Communiqué Issued At The End Of One-Day PDP National Conference Held at ThisDay Dome, Abuja On Thursday, November 12, 2015
In keeping with Article 33 (5, 8) of the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the National Working Committee (NWC), acting on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) formally authorized the convening of a Special National Party Conference.
The Conference was held at the ThisDay Dome, Abuja on Thursday, 12th of November, 2015.
The Conference was attended by Party leaders and key stakeholders including, founding members of the Party, serving and former elected and appointed officers on the platform of the party at all levels as well as youth and women leaders across the country.
The objectives of the Conference include;
To take stock of the party’s performance at the 2015 Presidential and general elections.
To reflect on the future of the party with a view to providing better options for the Nigerian electorate.
The theme of the Conference was “PDP and the Sustenance of Democratic Ideals In Nigeria”
Key resource persons at the Conference include
1. Prof. ABC Nwosu
2. Amb. Mrs. Nkoyo Toyo
3. Kabiru Tanimu Turaki. SAN
4. Prof. Dakas J Dakas
The Conference observed as follows:
Whereas the PDP was established to:
Restore democracy and rule of law in Nigeria and usher in the Third Republic
Reaffirm that federalism bequeathed to us by the founding fathers of the country remains the only acceptable form of government in Nigeria.
Accelerate National development, protect the basic freedoms and fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens,
The Conference noted the selfless contributions of the Party in the struggle to enthrone democratic governance as well as strengthening the framework for sustainable democracy in the last 16 years.
The Conference noted:
That the PDP inherited an authoritarian polity, a pariah state with mono-cultural economy heavily dependent on oil, which was selling at the lowest level at the international market,
A huge foreign debt overhang,
Decaying national infrastructure and low national morale among other national challenges,
The Conference noted that the country’s unprecedented 16 years of sustained democratic governance under the PDP, which was characterized by unhindered personal freedom, respect for rule of law and absence of political prisoners, liberalization of the political space, Freedom of Information Act, which gave rise to good and accountable governance, as well as transparent and accountable electoral process which led to credible, free and fair elections in the country.
Conference further noted that in spite of the prevailing difficult circumstances in the country, successive PDP governments at various levels assiduously and effectively implemented progressive people oriented development policies. Highlights of these include:
Development of institutional framework to fight corruption and corrupt practices in the country. The ICPC and EFCC are evidences of these patriotic efforts.
Unprecedented revolution in the communication sector, which propelled Nigeria to the 21st century.
Negotiating and effecting an $18 billion foreign debt write-off.
Establishing the Excess Crude Account and Sovereign Wealth Fund for future generations of Nigerians thereby making the future more secure.
Unprecedented infrastructural development in all sectors of the economy.
Stabilizing the Nigerian banking sector during the period of global economic meltdown when banks in developed economies were collapsing.
Increased access to quality education at all levels to Nigerian youths.
Enhancement of the capacity of Nigerian farmers through easy access to farming inputs and direct financial support for higher productivity.
Formulation and implementation of strategic policies which strengthened the national health system as manifested in the increase in life expectancy, decline in maternal and infant mortality and containment of life threatening diseases such as polio, HIV and AIDS and of course the Ebola virus disease, among others.
Growing the Nigerian economy to the status of the largest in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world.
Against the backdrop of the foregoing, notwithstanding the reversal of role in governance at the center, and now as the main opposition Party in Nigeria, participants noted that the PDP remains the only credible national political institution, committed to national interest and the deepening of democratic tenets and ideals in Nigeria.
In order to sustain these ideals in the face of diminishing quality of democratic governance under the increasingly fascist APC regime, the conference resolved as follows:
That the PDP at all levels shall continue to ensure credible, robust and issue-based opposition, while promoting harmonious relationship among all people and ensuring that citizens’ confidence in democracy does not wane.
Conscious of the imperative of a quick PDP rebound, the Conference called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the PDP Post Election Review Committee Report, especially those relating to zoning, internal democracy, e-registration and the restructuring of the party at all levels with a view to giving the Party back to the rightful owners – the people.
Condemned in strongest terms the growing authoritarianism of the APC-led Federal Government which has been characterized by gross violation of human rights, constitutional infractions, invasion of a governor’s lodge and private homes, deliberate interference and instigation of crisis in the legislature, arm-twisting of the judiciary, undermining of democratic institutions like INEC, nepotism in appointments, abuse of power and clamp down on opposition elements.
Noted the sudden decline in the economy and quality of life of Nigerians, occasioned by the lack of direction of the APC government, in addition to the growing tension and rancour in the polity as direct consequences of the divisive tendencies of the present administration.
Denounced the prevailing selective application in the fight against corruption targeted at opposition elements and perceived opponents of the regime, while APC members with corruption charges are being rewarded with ministerial positions and other juicy appointments as well as APC tickets in the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Vehemently rejected the current manipulation of the judiciary and security forces by the APC-led Federal Government in its desperate bid to subvert the sovereign will of the people and forcefully take over states genuinely won by the PDP in the last general elections and ultimately impose a one-party state in Nigeria.
Charged the new INEC leadership to assert the independence of the electoral body, resist all external influences and ensure free, fair and credible electoral process in Kogi and Bayelsa states and other future elections, as the PDP will NOT ACCEPT any results that do not reflect the true wishes and aspirations of the people, particularly in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Resolved to further expand the inclusion and the role of youths in Party programmes and policies, and take steps to guarantee representation in Party organs, develop roadmap for a vibrant youth participation and support concession for electoral contests.
Unanimously commended the tenacity, commitment and dedication of the National Working Committee for rising to the challenge and holding forth at the most trying period in the history of our Party.
Appreciated members of the National Executive Committee (NEC), the Board of Trustees (BoT), PDP Governors Forum, PDP Caucus in the National Assembly as well as other elected and appointed officers on the platform of the Party at all levels for their loyalty, commitment and unqualified selfless support to keep the flag of the Party flying in spite of the inclement political environment imposed by the fascist APC regime.
Called on all organs of the Party to commence preparations for the National Convention scheduled for March 2016 and prior to that, Congresses at the Zonal, State, Local Government and Ward levels of the Party.
Called on the international community to note the growing impunity, abuse of power, constitution infractions, violation of human rights, selective war against corruption, clamp down on the opposition, divisiveness and overall high-handedness; tendencies that pose great threat to our democracy and unity as a nation.
Prof. Adewale Oladipo