Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has called on leaders and stakeholders of the party to reflect on prevailing challenges and come up with strategies that will enable the PDP to take its dominant place once again.
Atiku gave the charge in Abuja on Thursday at a reception organised for returning and newly-elected governors on the platform of the party.
At the event were newly-elected governors of Delta State, Sheriff Oborevwori, his Plateau and Zamfara States counterparts, Caleb Mutfwang and Dauda Lawal; Taraba State governor-elect, Agbu Kefas as well as Peter Mbah of Enugu State.
The Rivers State governor-elect, Simi Fubara, was absent.
Also, Governors of the PDP opposed to Atiku’s ambition, under the umbrella of G-5 Governors, boycotted the event.
The G-5 governors are Nyesom Wike of Rives State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Samuel Ortom of Benue State; Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; and Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
None of the five governors sent a representative to the well-attended event or word explaining their absence.
Speaking at the event, Atiku said, “We have a number of challenges.We started as a dominant political party in 1999, but since then, we have been receding. It is time to take stock and find out why we are receding and how we can make sure that our position as the leading political party in the country can be regained.
“This is a very important challenge that requires a whole day seminar so that we can as a party regain our eminent position in the country,” Atiku said.
The former Vice President also urged party leaders and members alike to be hopeful of the favourable outcome in the presidential election petition saying, “We all know that the PDP did not lose the last election. We should be determined and focus on retrieving our mandate that has been stolen.”
Earlier in his opening address, PDP’s acting National Chairman, Umar Damagum, said Nigerians are resolute in seeing justice done to the petition filed by the PDP at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
“The only solution for the common man is to have a just adjudication in the election petition,” he said.
He stressed that issues affecting the party were being addressed by the National Working Committee.
Also speaking, a former Vice President and chairman of the occasion, Namadi Sambo, called for togetherness, lamenting the ill-treatment being meted out to some PDP members, particularly in his home state of Kaduna.
“What is happening in some states today is very unfortunate. What is happening in Kaduna State today where people are being suspended from the party without due process, is worrisome.
“I want to seize this opportunity to publicly ask the acting National Chairman to look into what is happening in Kaduna State, because all the ingredients for trouble and problem in the party are taking place,” he said.
The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, described the event as “a moment of joy; a moment for learning and support,” adding that “the mandate freely given to our party and candidate will be restored by the court.”
Speaking on the theme,” Good governance at the sub-national level: Issues, perspectives, expectations and outcomes,” the keynote speaker, Mudal Lawal, tasked the returning and governors-elect to put emphasis on performance management, fiscal performance indicators, fiscal resilience and devolution of powers.