PDP N’Assembly caucus urges unity ahead of expected mass defection

Ndudi Elumelu

• Anyim informs federal lawmakers of his presidential aspiration

• Tambuwal promises to use modern technology to secure Nigeria

Chuks Okocha

The National Assembly caucus of the main opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has advised the party leadership to unite its members ahead of an anticipated mass defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) ), following the ruling party’s national convention on 26 Feb.

House of Representatives Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu gave the advice, when former Senate Speaker Anyim Pius Anyim formally notified the PDP caucus in the National Assembly of his presidential ambition.

In a related development, Sokoto State Governor and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant Aminu Tambuwal has pledged to use modern technology to secure Nigeria if he is elected president in the year. next.

Speaking at Anyim’s reception, Elumelu urged PDP leaders to do everything in their power to ensure a united party, due to the expected mass defection that would follow due to disaffection from the convention national party of the ruling party on February 26.

Elumelu, “What we need is unity – a united party. We are in contact with many APC members who will join us. We should not talk about age. We should not use abusive language We should be willing to accept other members to join us.

“All we need is unity. The time has come. This is our harvest time. The APC is in deep crisis and the national convention on February 26 will deepen the crisis. as politicians, the aggrieved people will look for a better alternative and the PDP is the better alternative.

“I would like to thank our presidential hopeful for having brought light and for having paved the way by being the first to come and consult the minority caucus of the National Assembly. You set the tone and we understand what that means for the base and for that I commend you.

He alleged that APC was disjointed, while “PDP has managed to show that it can lead the way. Today we finished our convention and all the conventions went off without acrimony. Of course, you know that the APC set out to produce 36 state presidents and in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), but managed to elect 92. So, I wonder how they’re going to do their convention.

“It is up to us to be more united. The fallout from February 26 will form a new Nigeria, where the PDP will lead progressives to save Nigeria. And for that, I want to implore our presidential candidates to speak to their supporters. We shouldn’t be mistaken; we must not insult each other. Ultimately, it’s the same house we all belong to. Let you all go out and ask for support.

Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe praised Anyim for finding it worthy to inform the National Assembly of his presidential intention.

Abribe said: “If a former member of the legislature joins the executive, this experience has shown that he will do better.

“On behalf of the PDP caucus at the 9th National Assembly, we urge you to step forward and challenge, but you should be aware that you will encounter other aspirants on the pitch. Usually, the National Assembly is taken for granted, but Senator Anyim is now counting with us and we appreciate this gesture and encourage him.

“How can we tell you not to go on, to be one of us? On behalf of the National Assembly’s mixed caucus, we say go ahead and take matters into your own hands. We are with you.”

Anyim, also a former secretary to the Federation government, said he would always regard the National Assembly as his main constituency, adding that he would be guided by the advice that the PDP caucus in the federal parliament would give him in the race for the left. presidential ticket.

Anyim said, “Whenever I look back on my political history, I vividly remember that my experience in the National Assembly is always the best. I had to report to my main constituency. If you hear about this trip, I thought this official release would allow us to better explain it.

“The idea is that people know that we believe in PDP, that we are proud of PDP, committed to PDP and that our future is linked to PDP. Some time ago, I took a look at the political environment and said that I should, on your behalf, seek the post of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2023.

“I can’t do it myself, I can’t do it alone. But if you ask me to stop, I will stop where you ask me and if you ask me to move on, “be bold and courageous, be with me, whatever the obstacle in the way”, I will continue. When I remember you’re with me, I’ll be bold enough to carry on. I came to ask you if we could undertake this journey. If you advise otherwise, I will listen to you carefully. I am a party man. I am here to seek your advice, guidance and support and partnership.

The rally held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja was attended by Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, his House of Representatives counterpart, Ndudi Elumelu, the legislator representing Enugu North Senatorial District, Chukwuka Utazi, former Deputy Senate Speaker Ike Ekweremadu and former Governor of Abia State Senator Theodore Orji among others.

Meanwhile, Tambuwal, in a statement after a consultative meeting with Kebbi State PDP leaders, delegates and other key party stakeholders held at the State Secretariat in Birnin Kebbi, capital of State of Kebbi, said he was in the state to continue his consultation towards becoming the presidential flag bearer of the PDP.

Tambuwal, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, said: “First and foremost it is about making sure that Nigeria is secure again and to do that we need to reorient our security forces so that they learn and understand the techniques of today’s security challenges. .

“We will ensure the provision of sufficient modern equipment and ensure that security guards are well taken care of in terms of well-being, recruit more and more personnel and use modern technology to fight against banditry, crime. insurgency and other crimes across Nigeria.

“We also intend to create more jobs; we will have nothing to do with poverty in Nigeria, and by creating more jobs, you are sort of tackling the problem of insecurity.

“We also intend to support and stimulate agriculture which will take care of most people by engaging them in some form of agriculture or the other.”

Regarding education, the aspirant observed, “If we are not careful, the education system of the country will collapse”. He said the problem was glaring in the ongoing feud between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government.

Tambuwal said on infrastructure that they intend to do much more to provide more rail services in the country also supporting the constitutional amendment which will delegate more powers to the states, strategizing for their involvement in the railway system, electricity and energy.

“This will enable states to invest in power generation, transmission and distribution as well as in the provision of rail and other services and many other things that we will do to reform, reposition and take Nigeria to the next level “.

On how to foster unity among Nigerians, Tambuwal said documents were there to show when he was Speaker of the House of Representatives how he was able to ensure unity among members of the House from different regions of the country.

Earlier, former PDP Board Chairman Dr. Bello Haliru congratulated Tambuwal on agreeing to run for the post of Chairman.

Haliru said, “We are not only happy that you are from Sokoto, and Kebbi is part of Sokoto, but because you actually deserve to do the job. It is because we need someone who is more credible and who will mend the relationship bond between Nigerians. We need someone who is honest, confident, committed and more credible to fix the nation.

A former Governor of Sokoto State and former presidential candidate, Dr Attahiru Bafarawa, expressed his gratitude for the warm welcome extended to Kebbi’s entourage and called for more support, prayer and encouragement to succeed.

Bafarawa said, “Tambuwal was not only a legislator but also a lawyer by profession which means he fits into the justice system and at the same time today he is a sitting governor who is in his second term.

“This is to tell you that Tambuwal falls under the three branches of government. It is therefore more credible for the presidential ticket. That’s why we’re here to take him where we want him to be, not where he wants to be.

Welcoming the aspirant and his entourage, PDP Kebbi State Chairman Alhaji Usman Bello-Suru told the delegation that there was no need to beg votes from Kebbi. Bello-Suru assured them that a block state vote was reserved mainly for Tambuwal.

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