ABUJA – Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio has disclosed that the party’s target in the forthcoming 2015 general elections is to reclaim up to two-thirds of the states of the federation as it had when it started in 1999.
He said the strategy in this regard had been frantic effort by the party to deepen its internal democracy and ensure that the best candidates are allowed to emerge in the primaries the way it happened in Ekiti State.
Akpabio gave the hint in the early hours of yesterday morning after a meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan, PDP governors and members of the House of Representatives under the party platform.
Noting that the PDP governor’s were present when the House of Representatives Caucus endorsed the president, the governor, however, declined to comment further, saying “I do not want to pre-empt the action of PDP Governors, but I can attest to their loyalty and their commitment to the success of Mr. President come 2015.”
Hinting on the party’s strategy to reclaim two third of the states of the federation, Apkabio said, “If we are able to carry out proper internal democracy and bring out the most popular candidates, then the main election will be less rancorous and of course the party will sail through with a view to getting up two-thirds of the states of the federation as it was when we started in 1999.
“When I came in, there was a period that PDP had up to 29 governors. In 2011, we still had up to 25 governors and then of course some governors tried to decamp to other political parties which they are at liberty to do, because this is democracy, but we are gaining more, now we have at least 19 governors with the coming of Ekiti State and we also have three deputy governors who are still with us – those of Sokoto, Adamawa and Nasarawa.
“That brings our number to about 22, so if we shoot to 28 it is not too bad in the 2015 elections, so it was an appraisal and for us to use that opportunity as PDP governors to congratulate the party leader on the very successful election that was held in Ekiti State which was very free and fair and applauded by the international community and all Nigerians to a point where even the candidate of the opposition announced that yes indeed this was a victory well deserved and there was no need to contest such a victory in court”.
Noting that the PDP will take over Osun State in the August 9 governorship poll, he said, “That is the kind of thing we would like to see and Mr President has entrenched true democracy in Nigeria and this has happened in Edo State, it has happened in Ondo State and it has happened now in Ekiti State, and it will happen in August in Osun State.
“And for me as a Chairman of PDP Governors in Nigeria my hope and prayer is that God should increase our numbers and make us to have majority of governors in the country, because PDP is the only true national party in Nigeria.”
On the endorsement of President Jonathan for 2015 presidency by the House of Reps, Akpabio said, “We did an appraisal of the meeting that we held with the Caucus of the House of Representatives and it was a fantastic meeting and I think it is something that should be done regularly with the party leader, the President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and members of the National Working Committee (NWC) at the national level in attendance together with the governors.
“Of course you are aware that the NASS Caucus met earlier in the day and passed a vote of confidence on Mr. President, the Vice President and the national leadership of the party and in turn, they also urged Mr. President to step forward and contest for the 2015 presidential election, in other words, they are urging him to go forward and re-contest for a second term in office.
“We were witnesses when that resolution was taken and, of course, they also pledged their unflinching support to the leadership of Mr. President and then congratulated him for being able to pass through times despite the distractions as a result of the insecurity situation in some parts of the country.