2019 may be three years away from now, but politicians in the country are aligning and realigning to strike an understanding on how to grab power by at the election.
Consequently, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Nigeria’s major national opposition party at the moment, appears not to be leaving any stone unturned in its preparations for the general elections.
It was on the strength of this that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, declared that the 2016 National Convention of the PDP would serve as a springboard for the revival of the party and reclamation of power at the center in 2019.
Wike, who is also the Chairman of the 2016 PDP National Convention Committee, recently emphasized that the convention will also set the party in motion to win more states during the 2019 general elections and rescue the nation from the economic doldrums into which the ruling All progressives Congress, APC, has brought it into..
Speaking during the Inaugural Meeting of the committee at the Government House, Port Harcourt, on Saturday, Governor Wike said the committee would also help in instilling confidence in the members of the party that the PDP remains the strongest and most viable political party in the country.
He said: “One thing that is important is that this committee will revive our party. This committee will also allay the fears of our members over the rumours they hear.
“It is important for us to rebuild PDP to be a stronger party. PDP is our home in Rivers State. This is the only party we know here. This is the only party other members know across the states.”
He urged members of the committee to work as a team to ensure the success of the 2016 convention. He assured of a peaceful and hitch free convention which is scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt next month.
“We are now in the opposition. Our interest should be on how to rebuild the party and take it back to power at the center in 2019”, he said.
Speaking on the security situation in the state, Governor Wike said that the state was peaceful despite the propaganda being sponsored by the opposition APC.
He called on Nigerians to ignore such rumours and feel free to visit the state and see things for themselves.
Prominent members at the inaugural meeting include: Gov. Nyesom Wike (Rivers) – Chairman; Gov. Darius Ishiaku (Taraba) – Deputy Chairman; Gov. Dave Umahi (Ebonyi) – Secretary 1; Hon. Ahmed Gulak – Secretary 2; Senator Sam Egwu, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, Chief Celestine Omehia, Senator Abdulkadir Bala Mohammed and Rt. Hon. Leo Ogor.
Others were: Chief Sergeant Awuse, Dr. T.W. Danagogo, Senator Lee Maeba, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Chief Dan Orbih, Hon. Gogo Bright Tamuno and Dr. Umar Ardo.
Wike is the chairman of the over 100-member national convention committee with members drawn from virtually all parts of the country.
Speaking on the sideline of the inauguration, former deputy speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Dumnamene Dekor. expressed confidence that members of the APC who defected from the PDP because of some misgivings, would definitely return to the party before the convention, during or shortly after.
He said: “Many of them will return to their natural home, which is PDP. Those things that made them to leave the party for the APC are being addressed assiduously and I can tell you confidently that they will soon join us here. It could be before, during or after the convention. But one thing is certain, a lot of them will come back.”