The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said yesterday that its presidential primary is a lesson to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) on how elections should be conducted.
It highlighted what it called the orderliness, transparency and credibility of its presidential primary.
In a statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said “The success of our presidential primary followed our strict adherence to democratic rules and principles of transparency and fairness, which has eluded the nation since President Muhammadu Buhari-led licentious administration assumed office. Simply put, in the PDP presidential primary, every vote counted.
“Nigerians are therefore no longer in doubt that our compromised electoral umpire, under the Buhari administration, is ostensibly culpable for injecting rancorous situations that create openings for violence, manipulations, inconclusive polls and outright rigging of elections.
“We invite the whole world to note that the PDP conducted its Presidential primary and a clear winner, Atiku Abubakar, emerged, without any form of disagreements or reliance on heavy security, showing that Nigerians are peaceful, orderly and desirous of credible processes at all levels of political engagement.
“The PDP therefore charges INEC to stop blaming voters, accept responsibility for its failure to conduct credible elections and learn from our presidential primary, as we approach the 2019 general elections.
“The PDP restates its determination to dismantle APC’s rigging machinery and return credible processes in all spheres of our national life”.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan congratulated Atiku Abubakar describing him as a man with the capacity to take the country to greater heights.
His media aide Ikechukwu Eze quoted Jonathan as saying: “I congratulate His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, and by the grace of God and the votes of Nigerians, the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Our party members have spoken and have nominated you as the candidate for the forthcoming Presidential elections.
“I am convinced that you have all it takes to take Nigeria to greater heights and transform her into a hub for prosperity and happiness. Congratulations.“ he said
Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday congratulated the former Vice President for emerging as the standard bearer of the PPD.
Saraki in a statement signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu also commended the delegates to the convention and members of the organizing committee, led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, for holding a convention in which a candidate was elected in a free, fair, transparent and rancour-free atmosphere.
“Our just concluded convention was a partisan event which the country can show-case as an example that democracy has a future in Nigeria and that when we are determined we can elect our leaders without any manipulation, intimidation and violation of the law and democratic norms.
“The credit goes to the leadership of our party led by Prince Uche Secondus, the organizing committee led by Governor Okowa, the numerous delegates who came from across the country and conducted themselves in a civil, mature and democratic manner. I give kudos to them.
“My commendation also goes to the government and people of Rivers State, for providing the best necessary facilities for hosting over 5000 delegates, campaign workers, security personnel, observers, media people and others who came to play one role or the other in the convention.
“More importantly, let me congratulate the winner and new flagbearer of our party and all the fellow aspirants for running credible and mature campaigns and working all along to reassure millions of our fellow party members and other Nigerians that PDP will leave the convention venue more united and ready to work together to form the next government at the federal and other levels in a manner that we will unite the country, grow the economy, carry along all stakeholders, empower the youths and make government serve the people better.
“Like I said in my speech at the convention after the official declaration of Alhaji Atiku as winner, all the other aspirants, especially myself, are ready to walk and work with him to spread the positive message of the PDP and his campaigns acrosss the nooks and crannies of the country such that the PDP will win the 2019 general elections.
“Those who expect that the party will degenerate into crisis after the primaries have miscalculated. We will all work for the Atiku-PDP ticket to succeed and contribute ideas into solving the problems confronting Nigeria today. The event in Port Harcourt between yesterday and today was a victory for Nigeria and for democracy. We will not lose the momentum but sustain it to rebuild Nigeria and elect Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the next President of Nigeria.
Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson, said Atiku has the requisite experience and knowledge to tackle the challenges bedevilling the country.
Dickson, according to a statement by his media adviser on Public Affairs, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said: “Let me congratulate the former Vice President and now the presidential candidate of our great party for the next presidential election over his resounding victory in a free, fair, transparent and credible primary election.
“The delegates have spoken and they have elected a man who understands our country, the Niger Delta and a man who has the requisite experience. He can build bridges of understanding and unity and form a great team to address the challenges that are facing our country. We look forward to working, collaborating and supporting him in that onerous responsibility. As he rightly said, it is not a job left for him alone.”
Dickson commended the PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and members of the National Working Committee as well as the chairman of the convention planning committee and Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, and his team “for their hard work and the good job they have done.
“I cannot fail to appreciate my brother, Governor Nyesom Wike, the government and people of Rivers State for their hospitality and sacrifices in hosting this historic event.
“Let me also commend our worthy leaders most of whom are my compatriots and friends for offering themselves for service. I thank and appreciate them for their show of sportsmanship and magnanimity.
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike urged Nigerians irrespective of political affiliation to sack the most “inefficient Federal Government”.
Speaking to reporters after a Thank You Visit by PDP Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar at the Government House Port Harcourt yesterday, Wike said all PDP leaders and well-meaning Nigerians should be united in this cause.
He said though different party leaders supported different aspirants, with the emergence of Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as the party’s Presidential Candidate, all hands must be on deck for the good of the country.
The governor said: “We have no party that will salvage the country other than the PDP. A candidate has emerged and we owe it a duty to see that the party takes over the government.
“We are one family. You may support aspirant A or B, but once a candidate emerges you owe it a duty to make sure your party returns to power.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure that we don’t give APC any gap. They have failed Nigerians and we will take over in 2019.
“My happiness today is that the convention was successful and it went on without hitches”, he said.
Atiku said: “The entire country needs a new government. Definitely, we don’t need APC to return to power in 2019”.
He said the country had gone through challenges ranging from recession, unemployment, insecurity and lack of unity. He said the country needed to chart a new direction in the interest of the people.
He said: “I came to personally congratulate the Governor, people and Government of Rivers State and also thank him for hosting a most successful convention “.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was accompanied by Former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel, Former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi, PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, Senator Sam Anyanwu, Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara and Edo State PDP Chairman Chief Dan Orbih.
Former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi described Atiku’s victory as a consummation of the wishes and desires of most Nigerians, both high and low.
In a message, Obi described Nigeria as a nation that had drilled off the paths of development due to what he called cumulative leadership failure, Obi said going by Atiku’s wealth of experience, track record of wealth-creation, knack for identifying excellence among excellent people, detribalized nature and perfect understanding of the ills of the country, that he has confident that Alhaji Abubakar Atiku has all it takes to restore the glory of Nigeria.
“Having personally followed him in the past 6 months, listened and interacted with him on a number of issues negatively affecting our society, I observe in him a person who has the burning desire to leave a footprint in the sands of time.”
SouthWest PDP in a statement by its spokesman Ayo Fadaka, said: “We wish to congratulate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on his emergence as the flag bearer of our great Party in next year’s Presidential election. His victory signifies the Party’s determination to field our very best in the quest to win the Presidential election.
“We also congratulate all those aspirants that sought to pick this same ticket, together they all participated in a race which was essentially beneficial to the synergy that currently propels the Party.
“Their declared commitment at the convention to work assiduously for the victory of the Party in next year’s general elections signals the solidarity and uniqueness of actions that shall be deployed against the disintegrating APC.
“The PDP with the successful conduct of this convention further confirms its resurgence and extending same to new frontiers, we therefore inform Nigerians that we represent a fresh breath, a complete difference from the decadence that APC represents.
“We therefore appeal for the support of Nigerians for PDP as we prepare for 2019 as there is an incumbent task on all Nigerians to salvage our lives, institutions and nation from the unimaginative and vindictive grip of the APC.”
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