Let me begin by saying that in the contest that has just been concluded for the national leadership of our great Party, the Peoples Democratic Party, we are all winners. There are no losers.
There are no losers because even at a time of great national distress and travails such as we are passing through now, the PDP has through the series of Ward, Local Government, State, Zonal Congresses and this Convention demonstrated magnanimity, generosity of spirit, oneness and that it can overcome its problems. We have posted, a clear, loud and bold statement that the future of our country as a democracy is bright; that our differences can be dissolved into a block of solidarity under the banner of freedom and that all can be protected under the umbrella, our Party’s Emblem.
Fellow compatriots, may I crave your indulgences to place on record that for me, the outcome of this convention is not a personal victory. It is rather a validation of my long held belief in democracy and that we can only build a great Nigerian nation based on a consensus of our collective destiny as one people, under one God, though our modes of worship may differ.
Indeed, today is a great day for our Party, the PDP and even a greater day for our country, Nigeria which since the return of democracy in 1999, entrusted its destiny in the leadership of our Party. We must therefore, always be concious of the enormous political responsibility our dominance of Nigerian politics since the restoration of civil rule 13 years ago, places on us. Our Party in government at the Federal, State and Local Government levels face huge governance challenges that require vigorous debate and discussion of policy options to tackle our problems of poverty and national development.
In our 51 years of existence as a nation, incessant sectarian strife and tense relations between our peoples have continued to re-occur. Without peace, we cannot live, and cannot make progress. We are all part and parcel of the country, Nigeria. We cannot wish away our neighbours. This is a basic truth all of us must understand for our corporate wellbeing. When we share a common goal and a common dream, nothing is impossible. When we forge an agreement based on compromise and mutual respect, nothing is impossible.
As we savour the great achievement of this day, let us not lose sight of our problems. Let us not forget that the principal objective of the Peoples Democratic Party is to be a vehicle that would guarantee social justice, equity, divideds of democracy, good governance to the people of Nigeria; and not just to a few. We should be honest enough to tell ourselves the truth. Our Party is not perfect; ditto our politics and our political culture.
There are problems of constant engagement through dialogue over policies, strategy and tactics; problems of openness, inclusivity, fairness and fair play; problems of respect for the Constitution, Rules and Laws of Nigeria, seperation of powers, checks and balance; problems of internal democracy.
We cannot reposition our Party and prime it for the task ahead, unless these issues and challenges are effectively addressed.
We have to restore the integrity of our programmes and policies as enunciated in our Party Manifesto. We need to urgently bring our ideas and policies as a Party in line with the realities of a fast changing world. We must modernize our operations as an enlightened organization. As an engine of democracy, the Party must itself be efficient and up to date in its internal management. The Party would not be taken seriously, if we appear disorganized and confused. Also, the governements that the Party produces at various levels will not be convincing. It therefore follows that the relationship between the Party as a Party and the Party-in-Government requires clearer definition. We must avoid a situation in which the Party finds itself at cross-purposes with the government that it brought into being.
At the level of values, our Party carries a great burden because political power or actualization of individual political ambitions. The change of orientation is a function of political parties just as political parties are platforms for vigorious debate on the direction governments lead a nation. We cannot continue to decry the decay in our larger society if we as a Party are not ready to lead by example.
As a mass movement, which was the cardinal principle of PDP at birth, we must be in the forefront of the effort to enthrone the culture of doing things properly in the right way. Corruption today is so pervasive and everywhere, that it is a way of life of Nigerians. We must combat corruption vigorously, because it is negatively affecting positive governance.
As we fine-tune our internal democracy, so also must we work on Party discipline; guided by clearly defined principles. These principles must place priority on national unity, national development, the pursuit of a stable political order and social peace, under the rule of law.
Therefore, as we celebrate the achievements of this day, let us brace up for the tasks ahead. Let us join hands across regions, across faith, across generation and across tendencies to build an even greater Party. By so doing, we will be laying the foundations for the emergence of a new Nigeria and a new Africa.
The world is watching. Africa is watching. Nigerians are waiting for their dreams of a better life in a better society under a peaceful nation to be realized.
This is our moment. Let us seize it; not for ourselves, but for all our people. Let us seize it for posterity and for the future greatness of our nation.
Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Mr. Vice President. Thank you Your Excellencies, our elected Governors. Thank you our illustrious members of the National Assembly, the State Assemblies and leaders of Local Governments. Thank you distinguished Party faithful and members from across the length and breadth of our nation. Thank you, friends of Nigeria from the Diplomatic community and others from far away places that have come to grace this occasion and observe our Party re-make itself.
God bless you all.
God bless Nigeria and all its people.
Log live our great Party, the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Alhaji Dr. Bamanga Mohammed Tukur
National Chairman, PDP
March 5, 2013
The attention of the South East Zone of the People's Democratic Party has been drawn to spurious publications in a section of the media alleging unfounded claims of bias against the Hon Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah in the recruitment exercise carried out by some parastatals in her ministry.
The leadership of our great Party in the southeast makes bold to state categorically that this baseless allegation is yet another futile attempt by opposition elements to smear the image of the Minister and denigrate her well earned reputation as a distinguished Nigerian and a worthy assets of our great Party, the PDP.
Princess Oduah, though a proud daughter of the Southeast zone, has proven herself to be a detribalized Nigerian both in her private business and in the discharge of her duties as Minister. The current massive upgrading of airports in all the geopolitical zones in the country bear testimony to this.
We are proud to observe that Princess Oduah's performance in office is a major plank of President Jonathan's transformation agenda.
These sponsored provocative publications are designed by opposition elements who are envious of her sterling performance and who feel threatened by her rising profile as a dedicated minister and exemplary member of our great Party.
For the records, Princess Oduah is not involved directly or indirectly in staff recruitment of any parastatal under her. There is a well established bureaucracy to handle such matters while she concerns herself with the huge task of driving the well applauded reforms in the aviation sector.Read more...
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