It shouldn’t just be PDP. We are a multi party democracy. So, all of you have a responsibility to articulate those issues that are affecting our people and together.
“Nigerians are very intelligent people. They will have a better grasp and understanding on issues affecting the country. It is this process of political education through different political parties that will enable Nigerians to know the right parties.”
While speaking, Ugochinyere tasked Ayu to ensure that PDP legislators played key opposition role in the National Assembly.
He also cautioned against delay in the amendment of the Electoral Act to avoid pre-2019 general elections scenario that stalled its endorsement by the President under the excuse that the law could not be altered six months to major polls.
He said: “Everybody is looking up to you because at this particular moment a lot has gone wrong in the country. With all due respect to all formal officers of the party, much was not done to put the APC on their toes and now that you have come onboard…. we believe that once you are sworn in, you will help to rebuild the coalition to make it more stronger this time around so that together all of us can work and ensure that the country gets the kind of leadership they deserve in 2023.
“I agree that for you to be a successful opposition, the parliament must be vibrantly packed and they must have the energy to impact and we strongly believe that once you are sworn in, part of the things you ought to do is to find a way to re-energize our lawmakers in the parliament and be in the front of this party because we need them to be able to push the frontiers of the party. I want to also urge you to be sure that the issue of the electronic transmission of the results in the Electoral Act is established.
“We have started wasting time. If action is not taken now, we will have the same problem we had last time and the electronic transmission of results gives opportunity to have credible election in 2023. We believe that these are things you need to look into. Apart from this issue, we have to find a way for the people to renew their alliance to give more hope to the member of the alliance to bring more members of the alliance onboard.”