Ahead of next year's general election, the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has declared that his party will not be able to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 presidential election all by itself. Secondus, who spoke at the emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party yesterday, called on opposition platforms to work together in order to remove the APC from office.
The PDP chairman likened this present administration to the pre-1999 military era and noted that former presidents are in unison to make sure that a fresh president and new government was formed in the interest of the people in 2019.
Secondus said, "We commend our elder statesmen and other patriotic Nigerians who have spoken up on the urgent need to rid the country of the current bad APC government and enthrone a government that will serve our needs. "All hands must be on deck to achieve the great task of removing this APC government and replacing it with a government that will fulfil the hopes and aspirations of Nigerians."
He, however, remarked that the PDP would have to bring other opposition parties on board in the effort to dethrone the ruling party.
"Because of this challenge, we have taken it upon ourselves, as the leading opposition party, to broaden our scope, open our doors and allow ideas to flow in for a more robust democratic development.
"We, therefore, invite our brothers, sisters, youths and women from other political parties to join us to rescue our country that is in distress, socially, politically, economically and security-wise."Our consultations have taken us to meet with various interest groups who are willing to do business with us, and I can report to you that it has been very fruitful. We expect in coming days to have a broader political family working dedicatedly to rescue this democracy and our beloved country from the hands of APC," he said.
"We can't do it alone; we need everybody to join us. We have found ourselves like in a military government which we must wrestle to regain power for the interest of the country. We need broader conversation to open our minds. Let us not shut the door against anybody."
Speaking on the imminent governorship election in Ekiti State, he reiterated the urgent need for cooperation within the opposition ranks.
He said, "We don't have time again on our hands; we have to take this necessary step between now and May. We have to join hands with our brothers (opposition parties) to wrestle power from this government.
"All sectors must come together to rescue this nation from APC; that is what we owe this nation as a major opposition party. We cannot do it alone.
"I can tell you (that) the international community is waiting. If we do it right, funding won't be a problem; the voters won't be a problem, but we have to remain united and do it right. This is like a military government and we have to rescue our democracy."
On his part, the chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, commended the party's executive officers for its efforts to unite the party, adding that the emergency meeting was to wish themselves good omen and for them to remain as one party.
He said the party members need to be frank, sincere, united and ready to tell themselves the truth no matter how bitter it is.
"We should never allow the party to die; we must put in all of our efforts to improve the party. We hope that this meeting will bring us together with unity of purpose so that we will move forward," he said, adding that despite all the difficulties, the party remains one and will remain so.
He prayed for God to help the party win Ekiti State governorship election, saying it will be a major motivation for it going into 2019.
The deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, who hailed the expansion programme of the party, concurred that the party needed to win the Ekiti poll to show Nigerians that it was back to winning mode.
He assured the national chairman of the National Assembly's support in the efforts to expand the party.
"We need to win the 2019 presidential election. Whatever sacrifices need to be made, we need to make it. The essence of party is to win elections and not to socialise. If we want to socialise, we have family meetings. But PDP is set up to win elections.
"If you are a political party and you can't win election, better go home and do something else with your life. Like you said, we can't do it alone," he said.