President Goodluck Jonathan has renewed his war of words with the five former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, who defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, last year, saying their exit has not being felt by the ruling party.
Describing the defected governors along with their supporters that left the PDP for APC as ‘inconsequential’, the president noted that some of them cannot win ward elections in their states.
The five governors that defected to the APC were – Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
Other notable PDP stalwarts that also dumped the ruling party for the opposition party are former Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) chairman and two time governor of Kwara State now turned Senator, Dr. Bukola Saraki, ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former acting National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje and former PDP Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Sam Sam Jaja, among others.
Similarly, most of the House of Representatives members and senators from the five states, whose governors defected, also joined the APC.
Speaking on Thursday at the PDP’s National Executive Committee Meeting (NEC), President Jonathan said: “There was a time, especially when some of our governors for one reason or the other, moved and some members of the National Assembly also moved and people were saying that these people will overrun PDP.
“From the privileged position that I am, I see wider. When I looked across, I did not really see that threat. Psychologically, we must let everybody know that PDP is still the dominant party.
“Even though some people left us, but we are not noticing their absence because of the leadership and commitment shown by Governor Godswill Akpabio, the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor Jonah Jang, the chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and other members of the Governors’ Forum from the PDP.
“Because of their total commitment, it is like a football team. We (Nigeria) have won a team with 10 players before because when they removed one and they removed the second one, the rest people started playing as if they were 13. So, we didn’t even notice that we have lost two. That is what the PDP governors are doing.
“We have to encourage them, we have to commend them. They are working and defending the party as if we have 36 governors and we believe they will carry on with that spirit especially in this injury time”.
Oozing with self-confidence, the president continued: “I told the national chairman that let us have zonal unity rallies; let us demonstrate our strength so that they will know that one or two persons that left are inconsequential.
“I am not sure they can win their ward in an election because some of those states are totally PDP states. When you think that you are this and you are that and you probably think you will leave with the whole state, by the time we arrive you get to know that others are behind to continue with PDP.
“All what I am saying is that PDP is still solid, PDP is still the dominant party, our rallies show very clearly and surely that this party will win our elections free and fair”.
President Jonathan also assured that the government was tackling the rising wave of insurgency in the land, stressing that the necessary equipment and military hardware required to fight the insurgents were being put in place.
“Obviously, everybody knows the security challenges we have. I don’t want to be moaning or complaining but all I can assure our great party is that we are taking on the challenges.
“Most of our PDP states are doing well. In fact security challenges are less in the PDP states because of the commitment of the governors.
“God willing, these challenges of Boko Haram or other criminal elements will soon come to be history in this country. While contending with security challenges, we are still totally committed to our developmental programmes based on our party’s manifesto”, he stated.