Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State says Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the return of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, as the ruling party at the centre come 2019.
Emmanuel says no other political party has been able to significantly touch the lives of Nigerians and Akwa Ibom people in the last 18 years.
Addressing PDP faithfuls during a New Year Get Together gathering of the party in Uyo on Tuesday, Emmanuel said though constantly blamed for the woes befalling the nation, PDP left Nigeria far better than it is today.
Citing instances, the Governor said a bag of rice, which was sold at N6,000 when PDP left power in 2015 now goes for N18,000; Toyota Corolla car has skyrocketed from N3.5 million to N20 million, and Naira to a dollar from N186/N188 to N350.
“There is nothing any other party can do for Akwa Ibom people. People keep saying that PDP government destroyed Nigeria, but they inherited rice at N6,000 and now its N18,000, Toyota Corolla N3.5 million, now over N20 million and exchange rate N186/N188, now its over N350 to $1.
“Nigerians are eagerly awaiting PDP’s return in 2019. Our problem is that we don’t know what we have until we lose it. Many who may be condemning PDP today, have the party’s membership card in their pockets, because they can’t risk going over to other parties,” hesaid.
While applauding the state party leadership for returning the party to the people by upholding the zoning arrangement during the last local government election, Gov Emmanuel said the approach has also restored peace to the party even down to the chapter and ward levels.
“I promised to take the party back to the people, that was why the local government election was participatory. There is no party in this country that promotes grassroots mobilization as PDP,” he said.
He alerted party faithfuls in the state that political activities ahead of the 2019 general elections have started and called on all to maintain peace with each other, respect zoning arrangements to avoid unnecessary wastages.
“Let there be no acrimony between brothers because political offices will come and go but your brother is your brother. My intention is to make election very cheap for everyone; that was why we insisted on zoning during the local government election, so that those unlikely to emerge would not spend unnecessarily.
Please let’s not make it too expensive; let us not play into the hands of those outsiders. I will not violate what you have as zoning structure, but they can be streamlined,” he assured.
Gov Emmanuel advised all PDP members to ensure voter registration; he also tasked local government chairmen and other political office holders to assist those in the riverine areas to register by taking materials closer to them.
He announced a donation of 31 buses for the 31 local government chapters of the party.
In his earlier remarks at the gathering, the PDP State Chairman, Mr Paul Ekpo, said no other political party has been able to overpower the PDP in the last 18 years both within the state and the nation in general.
Ekpo, who is the Chairman of PDP Chairmen in Nigeria, applauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for aiding mobility of the party through donation of 31 utility buses, and tasked members to work harder to win all political seats as the 2019 election year approaches.
“We would not win by sitting down at home, we’ll win by hard work,” he said.