The Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) recently held its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where the party outlined its agenda to capture power, including the Presidency, in the 2019 general elections. PAUL UWADIMA writes on some of the highlights of the NEC meeting.
On Friday, April 6, 2018, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the opposition political party, the Democratic People’s Congress (DPC) gathered at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, where they met and brain stormed on how to make impact on the coming 2019 general elections. The party also served note that it would participate fully in the coming elections, including fielding a credible Nigerian as its presidential candidate to challenge the dominance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the hitherto ruling party and now major opposition party in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
After several hours of deliberations, the meeting came to an end but not without a communiqué, which contained the resolutions of the DPC’s NEC. In the communiqué issued by the party and signed by the deputy national publicity secretary, Hon Eric Seaman Babangida, the NEC made it obvious that it had its eyes on the ultimate prize, the Presidency.
According to the communiqué, “NEC mandates the national chairman, Rev Olusegun Peters to liaise with eligible Nigerians who aspire to contest for the office of president on the platform of the party. NEC assures all presidential aspirants of a level playing field in the best democratic tradition and ethos. Nigerians desire and deserve the best presidential candidate DPC will produce. The presidential ticket is open to all eligible Nigerians.”
The party said that it was committed to presenting a presidential candidate because the present political class dominated by the PDP and APC has failed to produce the kind of president that Nigerians need, arguing that it can salvage the country in that respect.
“Concerned about the deplorable situation of the country and determined to effect a change through the electoral process, the Democratic People’s Congress will field a credible, dynamic, vibrant and purposeful presidential candidate in the 2019 presidential election to
give direction and provide strong leadership that will restore the lost glory of Nigeria as the great arsenal of democracy in Africa and the pride of the black people across the world”, the party said.
While restating its confidence on the electoral process, the NEC raised the alarm over the large number of permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) that have not been collected by Nigerians and urged the political parties, the civil society organisations and faith based organisations to join the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the enlightenment campaign to persuade registered Nigerians to go and collect their PVCs so that they can participate fully in the democratic process, especially in the coming 2019 general elections.
“NEC is alarmed by millions of permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) yet to be collected by Nigerians since the 2015 general elections and the ongoing continuous voters’ registration. NEC calls on INEC to accelerate its voters’ education and work out effective strategies to speed up the collection of PVCs at grassroots level. Eligible voters should not be disenfranchised for any reason or for no reason whatsoever.
“NEC calls on political parties and civil society organisations to join hands with INEC in voter education and mobilisation ahead of the 2019 general elections as stakeholders in the political process.
NEC commends the party’s efforts in voter education and mobilisation and urges the 36 state chapters and Federal Capital Territory to intensify efforts until all eligible voters are registered and have collected their permanent voter cards – their only instrument to effect a change in the governance of the country”, it said.
The NEC also raised concern about impunity in the democratic process and condemned vote buying at elections and other criminalities that are associated with the democratic process. It therefore threw its weight behind the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission.
“NEC warns against vote buying and selling at polling units across the country. It is unfair and unjust to sell the destiny of the nation for a mess of electoral porridge and mortgage the future of unborn generations. DPC urges Nigerians to reject the Greek gifts at polling units and vote according to their conscience and conviction.
“Accordingly, NEC supports the establishment of Electoral Offences Commission to prosecute all electoral offenders. It is time to sanitise the nation’s electoral process and make it free, fair, credible, acceptable and transparent as obtainable in all advanced democracies, including Ghana.
NEC enjoins politicians to imbibe issue-based politics and eschew politics of bitterness and brigandage that impeded our democratic encounter,” the communiqué reads in part.
On the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun States, the NEC said the party would field credible candidates and leverage on its growing popularity in the South West to come tops in the elections.
“NEC resolves to present visionary, resourceful and energetic governorship candidates for the 14th July and 22nd September, 2018 gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun States respectively. With the ever-growing membership of the party in the South West Geo-political Zone, DPC is the party to beat in the forthcoming governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States. The party’s timetable for Ekiti gubernatorial poll has been approved and will soon be released. NEC urges credible aspirants to take advantage of DPC’s open door policy and transparent congresses and primaries to contest on the party’s platform”, it added.
LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that weeks before the NEC meeting, the Democratic People’s Congress said that it will present a credible, visionary, purposeful and dynamic presidential candidate for the 2019 general election with a mission to transform the nation and restore her lost glory.
The party, in a statement by the national chairman, Rev Olusegun Peters and made available to LEADERSHIP Friday, said that consultations are ongoing with major stakeholders in the political process with a view to carrying all geopolitical zones along.
“DPC is the first political party to release its manifesto and blueprint for the 2019 general elections during its first elective national convention held in Abuja on 22nd February, 2018. It is our social contract with the good people of Nigeria aimed at progressive governance and prosperity to the longsuffering compatriots impoverished by decades of poor leadership.
“The APC led federal government has failed Nigerians. DPC is the credible alternative to the ruling APC. The masses are worse off today than they were three years ago when Buhari’s government came to power with a fake promise of change”, the party added.
It urged Nigerians to join DPC across the country as it holds high promise and credibility to take over the federal government from the ruling APC that suffers from leadership fatigue ever since it assumed office on 29th May, 2015. “Nigerians want a compassionate government that feels the sufferings of the people and provides dividends of democracy”, it said.
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