The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) can win 25 of the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in next year’s general election, the National Chairman, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, has said.
His assurance came against the decision of the G5 governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State not to support Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party in the election.
Speaking on his behalf to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the spokesman of the party boss, Simon Imobo-Tswam, said despite the position of the G5, the main opposition party will win the election.
But he admitted that there is a need to resolve the feud between the groups as elements in the party cannot be enemies to themselves.
He stated: “Yes, in spite of the position, their opposition of the five Governors, PDP will still win. Why do I say so, elections are not going to be heard tomorrow, we are still talking, the window is still open and our message is that of diplomacy, with reconciliation we are stronger.
“We may have issues at the party but our eyes are on the ball. That is our focus, our opponents are not in PDP, they are outside PDP, there are APC and that is our target.
“We are talking, Rivers will vote for PDP, Rivers has been PDP since 1999 and the Governor cannot just throw away the history because of issues that can be resolved. PDP will win in Benue, Rivers, we are targeting 25 states. We cannot rule out Benue, Oyo or Rivers, 25 is more than what the PDP currently controls. So PDP is winning a minimum of 25 states out of 36.”
On the statement by Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom’s statement to the effect that the state would not support the presidential candidate of the party because of his Fulani ethnic background, the party boss remarked that PDP leaders in the state have a different opinion.
He said: “Before the governor spoke former governor Gabriel Suswam who represents voters in Zone A spoke. In Zone C, where David Mark comes from, the Senator there also spoke. So, Zone A and C are for the presidential candidate. That is two against one.
“In the zone in contention where the Governor comes from, the Chairman is also from there. So, it is two against one. So, the PDP is ready to go.”
He further stated: “The coming election is for PDP to lose. This is our election to lose. Everything is in favour of the PDP and there are five reasons why the party will win the Election.
“The candidate’s experience, his preparation and network across the country. The hand of destiny and providence in the life of our candidate Atiku Abubakar. The political history also favours Atiku and also there is the APC’s legacy of shame.
PDP Targets 25 States In 2023, Vows To Win Benue, Oyo and Rivers Despite Party’s Crisis
“Whether it is Oyo, Kano, Kaduna, or Edo, it is all about Atiku. You can gauge the mood of the country, everybody is ready for the PDP. People will reject the APC and say they want a better deal. PDP is good to go.
“Nigerians will say no to continuity of insecurity, poverty, hunger. They will vote for a better deal that Atiku represents.
Meanwhile, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation has said that the presidential flagbearer will never avoid any opportunity to explain his rescue plans for the country.
Speaking on Arise Television’s “News Day” on Tuesday, spokesman of the campaign, Charles Aniagwu, said while other candidates may be shying away from engaging Nigerians on the issues that bother the nation, Atiku and PDP hierarchy are mindful of the need to tell Nigerians what it intends to do to take Nigeria out of “the abyss orchestrated by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
On Atiku’s absence at the townhall series organized by Arise News in collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Sunday, the spokesman said Atiku was already outside the country on a scheduled visit and had to seek the permission of the organisers to allow his running mate, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa represent him.
He said a town hall meeting is different from a presidential debate and urged Nigerians to understand that when it comes to a presidential debate, the PDP Presidential Candidate will definitely be available for that purpose.
The spokesman said: “Our party was also communicated to like other parties and you do know that our candidate has never shied away from interfacing with Nigerians which is why we are the only party at the moment that has been very busy with campaigns across the length and breadth of this country.
“You will also recall that he has held several interfaces through different fora like the LCCI, which the APC candidate refused to attend.
“We were also in Kaduna for the Arewa, Enugu for the South East and Ibadan for the South West, and many other interfaces including the youths, so Atiku will never shy away from such engagements because he is very clear on what he wants to do in line with his ‘Covenant with Nigerians’.
“But in the case of this particular town hall meeting, you will recall that our presidential candidate travelled to the United States to have engagement with stakeholders as it affects our desire to start off work by the grace of God when elected from day one.”
He said the interface centred on how to impress upon the US and other developed countries to support Nigeria legitimately for the purpose of having a very credible and fair election.
Aniagwu added: “The need for them to also have a buy-in in our own desire to recover our economy from where it is at the moment, the need to rejig our education system from the challenges we are encountering at the moment and the need to deal with the issue of insecurity which has continued to threaten our nationhood to its foundation.
“Atiku also travelled to Morocco for another scheduled meeting and when we planned all these, we never knew we were going to be invited to this programme but when they wrote, we accepted as a political party, we were much willing but it happened that he was not in the country.
“But because of the respect we have for Nigerians and those who organised the event, it became very obvious that we needed to send a representation and the Supreme Court was very clear when they said the President and the Vice are like ‘Siamese twins’
“The Constitution made it clear that your candidacy cannot be valid until you have a running mate and beyond that, we also got back to the organisers to explain the situation to them and they obliged us to send his vice, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa to represent him.
“The programme was not a debate but an interface with Nigerians, so if any political party is shying away from reaching out to Nigerians because they felt they didn’t carry the day in the course of that interface with Nigerians so be it.
“But for us as a party, at any given time we are invited to reach out to Nigerians that we aspire to lead we will take advantage of that particular invitation.
“As a political party that has respect for Nigerians we will want to take advantage of such invitations but when the principal is not available due to other pressing engagements, the best thing to do is to send his Vice who is equally capable of addressing Nigerians on the issues,” he stated.
He said Okowa was not only able to give a good account of himself but was very clear on how the PDP intends to bring Nigeria out from where it is at the moment, adding: “Okowa understands the issues because the majority of the challenges we have now are issues that are supposed to be dealt with by the police but because they lack the numbers that are why the military is overstretched.
“The PDP is the only party that is proposing multi-level policing to tackle the issue of insecurity in the country. We plan to have police at the Federal level, states and local governments and that is the only way to address the security challenges bedevilling the country.”