By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja –
The newly elected national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday resumed office, declaring that the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its propaganda will not distract the opposition party under his watch.
He further described the governing APC as a broken government, asserting that Nigerians now know the truth that it is a party of propaganda.
Secondus who stated this during the handover ceremony at the party’s national secretariat described former national chairman of the party, Sen Ahmed Makarfi, as a hero for being firm in managing the party at its most trying period.
The new PDP chairman however assured that he has already started the process of reconciling party members who feel aggrieved with the outcome of his emergence last Saturday.
Noting that his emergence is divine, Secondus stressed that there are no barriers to former party members who left for whatever reason and intend to return to the party.
He said, “We want to assure our people that we are now ready to take this party, put it together and make sure we are ready for election in 2019. We will never be distracted by the propaganda of the ruling party.
“Nigerians now know the truth that all they (APC) are saying are lies and that they are out to intimidate. We don’t need to be distracted by them”.
Assuring PDP youths of a special place in the party, he said, “APC is running a broken government and we need to rescue the nation from their hands”.
Secondus further said it was no victor no vanquish in the outcome of the convention.
He said, “Our first assignment is to bring all and sundry together; that is reconciliation. We will go out to reassure our party members who left for any reason to return to this party. We have already started the work and it will be productive. Your Excellency (Makarfi), I can assure you that that will be our first assignment”.
He noted that party leaders at state and regional levels would have more powers to resolve conflicts so that the party at the national level will be free of distractions to ensure victory in 2019.
He continued: “We have only one agenda and that is to reclaim power in 2019. State executives should carry out their duties. You are the field commanders. Start addressing national issues in your various states. We will decentralize power from the center so that we can achieve our main mission.
“We want to be free at national level so that we can focus. All conflicts and settlements must be conducted from the state and end at zonal level.
“We want Wadata to be free and not to be under pressure. The pressure is too much here. We want to free ourselves from pressure so that we will remain focused. With all your support we will win the election in 2019”.
He added that the party’s leadership would embark on a retreat soon and come up with policy statements.
Speaking earlier, the former national chairman of the party, Sen Ahmed Makarfi, urged the new leadership to continue to pursue reconciliation, stressing however that he is handing over a party that has become a darling of Nigerians.
He noted that party members should have no regrets because they have become a better people now and have become more rugged.
He underscored the need for the new executive to carry all formal and informal organs of the party along, adding that they are all crucial in the party’s match to recapture power in 2019.
“This party has been supported by all these organs and non-formal organs and in all that you, do take them into consideration. They stood with us”, Makarfi charged Secondus.
Charging the new leadership on continuous reconciliation, Makarfi said the perception that some sections have lost should not arise.
He added: “What is the need of controlling a party when you are out of government? No person should feel that they are not part of the party or they have lost something. If you have not gotten any thing now there is always something to give you in the party.
“As PDP, we look out for Nigerians because they are our first responsibility, and then we look out for our family members, the PDP”.
The former chairman hailed the staff of Wadata for being indispensable through the leadership crisis period.
“In spite of all the hardships, they remained resolute and dedicated. I am sure you have the capacity to alleviate their sufferings immediately”, he said.