National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Adamu Mu’azu, has ruled out a landslide victory for the party in the forthcoming general elections.
President Goodluck Jonathan is the PDP candidate in the March 28 presidential election and for the first time since it assumed leadership of the country in 1999, the ruling party is facing its toughest competition yet from a formidable opposition – the All Progressives Congress, APC, which has a former head of state and veteran contestant, Muhammadu Buhari, as its candidate.
In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Mu’azu said while he was confident of the party winning the elections, he did not foresee a landslide victory for it.
According to him, “Our major concern in the Peoples Democratic Party is not to allow the country to be hijacked by desperadoes masquerading as purveyors of good governance, who promise heaven and earth to the people without any intention of fulfilling their election promises in the name of change.
“While I do not see a landslide victory coming, I am convinced that our party will perform creditably in the Southwest and the North of Nigeria and elsewhere in all the elections this year because the evidence is clear that despite our travails at the beginning, we have done very well over the past fifteen years of our nascent democracy since 1999 to record victory. Those who disbelieve our resilience will be surprised for victory is ours”.
Mr. Mu’azu, who assumed office as PDP national chairman at its most challenging period, said the last four years had seen Nigeria take the economic centre stage by pursuing policies that have made the country to be the economic hub of Africa, proactively investing heavily in agricultural production as the alternative to oil, pursuing legislation that will make its people to control its oil and gas resources through the petroleum industry bill which is due for enactment by this National Assembly, perhaps before the end of this parliament.
“I am delighted by the progress of our defence forces and their international collaborators in the war against insurgency in the Northeast of our country and the current mop up operations to sweep away the insurgents has progressed beyond our imagination,” the PDP national chairman said.
“I am sure that President Jonathan when re-elected for a second term will declare a Marshall Plan to rebuild the entire geopolitical zone affected by the war. Our party has this programme on the top of our agenda in the next four years. That will be the right way to wipe away the scars of war among the people of that area”.
The two-time former governor of Bauchi State, said he remained hopeful that the PDP “has not only taken the pole position in this tight two-horse race to win the 2015 presidential election, but will also go ahead to win the majority in the National Assembly and win many more states”.
He added, “A vote for the PDP candidate, President Jonathan, is a vote for democracy, human rights, freedom and good governance. Nigerians know that it would be more risky voting any other way as it would mean uncharted waters, an uncertain future that is a potentially fraught enterprise”.
The national chairman, whose cordial relationship with the president has reportedly taken a severe blow, explained that after three weeks of town hall meetings, exchanges with traditional rulers and generally spreading the winning message of the PDP achievements and review of its activities since the 2011 presidential elections with supporters in the North East and South West of Nigeria, the party’s leadership is reassured it is inching its way to victory in the 2015 presidential elections.
He stated further, “We shall continue this interactive engagement with Nigerians until 26th March when campaigns officially end before the March 28th Presidential elections, presenting our scorecard in government, our programme in the next four years to 2019, using the town hall format and meeting our revered traditional rulers. The PDP has a special plan that will see them play more roles in government in the near future via the instrument of the constitution. We believe that the traditional institution is crucially important to the peace, harmony and progress of our father land.
“We are going around the country in search of undecided voters, who are the final battle ground where the election will be won or lost. The APC can continue to stir the rumour mills into believing that Mr. President and myself are in dispute, but we are very serious about winning a fourth presidential election and Insha Allah, we shall make it”.
He also denied the claim by the APC that Jonathan was distributing hard currency to traditional rulers to mobilize their people to vote for him.
“The opposition party through one of its governors was shamefully saying that President Jonathan was giving away dollars to traditional rulers in the course of these visits.
“It is a pity, coming from one of their respected governors, but we shall remain undaunted because as a rule, our party must continue the tradition of respect to our traditional fathers whose contribution to the peace of our country cannot be measured in monetary terms.
“Our major concern in the Peoples Democratic Party is not to allow our country to be hijacked by desperados masquerading as purveyors of good governance, who promise heaven and earth to the people without any intention of fulfilling their election promises in the name of CHANGE”, Mu’azu said.