The chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, has described the decision of the National Executive Committee of the PDP to adopt President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate of the party for the 2015 general elections as a well calculated exercise in democracy.
Governor Akpabio, who stated this on Wednesday in Akwa Ibom during the PDP Performance Publicity Tour led by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said “the opposition is rattled” because of the ability of the governors and leaders of the PDP to sacrifice their individual ambitions and rally behind the president, who he said has “performed exceedingly well”.
“The adoption by NEC is democracy in action. In America that we are copying, the incumbent president does not go through primaries. We are not saying that the president will not face the general elections. So the idea of him spending presidential time instead of facing insurgency, food insufficiency and other things that may affect the country and begin to campaign for the party ticket when he is already the incumbent president is what we want to avoid . I think this is a very fantastic model of internal democracy.”
“What we only said and did is, let’s sacrifice our individual ambition so that Mr. President will have a second term. We are not saying that other people should not contest election, but saying that as PDP governors, that we want to join hands and support him to win the second term. It does not mean that any person who wants to contest should not contest. We are indeed deepening democracy by sacrificing our own ambition”, Akpabio stated.
He pointed out that the PDP governors by that decision, also resolved to stabilize the party and avoid the unfortunate situation that leaves the party fractured after primary elections.
“Instead of fracturing the party at the end of the convention, we want to move as one family to elect the presidential candidate at the convention. And that is democracy in action. So I don’t think anybody should criticize it, rather we should be commended for not behaving like past governors who by now, nine or fifteen of them would have declared for presidency and then confusion will start in the party. So, the people who sacrificed their ambition to support the president; should they be castigated or commended? I must therefore thank the PDP NEC for adopting the position of the PDP governors. It is left for the National Convention to ratify. This is an evidence that Nigeria is changing”, Akpabio added.
The governor maintained that “the opposition is rattled” by the decision, noting that “any time that the PDP makes a move and the opposition is criticizing, then you know that that thing is biting them and if they praise you, you should be worried”.
Earlier, the National Publicity of the PDP, who led the performance tour, commended Governor Akpabio for the world-class infrastructures, which he said have turned Akwa Ibom into a national and international destination.
“This is our legacy. This is the legacy of our great party, the PDP.
“We can’t thank this governor enough for the faithful implementation of the manifesto of the PDP. Our great party can’t thank him enough for making us proud, for faithfully serving the people and improving their lots beyond the national average”, a visibly elated Metuh said.