PDP Will Remain At The Forefront Of Leadership By Example

PDP Will Remain At The Forefront Of Leadership By Example
December 09 20:30 2017 Print This Article
ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN, GCFR,
PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (2010-2015)
AT THE NATIONAL CONVENTION OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) ON
SATURDAY, 9th DECEMBER, 2017, ABUJA
PROTOCOLS
I am delighted to be here today at the National Convention of our
great party – the Peoples Democratic Party.
Let me start by commending members of our great party across the
country and those committed members in the Diaspora, for their
hardwork, commitment and passion towards building our party.
I commend also the outgoing Caretaker Committee members led by Senator
Ahmed Makarfi, for their leadership and doggedness in steadying and
steering the craft of our party to a solid footing. Let me on behalf
of you all, offer our sincere appreciation to them for providing
energetic and purposeful leadership at a very critical period in our
party’s history. We salute their courage and dedication.
I also appreciate our relentless Governors, the Board of Trustees,
National Assembly caucuses, former Governors, the ex-Ministers’ Forum,
our teeming youths and women. I commend all of you for your
steadfastness and immeasurable contributions to the sustenance of this
great party.
I thank the Convention Planning Committee members, led by Delta State
Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, for their determination in putting
together this wonderful Convention. I also congratulate all our
delegates for their commitment and thank God for their successful trip
to the convention.
I wish to also pay tribute to the founding fathers of the PDP and all
those who have laboured so hard over the years to restore peace in our
party and in our nation.
Let me also use this opportunity to express my grief over the passing
on of former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme who was a founding
member of our party. I also note with sadness the kidnap of the
Plateau State chairman of our party, Damishi Sango, who I understand,
was abducted alongside two others, on his way to Abuja to attend this
convention. I urge the police to ensure their release and the freedom
for all others who are being held in captivity, by the perpetrators of
this unspeakable crime.
As Nigeria’s foremost and largest political party, I believe that the
PDP will remain at the forefront of leadership by example.  And I urge
all members to remain committed, and to be prepared to work for the
interest of our party and the country.
Over the years, PDP has remained focused and resilient in building a
strong democratic culture, despite the challenges we had faced. We
have struggled to steady the ship and have regained enough composure
to effectively become a strong voice of opposition, and resume the
contest to return to office.
There is no doubt that the PDP has again become the reference point as
the nation moves close to another election season. Even those who had
earlier written us off, can now attest to the fact that we have become
resolute in growing our spread and strength. Many who left are already
returning to our fold. Like a loving father, PDP is welcoming them all
back with open arms.  We are one family, and what we feel is that
satisfying sensation and renewed trust that follow family reunions.
We should not forget that ours is a party with an enviable history and
good records. Democracy is built on a tradition of established parties
and principles. We have given Nigeria’s democracy a good push because
we have been consistent in standing on our grounds and upholding our
name, for almost two decades. We have never changed our name or our
identity since the return of democracy in 1999.
We should always celebrate the fact that the PDP introduced key
policies that improved governance, enhanced welfare, boosted and
stabilized the economy of our great country, and above all, gave our
people hope.
It is worth noting that this particular convention, by the number of
candidates and robustness of the campaigns, has been remarkably
different from our past conventions. The campaigns have set new
records in our democracy.
It was quite refreshing, exciting and commendable, the way candidates
for various positions, toured all the states, to sell their promises
to our members. Those campaigns shone like a burning flame that lit up
the entire country, attracting the interest of majority of Nigerians.
This shows that our party, the PDP, remains quite vibrant and viable.
It shows that Nigerians still look up to the PDP as that strong party
with a divine role to play in the affairs of our nation.
It is true that in all elections, some people will emerge triumphant.
However, for us in the PDP, today’s convention will not produce
winners and losers, because all those who are contesting are all
eminently qualified for their positions of choice, and we are proud of
them.
The reality is that some of them will emerge through this process as
new leaders of the party. The new leaders are required to join hands
with all others to strengthen and unite our great party, by always
placing party interest above personal ambition.
I wish to remind all of us that as politicians, we are bound to have
differences. It is important we manage our differences responsibly,
with an eye on the larger interest, for our party and nation.  I
believe that after this convention, we will awaken the trust of
Nigerians to return our party to its position of glory, take back
power and lead the country to greatness, one more time.
We enjoin those who will henceforth be entrusted with the mantle of
leadership to work hard to reposition our party for the pressing tasks
ahead. We must continue to promote the tenets of free, fair and
credible elections.
At the end of this Convention, I expect a stronger, more disciplined,
more focused and more cohesive PDP; a PDP that will continue to
organise free and fair elections to lead the way in internal
democracy, a PDP that will be known for the high ethical standards of
its members, a PDP that will remain a united family and a PDP that we
can all be proud of.
All the efforts we have put into this Convention will only be
meaningful if we continue to conduct ourselves in the most democratic
manner, as well as, respect and support the results of the elections
and the leaders that have emerged.
As I conclude this address, let me specially congratulate in advance
everyone who will be at the apex of our party’s leadership for the
next four years.
While I congratulate all delegates to this convention, I urge you to
go back to your respective wards, communities and states to promote
the ideals of our great party. Let it be known that our party has been
born anew, committed to the best values of democracy.
Let it be known, in all nooks and crannies of our country, that the
PDP is back to reclaim its rightful place in the affairs of our
nation. As we have always done, we are ready to return Nigeria to the
path of steady and robust economic growth, driven by sound sectoral
reforms, infrastructural renewal, gender balance, youth
entrepreneurial development and job creation
Finally, I wish you all successful deliberations at this convention.
God bless the People’s Democratic Party!
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
I thank you all.
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