Between October 30 and 31, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders and delegates will gather in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja to elect new leadership that will preside over the affair of the party for four years. But unlike previous Conventions, this will preface the direction that the country is likely to assume after President Muhammadu Buhari’s exit office.

So far, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has shown to be inept and incapable of making any meaningful progress for the country. Before it came to power over six years ago, APC made chilling promises that assured Nigerians of a better turnaround of their situations. However, those promises are largely unfulfilled and worse, throw the country in a distressing state.

These failings explain the overwhelming desire of Nigerians for an alternative, which will not only halt the downward spiral that Nigeria is experiencing under the APC but place the country on the path of progress and prosperity. And from all indications, PDP answers those desires and this makes the upcoming Convention of the party a very important event.

The job of fixing Nigeria is hard to begin with, and so, it is not surprising that the PDP is showing encouraging signs that it is prepared to make things right and once again, bring smiles to the faces of dejected Nigerians. Days before the Convention, most of the positions opened for filling are already decided in a manner that reinforces hope of unity.

Iyorchia Ayu, a former Senate President, is already adopted as the consensus candidate for the Chairmanship position, and this same pattern is replicated in other positions, leaving only a few seats for the contest at the Convention. This may seem nothing extraordinary, but I think it is indicative and persuasive of the party’s readiness to rescue Nigeria from APC’s mess.

To stop the APC from further plunging the country into avoidable disaster owing to gross incompetence, Nigeria needs an alternative that is ready, not just for the power but the responsibility that comes with it. And so far, the PDP has shown a deep understanding of the expectations of Nigerians as can be deduced from the undertones of the upcoming Convention.

In the past few years, lots of people have begun to lose hope for the future as the failings of the APC-led government continue to overshadow prospects for the country. Talk of education and you’re certainly faced with the sheer disregard for agreements that consistently throw students in tertiary schools out of classrooms as a result of strike actions. The numbers of out-of-school children continue to rise despite repeated assurances to fix the mess.

On the economic front, things have gone really horrible as Nigerians daily bear the brunt of poor economic decisions that characterised this APC government. For every minute in Nigeria, no fewer than six citizens plunge into extreme poverty, and worryingly, the APC burdens the future of unborn generations with reckless borrowing.

Insecurity has gone worse under APC as almost every part of the country is facing one security threat or the other. So, no matter where you look, the APC has done a terrible job and continues to show no interest in improving the situation of Nigerians who trusted it with their mandates in 2015. That makes the PDP Convention an event of focus for Nigerians, and impressively, the party is living up to billings.

From the “Come, let us rescue Nigeria together” motto for the Convention, PDP is unmistakably enlisting the support of Nigerians to rescue the country from the abyss of ruins necessitated by APC failures. That is a bold and promising message, which implies that the upcoming PDP Convention is about getting Nigeria back on track and repairing all the damages wrought on the country by the APC.

Normally, Convention is a battleground and creates a divide in the ranks and file of the party, which most times go beyond the event. But not this time around as we can so far observe, and instead, we are likely going to see an event that brings people together. That is what Nigeria needs right now.

Indeed, the PDP is yet to answer questions on where its presidential candidate would come from, however, the manner in which it is handling its scheduled Convention is assuring that it will do the right thing to rescue Nigeria.

Oke Umurhohwo writes from Ughelli, in Delta state.

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