The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party said in Abuja on Tuesday that the departure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo; his then deputy, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and some governors from thePDP before the 2015 general elections affected the party.
It, however, said that its survival after their exit was an indication that the party would never be a one-man political party.
The National Organising Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Abdul Ningi, stated this while presenting the expression of interest and nomination forms to Dr Alex Obiogbolu.
Obiogbolu is a governorship aspirant of the party for the Anambra State election slated for November 18, 2017.
Ningi said that the PDP had risen from the ashes of the defections of the members of the party.
He said, “We said one of our cardinal principles is that this party is not a one-man party. This party has individuals that left the PDP beginning with the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua that died while in office.
“That has been our plight. This party can do without a single individual or groups of individuals.
“Five of our governors also left. We were wounded but not defeated and we are rising up from ashes of those who have left.”
He said the national leadership crisis that rocked the party had further strengthened it, adding that it had given it an opportunity to embark on sober reflection.
Ningi said, “We are also happy that the crisis has given us the opportunity to look inwards, to look at mistakes, look at where we went wrong and try to make amends.
“This party has also left it doors open for those who left to come back because the PDP is their natural turf. A lot of them have discovered that where it matters is this party.”
He observed that the crises befalling the country were not there while the PDP was in power, noting that Nigerians had seen the difference.
Ningi also appealed to them to be patient, saying that the acceptance of the former ruling party by Nigerians in the last few days had indicated that they were ready to vote for its candidates in all elections.
In his remarks, the National Publicity Secretary of the NCC, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, explained that the party reduced the cost of its governorship expression of interest and nominations forms from N11m to N6m to allow more members to participate in the exercise.
He said Nigerians had not lost confidence in the party, adding that the PDP was working toward having at least 30 state governors in 2019.
He said, “We are not going to give up. We are strategising and I can assure you that Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the party to field its candidates in all elections.
“This is one of the reasons we decided to crash the cost of our nomination forms. We want more people to participate in the party’s affairs.”
Also speaking, Obiogbolu, who was the first aspirant from Anambra State to pick the forms, assured his host that the PDP was going to win the election in the state.
He said those who defected from the PDP to other parties were national figures, adding that the grass roots were still behind the party.
He said, “Fortunately for us, God did miracle for us in Anambra State that posits victory for us. The first miracle is that we are more fortunate than Edo and Ondo states. These two states went into election with the house divided, without a definitive statement.
“God did it that just before our governorship primaries, the Supreme Court gave a definite judgment (on the leadership crisis).
“The second miracle that God did for us is that the cancer that has been troubling Anambra State suddenly vanished and the virus transferred itself into APGA.”