BY MUYIWA OYINLOLA, Abuja
The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) has predicted a second defeat for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the next general election.
APC stated that despite boasting of its readiness to take over the reins of government after the 2019 general election, based on its non-elective convention held on Saturday in Abuja, the electorate would still reject the PDP as they did in 2015.
Leaders of the PDP, including former President Goodluck Jonathan; its chairman, national caretaker committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Delta State governor who was the chairman of the Convention Planning Committee, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, had predicted a return of the party to power in 2019.
But reacting to their comments yesterday, national publicity secretary of APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said the APC remains the preferred choice of Nigerians.
While addressing the PDP convention, Makarfi said that the PDP was ready for the 2019 contest even as he prayed for quick recovery of
President Muhammadu Buhari, who he said the PDP would want around when APC would be defeated at the poll.
“We wish our President well and will continue to pray for his full recovery. We want him to be fit and well when we’ll defeat the
APC in the next general election. We will continue to pray for him, but that does not mean we will go to sleep. We will work hard to replace the APC government come 2019 election”, Makarfi said.
Okowa, who spoke in the same vein, also maintained that the fact that the PDP had surmounted its greatest difficulties in the last two years was an indication of its resilience and determination of its members to regain power in 2019.
“Let it be known, today, to all Nigerians, who prayed for us during our time of travail that the PDP is back with a bang. We shall not disappoint you. We are back. We must realise that there is a champion in each and everyone of us in the party, and that a collective leadership and partnership, resolve to do things right is all that we need to build the strength to recapture power”, Okowa said.
Abdullahi, however, stated that despite the return of the PDP to political limelight, Nigerians would still reject the party because it does not believe in restructuring, which is presently a critical issue in the polity.
The APC spokesman said, “Restructuring is the main issue for Nigerians right now. Nigerians have concluded that the status quo is not working for them and they want some structural changes that would enhance effective governance; that government operates for the good of the people. But the PDP has shown it does not believe in restructuring. It is not in their manifesto.
“PDP never believes in restructuring. For that alone Nigerians won’t vote for them come 2019. They held two National Conferences and it was never on their plans. It is not in their manifesto and it cannot be in their plans towards 2019. Nigerians want a country that will work for them and they know the PDP cannot provide the kind of government that would deliver. APC remains the party to beat by a wide margin in 2019”.