The 90th meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) meeting in Abuja on Thursday protested against the policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which the party believes are inimical to the development of the country. This is as Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, told the NEC members that the attempt to gag social media will be fought “with the last drop of our blood.” and “will not see the light of the day.”
Prompted by the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, NEC members displayed banners with various inscriptions condemning specific actions of the government.
Some of the posters read: “#Stop borrowing, #Stop mortgaging our future, #Account for borrowed Funds, #Stop the Persecution of #Endsars Youth Protesters, #Respect Nigeria Youths, #Give Nigeria Youths a Voice, and # No to censoring of social media.”
Secondus reported to the meeting that the country is in bad shape and appears to be in autopilot as he observed that nobody seems to be in charge.
He also noted that the youth of the country have been badly treated by the administration, promising that the PDP will give the Nigerian young people pride of place in the country.
He stated: “As I conclude this address Your Excellences, leaders of our great party, may I report to you that our beloved country is in a very bad shape, the populace are groaning in pain and the government response to this is heaping further pains on them.
“This country is sliding into bankruptcy but the government is instead embarking in endless borrowing with no accountability on the already borrowed ones.
“The Federal Government themselves just reported last week that 428 agencies would not be able to pay salaries this November because of underfunding.
“NEC may therefore wish to join other voices in charging the APC Federal Government to (show the cards).
“Indeed, this APC administration has not treated our youths fairly. This APC government branded them lazy, used them and then victimised them.
“Issues that have to do with the development of our youths have been relegated to the background. The gains achieved by our youthful population in every sector of life under PDP have all been destroyed by the APC which is doing everything to frustrate youthful attainments.
“We must as a party, therefore, work hard to ensure that the Nigerian youths are once again, given a voice in our country.
“Our party will as a matter of policy restore the hope of our youths. We hereby invite the Nigeria youths to avail themselves of the ample opportunity in our party to participate in the political process ahead of the 2023 election.
“At the last count Nigeria’s debt profile is showing over N31 trillion, a lot of it misappropriated.
While borrowing in economics is not bad, it depends on what the borrowed resources are being channelled for.
“With the unprecedented corruption in the system under APC watch, it would be difficult to see this borrowed funds properly deployed.
“Amidst the frightening insecurity in the country accompanied by mass killings that has set fears on the people, what you get from the government is multiple tariffs – electricity, VAT, fuel hike and more, with its operatives indulging in lies and propaganda.
“The worrisome situation here is that Nigerians do not really know who is in charge in the country today. It appears that governance in our country today is in autopilot with agencies and operatives in a free world harassing and intimidating perceived enemies.”
Speaking on the defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Secondus said the exit of the governor has not affected its strength in the state and the South-East.
The party boss pointed out that all members of the PDP in the National Assembly remain in the party, informing that a report available to him affirmed that many Ebonyi State government officials have resigned from their posts because they are unwilling to join Umahi in the APC.
He added: “Your excellencies, you must have read the eventual defection of PDP governor in Ebonyi State, His excellency Dave Umahi to the ruling APC on Tuesday and his provocative reason of allegation injustice against South-East by the party.
“We have refused to join issues with him in any way, but we cannot bow to any blackmail. What I can report to the NEC is that the strength of our party in Ebonyi State and South East is intact and the NWC has taken necessary steps to protect and guard it. The real season that informed this decision will soon be exposed.”
Recall that before announcing his defection from the party, Umahi had made some demands of the PDP including a commitment to zone the 2023 presidential ticket of the party to the South-East.
Speaking on the Federal Government’s move to curtail social media, Secondus warned that it will come with consequences for the country.
He said while some regulation may be necessary as it is done elsewhere in the world, censorship will discourage other countries from doing business with Nigeria.
He also observed that such moves will adversely affect the youth of the country who will be denied their rightful place in the country.
Also speaking, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, told the NEC members that the opposition in the National Assembly will resist the passage of anti-social media law in the parliament.
He stated: “The voice of the opposition is actually in the Parliament. So. we shall try to do the needful,” adding “the attempt to gag each and every one of us by the government talking about the media, I can assure you that we shall fight with the last drop of our blood and that attempted legislation will not see the light of the day.
“We are also going to ensure that in the electoral act that we are tampering with now, we will be putting all the safeguards and ensure that our vote will always count.”
He appealed to the PDP to ensure party discipline as it works towards the 2023 elections.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, observed that the presence of all PDP governors at the meeting was a statement of intent, saying that they remain committed to the unity of the party.
He said: “This is a clear statement from all of us, the 15 governors of PDP working together for the unity and stability and strengthening of our party. We are individually committed to good governance, providing leadership in our respective states, continue to make our party proud, to continue to make our electorate proud and we are repositioning our party for the future with the last drop of our blood.
“We remain committed party members and we shall continue to work with the National Working Committee, the BoT for our party to continue to grow in strength and wax stronger and stronger.
“We have been bonding together, we have been working together, if not for COVID-19, you could have seen our series of meetings but we have had several virtual meetings in the past especially during the period of lockdown.
“Very soon we are going to show our strength that we are still united in PDP.”
Thirteen governors and two deputy governors attended the meeting.
The are Tambuwal (Sokoto), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Darius Ishaku (Taraba), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Godwin Obaseki (Edo), Samuel Ortom (Benue), And Duoye Diri (Bayelsa).
Zamfara and Enugu states were represented by their deputy governors.
Other party chieftains in attendance are former Senate presidents Iorchia Ayu, David Mark, Ayim Pius Ayim, and Abubakar Saraki; former deputy Senate presidents Ibrahim Mantu and Ike Ekweremadu, former governors Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Emeka Ihedioha, Ibrahim Shema, Sam Egwu; Chief Tom Ikimi, Iyom Josephine Anenih.