Monday, 3 July 2017

2019: We want Buhari to return to face defeat ―PDP ex-ministers

2019: We want Buhari to return to face defeat ―PDP ex-ministers

•SAY NIGERIA MORE DIVIDED UNDER APC

 THE Forum of Former Ministers under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed the wish to see President Muhammadu Buhari to be healed and to return to the country so that the PDP can floor him in the 2019 presidential election.

In an emergency meeting held in Abuja on Monday, the Forum observed that Buhari consistently fought to be elected president and must therefore return to do the work he was elected to do.

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The ministers posited that they were not interested in tackling another candidate but President Buhari in order to beat him at the poll.

Fielding questions from journalists at the end of the meeting, the Chairman and former Minister of Special Duties, Dr Tanimu Turaki, said: “We are not unaware of the call by President Muhammadu Buhari made in 2010 when President Yar’Adua was sick. For us at the PDP Ministers’ Forum, we wish him speedy recover.

“We want him to come back and continue the job for which he consistently fought to be elected and for which he is elected.

“We want him to come and continue because we want to defeat Muhammadu Buhari in 2019. Not anybody else. So, we wish him well.”

The former ministers noted that as a result of the ineptitude of the All Progressive Congress (APC) government, the country has become more polarized along regional, tribal, religious, ethnic, and other divides as never before seen.

“And we feel that this is really most unfortunate,” it posited, adding: “PDP made the supreme sacrifice to keep Nigeria one and ensure that our indivisibility and indispensability as a people, as a country was not compromised.

“And that was why in the 2015 election, President Jonathan conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari, a singular act that ensured that contrary to expectations of a lot of pessimists, Nigeria remains one and together.”

It condemned in “very clear terms” what it observed was the “Incessant persecution and decimation of the opposition” and noted particularly, the undue harassment of immediate past Vice President, Namadi Sambo by security agencies.

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The PDP ex-ministers noted the “unwarranted invasion of the former Vice President’s house and “the unending harassment and detention of key members of the opposition” and admonished the APC-led government to be alive to its responsibilities to Nigerians.

It expressed confidence in the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the PDP which it said had done a good job in keeping members of the party together and upholding the tenets and vision of the party.

“The Forum therefore reaffirmed its confidence and support for the National Caretaker Committee” while also commending the effort of its Board of Trustees (BoT).

The Forum called for a meeting of all organs of the party to harmonize all ongoing efforts and strategies to unite the party in view of the build up towards the 2019 general election which it expressed the hope that the PDP would win.

The PDP former ministers also expressed concern over the increasing spate of herdsmen attacks around the country and called on government to check the menace.

On the defection of some prominent party members from the PDP, the Forum noted that many of the defectors have concerns and had stepped aside and see what was being done to resolve the crisis the party and would thereafter return to the party.

“There is today no party that is better than PDP and as soon as those concerns which are in a way genuine are addressed, those who have stepped aside will come back and continue to be active members of this party,” the ministers declared.

The Forum assured that whatever happens at the impending Supreme Court verdict on the party’s leadership crisis, the former ministers would remain committed to the visions and ideal of the party.

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