Friday, 1 May 2015

Decampee PDP Members shall return with empty stomach---Says President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday dissed members of  the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who are defecting  to All Progressives Congress (APC), saying that most of them would return to the party with empty stomachs.

Jonathan said that rather than continue to rue over the party’s defeat in the last general elections members should  put the failure at the just-concluded general elections behind them, unite and re-consolidate the party ahead of the 2019 elections.
Jonathan, while speaking when the PDP’s campaign team presented their report to him at the new Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, likened the 2015 general election  to a civil war because different people gave account of the civil war.
He said,  said, “The first book I read on the civil war was 'My Command' by Obasanjo. He gave his perspective on what he saw and the role he played…if you read it, the dimension is tangential to the threat (before the election).
“I know that the issue of the 2015 general elections, maybe after some years, we will get a different perspective. With my position, I have the privilege to know better than most other people.
“The key thing is not whether we lost or won election, the key thing is that Nigeria as a nation, must move forward.”
For Jonathan, democracy  can  only grow if there is  peace and stability in the country.
According to him,  if there was military intervention, all political parties would disappear.
The president said,  “For PDP, I always say that you don’t need to go to Americans to know how they moved from democrats to republican and so on…you can even come to Ghana very close to us.
“The present administration lost election some eight years back and it came back. The issue is how do we re-consolidate our party and we are committed and work hard, PDP will come back stronger. PDP is still the dominant party. If you look at the result, the difference is 2 point something votes.
“If you look at areas where it appears that the PDP scored so low, PDP cannot get that kind of result. But the elections are over, the country remains. It is not as if Jonathan alone made the sacrifice. It is all of us.
I just made the pronouncement. Some people here paid more sacrifice than I did.
“I know how some of are already being persecuted. I know how much was involved. The key thing is that as a party we must continue to unite and work hard so that as we go into the subsequent elections in 2019, PDP would be able to come up stronger. Even in the interest of the nation, we need PDP. Though we have lost the presidential, National Assembly and governorship elections massively in the northern part of the country, PDP is still the dominant party.
“Let us not judge PDP by the result of the presidential election. Our duty is to go back and identify those areas. PDP is still the most organised party that nobody owns. I encourage members of our party to remain and not be in disillusion just because we lost the presidential election and decide to go to where to get things that will feed their stomachs or something.
“It is not easy, I have been here for over five years and you can hardly satisfy 50 per cent of those who worked for you.
“So, these people who are running, some of them are already carpet-crossing, they will come back with empty stomachs because they would touch the primary members of their party before they would look at you, the peripheral, because they know you are coming because you think there is food. Before it will get to you, the food will be gone. So let us be committed to PDP.”
The president said that people can only aspire for political offices if there is Nigeria, adding that  Nigeria is a complex country that should be managed with care.
in his remarks, the Director-General of the PDP campaign organisation, Ahmadu Ali, commended the president for showing great, exemplary leadership and making the PDP proud despite losing to the rival APC.
“You made the world proud by conceding defeat even when you had several options. You proved to the world that you are committed to your credo that no ones blood is worth your political ambition.
“By that singular act, you pulled Nigeria back from a seeming pre-determined precipice and you made us proud. While you assuredly lost in the ballots, you won the biggest victory in defeat by that historic phone call,” Ali said.

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