Governor Okowa, Sule Lamido and Kingsley Esiso, Delta PDP Chairman.
By Chukwudi Abiandu
President Muhammadu Buhari has been criticised for improper use of words against Nigerians whom he said did not vote for him.
Former governor of Jigawa State and now a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Sule Lamido made the criticism this morning 25/1/2018 while having a consultative audience with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state in Government House, Asaba over his presidential aspiration.
Looking visibly vexed by the unpleasant condition of the country since the All Progressive Congress (APC) took over government at the centre, Lamido decried the words of President Buhari to the effect that he would only attend to the people in states that voted for him, lamenting that in saner countries, President Muhammadu Buhari would have been impeached for the utterance.
The presidential aspirant said: “We should be ashamed of our leadership, we should feel guilty and ask God for forgiveness, because certainly something is wrong with us. Selling human parts is an industry where we make money because we have a government that is divisive, a government which mocks its own people, unleash pain on them, a government which says I can only work where I got my own votes, which means from the beginning, the culture of hate has been there. Nigeria is for all Nigerians. In saner countries, the president would have been impeached for declaring that he would work in areas where he got votes. Voting is a process of leadership.
Describing the APC as alien to Nigerians, he compared the PDP in 16 years with what has become of the country since APC came on board, Lamido said: “Our party is truthful. In our 16 years of office as government of the federation, we made some remarkable progress in the governance of Nigeria, but because we are cultured, because we are nationalists we don’t want to brag. Otherwise, there is no way this alien party will come and take over government. It means between 1999 and 2015, PDP did wonderfully well. In 1999 when we came in, the election was to restore Nigeria and get her reconciled because of June 12. And within two years, the PDP was able to restore Nigeria, get her reunited, reconciled and stabilized. You can not embark on human development unless there is peace and stability which our party did in the first term. In the second term, our party began to face human development. We touched all the sectors of development laying down a solid foundation. They were being meticulously implemented. Off course, we are human, we can make mistakes, but certainly, our commitment to Nigeria cannot be doubted.”
He continued: “When people in the opposition who are very desperate, people who fouled the new air of freedom unleashed by PDP. We should be proud of our party because we did wonderfully well. But then we were demonized, we were blackmailed and harassed out of office. Now three years of APC misrule, the way they unleashed pain on Nigerians, you now compare and see. They came on board unprepared, there aim was to get the power, harass us, halt us, they have no programme because they are a contraption, they have no history, they failed election all the way.
“They were there in 1999 with AD and APP, in 2007, AD became AC and later ACN, and APP became ANPP and later CPC. In 2015 they became APC, we have remained PDP because to us changing nomenclature is to deceive people. Who are APC? Parties who normally can’t even contest election came together and even at that, they knew that they will lose because if you out their votes of 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 together, they can’t defeat PDP. So it means APC can’t be trusted. APC looked for members of the PDP to get it pollinated, after which APC was born.
“We can say that the APC government is a baby government of the PDP. If they feel they are insulting us, they are abusing their grandfather. Nigerians who thought we were evil, we were Boko Haram, who thought we were everything about agony and pains are now wiser for it because they now have two pages of history to judge from. On page one they have seen what is called national unity, stability, prosperity, commitment, love and peace. On page two, we have seen hate, pain, agony, and Nigerians can now judge. APC and the president have no capacity, they have no knowledge, no political sagacity, they can’t lead Nigeria. If we allow APC to continue, this country will perish.”
He told Governor Okowa that the burden to free Nigeria from her current quagmire was squarely on the PDP shoulders, he advised that since the PDP has a large canopy, the governors should sit with other organs of the party to
“select and brainstorm and self interrogate where have we gone wrong, and what do we do because the burden is on us to save Nigerians, we just have to because we owe Nigeria so much. Nigeria has been there for us, why can’t we be there for Nigeria for once?
Lamenting the plight of the younger generation of Nigerians, Lamido stated: “If you look at the face of younger Nigerians roaming around unemployed, you see despair on their faces, frustration on their faces, they are angry because they have no future. There is a culture of hate in the younger generation. So what so we do to save Nigeria from these amateur politicians who are there to simply cause pain? “
The presidential aspirant therefore, while pointing out that he was not coming out for himself, advised that “We must as a party avoid acrimony within the contest because we equally have others who are talented and want to come out. We must unite ourselves as a party and have a clear focus of where we are going to in this nation. As a family we must select one person. By the time we go for convention, whoever is produced as flag bearer should be owned by the party. In your governors’ forum, discuss this matter intensively. Today in Nigeria, people are killing each other, everywhere you go is blood. There is industry called kidnapping now in Nigeria. Are we cursed by God? We should be ashamed of our leadership, we should feel guilty and ask God for forgiveness, because certainly something is wrong with us. Selling human parts is an industry where we make money because we have a government that is divisive, a government which mocks its own people, unleash pain on them, a government which says I can only work where I got my own votes, which means from the beginning, the culture of hate has been there. Nigeria is for all Nigerians.
“In Africa, Nigeria should be the rallying point but it is now so low, we don’t inspire, we don’t motivate. How do we leave up to? If we don’t get things right in 2019, if keep on killing ourselves, Nigeria will become a country of blood. How do we rescue ourselves from ourselves? Let us sit down and look at our duty as leaders, how do we give Nigerians a candidate who lead with the fear of God, justice, a sincere leader who can motivate us for greater good. I am here to see you and formally offer myself to the party if I am found worthy, then I am willing because I have the commitment to lead. I have a large hear which Nigeria should be there, Alhaji Lamido declared”
Governor Okowa, who received his guest warmly, called for love, commitment and focus among PDP members to galvanise the party to victory, saying that the PDP needed to remain united and committed and carry all its leaders and members along so as to achieve victory in future elections.
“I am happy that our party is rediscovering itself after our successful convention in which the leaders were able to come out as one united family, committed to the future of the nation and the party.
“Our party is founded on love and commitment, we need to stay focused and sit down and take decisions as a party,” he said, adding: “ We must start a relationship among our leaders to enable us talk about issues of our party and the nation and reassure Nigerians that we are truly prepared to lead this nation and take it to greater heights”.
The governor called for support for the various organs of the party so as to achieve success stressing “our collective strength will move the party forward to victory”.
While commending Alhaji Lamido for being a committed and consistent party man, Senator Okowa emphasised that only a presidential candidate that emerged from the party structure would be able to lead the party forward and wrest power from APC in 2019.