Over 3,000 delegates from across the country are expected to converge in Abuja on Saturday for the non-elective national convention of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It is the first of such gathering since the party survived a protracted leadership crisis only recently brought to an end by the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) led by Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi.
The convention has as its main agenda the extension of the NCC’s tenure to enable it to execute an elective national convention as well as approving a number of proposed amendments to its constitution.
The Eagle Square, Abuja venue of the event is already wearing a new look with the necessary dais mounted along with other venue decorations.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, confirmed at a world press conference in Abuja on Friday that over 3,000 delegates would attend the convention.
He said the various committees had completed their work and the party was ready to celebrate its survival.
Adeyeye said: “Tomorrow (Saturday) by the grace of God, it’s going to be a carnival-like atmosphere the “PDP members are coming to Abuja to celebrate, to tell Nigerians that this party has been reawakened and the party is poised not only to challenge for power but again, to begin a new era of good governance come 2019.
“Our members have started arriving from various states of the federation and we are expecting over 3,000 delegates and all the foreign missions and international observers have been invited.”
He added: “And we have every cause to celebrate. God took us out of a major crisis that almost killed the party.
“The significance of the Supreme Court judgment is not really appreciated by so many people. If that decision had been otherwise, we would not have been here today. There may been no PDP at all as we know it.
“But we give glory to God that with that judgment, the PDP has been given a new lifeline and we believe that we will use that opportunity to reposition the party to do better even better than when we were in government.
“So, we have every cause to celebrate and this is the convention of every member of this party and even Nigerians because Nigerians rejoiced with us when we won at the Supreme Court.
“They remember with nostalgia the good era of PDP when we were in power. They now compare that with the suffering they are going through now and Nigerians are yearning for a return of PDP government to power.”
According to the party spokesman, Nigeria has been plunged into its worst era economically by the All Progressive Congress (APC) which he said had reversed the achievements of the PDP.
He observed that the Nigeria economy which was rated the largest in Africa had nearly collapsed under the APC.
Similarly, he noted that the PDP government was able to conduct the general election in every local government area in the north east in 2015 because it was virtually able to defeat Boko Haram in the area.
But now, he alleged, the insurgents have regrouped in the region, committing more atrocities while kidnapping has spread to all parts of the country as according to him, the APC government has relaxed.
On the war against corruption, the PDP spokesman observed that the APC was using the anti-corruption agencies established by the PDP as the ruling party was yet to pass any anti-graft legislation of its own.
He argued that if the PDP was not fighting corruption, there would have been no need or set up the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the independent Corrupt Practices and related Offenses Commission (ICPC).
“Nigerians, please, don’t let the APC continue to fool us. They think we all suffer from memory loss. This is the truth,” he said.
He added: “The anti-corruption fight is nothing more than a witch hunt of the opposition, just a mean to intimidate, harass and subjugate the opposition. That’s all.
“Today, if you are under any suspicion, all you need to do is to cross over to the APC and all yours sins are forgiven,” PDP declared.