President Goodluck Jonathan in what appears to be his fiercest criticism yet of the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday in Kaduna, described the party as a container of toxic mixtures that was bound to erupt in disaster, saying it posed no formidable challenge to the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2015 general elections.
The president made the allusion at the PDP North West Unity and Reconciliation Rally which held at the Murtala Square, Kaduna attended by party chieftains including Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alh. Adamu Muazu, PDP Board of Trustees Chairman, Chie Tony Anenih, seven PDP governors led by Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, among others in a sea of unruly party supporters.
Mr. Jonathan, who was invited to the podium by Mu’azu, acknowledged everyone and lauded the efforts of the organisers before he launched into a tirade against the main opposition party.
According to him, “PDP is the only party that you can say ‘is for the people, by the people and of the people’. We have been told that some people are ganging up in some different names. I can assure you that this is not the first time that there has been a gang up.
“From 1999 there was a gang up. Two, three political parties came together. They brought a Presidential candidate from one, Secretary to the Federal government from one and so forth. The gang up will fail.
“And I use to tell people that, if you put oil in a container, then pour kerosene in that container, then pour sulfuric acid in that container, you bring petrol and pour in that container and then hydrochloric acid, what do you think will happen to that container? – Disaster!
“So the gang up will fail. It is just as you mix acid and other things in a container. It is not a new thing. They will continue to gang up, but will fail”.
Giving a brief history of political parties all over the world, the president said they don’t change identities everyday “like rocks going through metamorphosis” in apparent reference to the merger of three legacy parties – All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, Congress for Progressive Change, CPC and Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN – that gave birth to the APC.
“Look at the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa”, the president said, “The ANC is over 103 years old. It is older than Nigeria as a state. It is still ANC today. So when you see a Party changing names anyhow you should know that that is not where to go.
“The PDP is committed to being stable. And PDP is taking us to where we shall go. PDP is the right place to be. Because PDP is a truly democratic party. It is the party that anybody can raise to be anything in the party. It is the party that gives me and you the opportunity to be what we want to be. So continue to support the PDP, continue to be with the PDP. . . . continue with your commitment to our great party, don’t be worried.
“Some people say they are changing – yes people can change. If today you carry a bag of salt on your head, and tomorrow you drop the salt and carry a pen and put on your head, you have made a change.
“If tomorrow you leave the pen and carry a stool on your head that is also a change. If tomorrow the stool gets too heavy and you decide to enter into a septic tank, you have also made a change”, he said.
“So allow people to continue to make changes. But PDP remains committed to the development of the country. And let me re-assure you very, very sincerely that the PDP is still the party of the North West Zone, and intends to remain so. Come 2015 PDP is going to retain this zone. . . we will continue to retain Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi state. Kano state is a PDP state, but some people want to take the state from us. We don’t know where they are taking Kano state. But with Shekarau (inviting the former Kano governor to stand beside him as he lifted his hand to the loud cheer of party supporters) and others joining PDP, we will take Kano back. Kano state will surely come back to PDP. The same thing with Sokoto State. PDP will take over Sokoto state, and will continue to rule Sokoto State. The only state that has never been in the control of the PDP is Zamfara state. But it is a friendly state, and we have been assured that we will win Zamfara come 2015″, the president said.