… Says PDP is back to reclaim Aso Rock
Obiora Ifoh, Abuja
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has handed a quit notice on the ruling All progressives Congress, APC insisting that the People Democratic Party, PDP is back to reclaim power at the centre.
Speaking at the non elective convention of the party on Saturday, Dr. Jonathan who is now the leader of the party amidst applause said “Let it be known, in all nooks and crannies of our country, that the PDP is back to claim its rightful place in the affairs of the nation. As we have always done, we are ready to return Nigeria to the path of unity, peace and prosperity.”
The former president who said PDP has gained experience in the 16 years of its administration however expressed satisfaction that the crisis in the party was over. He noted that such crisis was not peculiar to PDP.”This because all over the world, any party that loses election at the centre as we did, will first of all, struggle to hold together, before regaining its composure to effectively present the strong voice of the opposition, and resume the contestation to return to office. But we thank God that the worst is over for our party. It is to His grace that we were able to emerge from this unsavoury experience, from which some political parties in other emerging democracies hardly recover, to become even stronger, within a short period of time.
“The PDP is in deed back to reclaim its prime position as the party to lead Nigeria to greatness. As a human institution we cannot claim perfection, but obviously as a political party, our accomplishments as at 2015, far outweigh our shortfalls.”
President Jonathan highlighted some of the achievements of the PDP administration to include the conduct of free and fair general elections in 2011and 2015 and “this wouldn’t have been possible if our Government did not reform the electoral and political process, by giving the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the autonomy it requires, to enable it to conduct free and fair elections.
“On the economic front, we provided focused leadership, through institutional and sectoral reforms which impacted positively on the fundamentals for growth, especially in the last four years of our time in power. The effect was that we tamed inflation at a single digit, maintained price stability, grew the economy to become the largest in Africa with a GDP of over half a trillion US dollars, and the number one foreign direct investment destination on the continent.”
He recalled that in spite of the 2012 flood witnessed in Nigeria with the ravaging of over 50 percent farmland, the government ensured that there was no food scarcity.”If we say that we rekindled hope in our people and regained international goodwill, it is because we pursued a number of policies and programmes that were not only richly rewarding for our people, but were also being copied by many countries across the globe, a few of which I will mention here.
“We can all recall that our agricultural transformation agenda rapidly transformed key agricultural value chains, boosted local production, and created a new generation of young commercial farmers and agriculture entrepreneurs we proudly identified as Nagropreneurs. One very remarkable achievements of the reform we introduced was that it ended decades of fertiliser sector corruption through electronic wallet system. Since then, its success has continued to resonate outside our shores. The programme is not only being scaled up by the African Development Bank, but is already being replicated in close to 20 African countries.”
On fighting corruption, the former president said “Our approach to fighting corruption may not have plugged all the leaks in the system; in fact, no nation has ever been successful in eradicating the cankerworm of corruption. But we went about it in a sustainable and measurable manner, by, among other measures, creating institutional tools like bank verification number (BVN), the treasury single account (TSA) designed to block leakages, as well as the Integrated Payroll and personnel information (IPPIS),
which eliminated tens of thousands of ghost workers, during our time.He said that the achievements in such sectors as roads infrastructure, rail services, communications, public financial management and social services were numerous to recount.
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