…Labels APC a political club
…Insists zoning not a subject of discourse yet
By Dirisu Yakubu, ABUJA
Ahead of the 2023 polls, National Secretary of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Umar Ibrahim Tsauri has expressed optimism that Ebonyi state governor, Dave Umahi, ex-Speaker, Federal House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and others who quit the party for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, will return home (PDP) in the interest of Nigeria.
Tsauri who stated this in an exclusive chat with Vanguard described the APC as a political club with nothing to offer the likes of Umahi and Dogara, even as he called on the duo to join the PDP in its quest to salvage Nigeria and reposition it for the good of her citizens.
And as the lingering debate on zoning continues to elicit diverse reactions, the scribe chided “mischief-makers” for attempting to polarise the opposition, particularly the PDP, stressing that of more importance is the onerous task of chasing the APC out of Aso Rock in 2023.
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He told Vanguard: “I have the highest optimism that Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and His Excellency Dave Umahi are coming back to base before 2023. APC is not their platform. They cannot survive in a political club. They are politicians, not registered club members.
“I will like to say too that no political party will be happy to lose a member no matter how small that member maybe, not to talk of people with political names and value like former Speaker, Yakubu Dogara and a sitting governor, Dave Umahi.
“It’s really a pity but politics is always dynamic – soldier goes, soldier, come. 2023 is not 2021. We have time to make amends.
“It is true that zoning is enshrined in the party’s constitution. But Nigerians should be fair to PDP at this point in time. We won the election and were denied, and we are beginning to recover from the shock and mischief-makers are coming with another issue with the intent of polarizing the party. That will never work!
“Nobody is talking about zoning for now. 2023 is far away. Just watch an established political party with politicians of repute with Nigeria at heart get the business done at the right time.
Why the rush?”
In his words, “the National Working Committee, NWC, led by our able national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus and all other organs of the party are fully experienced and patriotic Nigerians who are in politics to better the lives of Nigerians, not to wrestle power for the sake of making a name.
“My optimism is that PDP will handle any internal challenge and balance the equation for electoral victory come 2023, In sha Allah.”
And with barely a year left for electioneering preparation to hit full swing, Senator Tsauri urged Nigerians to look forward to mass defections to the PDP, saying, “the situation in Nigeria today has only PDP as the platform to salvage it.
“The wind of mass movement to PDP will start soon. I call on all those who mean well for Nigeria to join the PDP before 2021 runs out.
“I will like to make it categorically clear that the defection due to ego is sad but does not and will never affect the chances of PDP in 2023. No Nigerian with blood running through his veins to his brain will dream of APC being his choice in 2023. The right choice is PDP. Time will tell!”
In what appeared a reaction to the claim by a member of the PDP National Executive Committee, NEC, who earlier in the week, blamed the party’s failure to win the 2019 Presidential election on the huge number of aspirants who sought the ticket, Tsauri said the number added to the beauty of democracy.
“For the participation of many Presidential aspirants in 2019, that added beauty and value to the PDP.
“PDP is a political party built on three solid foundational pillars- zoning, consensus and election.
“If a position is zoned to a particular constituency, any eligible aspirant from that constituency or zone can contest. If the number is more than one, then we go for consensus. If consensus fails, then we join the queue for election.
“That was exactly what happened in 2019. And, mind you, only a political party with acceptability like PDP could go into that kind of convention and come out stronger.
“APC made all efforts to penetrate into the PDP but woefully failed. I want to assure you that all aspirants worked tirelessly for our candidate, and that was why we democratically won the election and were denied by the powers that be.
“Our convention was adjudged to have been the best ever in the democratic history of this country. PDP will not only maintain it but will improve on it in 2023,” he assured.
Senator Tsauri further took exception to repeated allegations by President Muhammadu Buhari of poor management of the nation’s resources by the PDP while in power.
According to him, “I will not like to join issues with anybody on this laughable allegation.
PDP is not human but a concept. The people make or unmake the concept.
“The question is: from the messager to the President in the APC, count who and who was not in PDP? They looted in the PDP and they are looting and looting in the APC. Who is fooling who?
He urged Nigerians to rally behind the PDP, assuring that come 2023, Nigerians will possess their country once again.