The People’s Democratic Party has taken swipes against former top members of the party for dumping the party because of their inability to handle competition, for selfish reasons amongst other things.
The former members being specifically targeted at are former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy, Atiku Abubakar; Senator Barnabas Gemade, Professor Iyorchia Ayu, Audu Ogbe, Rotimi Amaechi.
Others include Yaya Kwande, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (former Speaker of the House of Representatives, now Sokoto State Governor), Aliyu Wamakko, Mutala Nyako, Musa Rabiu Kwakwanso, ex-governors of Sokoto, Adamawa and Kano states respectively, among others.
According to the Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, “Majority of the top party members who defected from our party are those who cannot handle competition while some members felt that they were not well-protected when they sought assistance, others left because we lost election, others for selfish reason, while some others left when they felt they were honestly not properly accommodated in the party.”
He stated this during a press conference that was called to mark the 17th Anniversary of the institution that once prided itself as the largest party in Africa, which lost power at the federal level after spending 16 years in government.
Metuh said the PDP had nurtured democracy in the last 16 years and strengthened the political space through creating an enabling environment for various entrepreneurial spirits to bloom.
The last 16 years of the PDP, Metuh said, has been good to the nation economically with a large number of billionaires emerging in the country because of “good economic policies” of its administration while in power.
On why the party was rejected at the polls during the last general elections in view of the achievements it claimed, he said only Nigerians were in a position to explain
He said that the party was still surprised that despite its achievements recorded in the last 16 years it was in control of the Federal Government, majority of Nigerians rejected it at the polls.
“Only the electorate can say why we were rejected. We must have made our mistakes and some of the issues that affected the election had to do with the people.
“In those 16 years, we did our best. We created a system where merits were recognised. We created a lot of super rich Nigerians like Dangote, Oando and other companies. Nigerian companies now compete with foreign companies in the oil and gas sector,” Metuh stated.
He said that it was wrong for anyone to associate the party with corruption, a tag the current government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is trying to portray about the party, stressing that for the first time after over 35 years of military rule in Nigeria, the emergence of the PDP in the political scene created an enabling environment where public fund oiled the economy for entrepreneurs to bloom.
Metuh said the PDP attracted Nigerians in the Diaspora to return home, believing in the system even as it stuck to the rule of law and ensured the democratic ethos.
He insisted that anti-corruption war was part of the achievements of the PDP as demonstrated in the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
He said the PDP which championed the anti-graft campaign in the country followed it with due respect to the fundamental human rights of the people without propaganda that de-market Nigeria by celebrating corruption.