Your Excellencies: The former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan GCFR
Your Excellency the former Vice Presidents Atiku Abubakar and Nnamdi Sambo
Your Excellencies the former Senate Presidents, Anyim Pius Anyim and David Mark
His Excellency the Deputy Senate President, Dr Ike Ekweremadu
Your Excellencies the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole and Patricia Ette
Your Excellency, the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Alhaji Ahmad Makarfi
Your Excellency Chairman of the Convention committee Dr Ifeanyi Okowa
His Excellency Chairman of PDP Forum of Governors Chief Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti states
His Excellencies PDP state Governors
His Excellencies Senate and House Minority leaders Senator Godswill Akpabio and Hon. Leo Ogor respectively
Chairman and Members of the BOT
Members of the National Caretaker Committee
Former Governors and Ministers
Former NWC members
State Chairmen of our party
Distinguished Delegates to this convention,
Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
(The time it took the new National Chairman of the PDP to labour through this funny Nigerian protocol part of his speech and “recognize the presence” of these mediocre and non-excellent Excellencies at the convention, America had moved closer to sending a manned mission to Mars; Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and all the other oil economies in the region had moved closer to their dream of moving to a post-oil economy in the 2030s through innovation, human capital development and a greater control of the global knowledge economy; Germany had made improvements to the autobahn and road technology; China, Japan, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore had conquered new territories in science and technology; and the President of Ghana had told Emmanuel Macron of France how he intends to proceed henceforth on the path of dignity for his people. The political leaders of Nigeria have been wasting the time of their people and the rest of the world saluting each other, “recognizing the presence” of each other in this long-winding and indolent verbal format since 1960. Yet, their report card is a nation-space that Wole Soyinka describes as the “open sore of a continent”. Those who have things to do in the 21st century would have stopped at: “Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen”. Period. Nigeria’s political leadership is trapped in the 17th century and has no sense of urgency about anything, hence the nonsense above in Mr. Secondus’ speech.)
On behalf of members of the National Working Committee of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, I dedicate this mandate to the Almighty God who it has pleased to make this convention successful and grant us this opportunity to serve our great party. We give all glory to God and we commit PDP into his hands.
(I am a devout Catholic. I very nearly went to the seminary to become a Reverend Father. I do not know about other denominations in Nigerian Christendom, especially our folks in prosperity Pentecostalism, but the Christian God I grew up to know in the Roman Catholic Church in Nigeria would not touch anything dedicated to him by members of the political class of ANY PARTY in Nigeria with even the longest pole. You cannot dedicate corruption to God. Stolen funds by Governor Nyesom Wike and Senator Godswill Akpabio made your convention “successful”, not God. If your opponents in APC dedicate any of their own shenanigans and corruption to God, we shall also be here to remind them that God does not own “doty”. You people should carry your doty on your heads and leave God out of it.)
I stand before you this day, humbled by the mandate you just given to my colleagues and I to lead this great party at this time in Nigeria’s political history. We wholeheartedly accept it with extreme gratitude.
(That is your headache and the headache of PDP.)
Eighteen years ago specifically February 14, 1999, this party made history with its first-ever national convention in Jos, Plateau State and since then, has grown to become undisputedly, the largest political party on the African continent. I recall that before that, precisely on the 19th of August, 1998, our founding fathers gathered here in Abuja to give birth to this party whose aims and objectives were patriotic, with lofty and visionary dreams.
(Mr. Secondus, you know, you are not the only Nigerian who was an adult in 1999 and followed your Jos convention very closely. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves that your 2017 convention was even shoddier and far more mediocre than your 1999 convention. Like all things Nigerian, the past is always better than the present because no lessons are ever learnt, no continuity, no improvement on past lapses, nothing. If there is any history you made in 1999, you started this practice of rejecting competence, intellectual solidity, and integrity for money and emptiness. In 1999, you rejected Alex Ekwueme and Phillip Asiodu, the two best brains your party had to offer. They had no money to bribe party leaders and buy delegates. This practice that you started in 1999 has infected every political party in Nigeria ever since – including the unchanging changers in APC.)
By my understanding, the mandate you have given us today is clear and unambiguous. It is to return our party to power come 2019. As Herculean as this mandate seems, I know it’s achievable. My campaign pillars for this election are ‘To Rebuild, Reposition and Regain’. Let me assure you great members and leaders of our party, that by the grace of God and with all hands on deck, the brief tenancy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Aso Rock Villa expires on May 28, 2019. By this, we serve them a quit notice.
(Another Nigerian disease. You want to return to power! No Nigerian is ever serving “in office”. You are always “in power” or “on seat”. This is very telling. I need not belabor it because I have written tons about it. Even the incumbents also see themselves “in power” not “in office”, hence their arrogance and haughty disregard for citizens. Until we somehow repair the psychology of Nigeria’s political elite, they will continue the travesty of imagining themselves “in power” in a democracy.)
This has to be immediate, in order to save our beloved country from disintegration. We are all witnesses to how the unity of this country has been shaken to its very foundation under the watch of the rudderless and clueless APC. We therefore have a gigantic task of retrieving this country from APC’s clear lack of direction and confusion starting with the Presidency. In the words of the 34th President of the United States of America Dwight .D. Eisenhower, “If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power”.
(I agree with your assessment of APC but must note your remarkable blindness to the history of your own party. Don’t you know that confusion and lack of direction is the only thing that your party offered Nigeria for sixteen years? Why are you jealous of APC continuators of your legacy? No be una una? And which political party in Nigeria is not “merely a conspiracy to seize power”? Why do you think that Atiku Abubakar has been doing joro jara joro his entire political life? Is he not playing political kalo kalo to eventually find which conspiracy to seize power could eventually work for him?)
Judging from this, it is crystal clear to all Nigerians, that APC is not a political party, but a body hurriedly assembled to seize power without a clear cut plan for governance.
(You see this one talk. O ri yen so.)
Our party on the other hand, was founded on ideals which are totally in tandem with those of the founding fathers of this great country. Those founding fathers had in mind, a prosperous and lasting democracy as captured in the preamble of our constitution clearly stating their desire for a free and egalitarian society. Even in our perceived failure of 2015, we chose to abide by our strong faith in democracy, willingly conceding power to opposition, thereby elevating the democratic status of Nigeria. We are the true democrats! I can therefore say without an iota of doubt, that PDP’s contributions to the growth and sustenance of democracy in this country in the last 18 years remain unequalled. The best way to celebrate the memories of these founding fathers, is to ensure that the ideals are continuously engaged.
(I hope Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Alvan Ikoku, Anthony Enahoro, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Dennis Osadebay, Joseph Tarka, Aminu Kano and others will find it in their hearts to forgive you for daring to attach PDP to the coattails of their work and vision. No political party in Nigeria, no political group since 1999 deserves the honour of being filially traced to these remarkable Nigerians. You people will just sit down in Abuja and be embezzling Nigeria’s history in broad daylight.)
At this juncture great PDP leaders and members here present, let us stand and observe a minute silent for our fallen heroes one of whom is our pioneer National Chairman and former Vice President of this country Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme GCON who passed on recently
With your mandate I assure you, that all necessary steps will be taken to avoid a repeat of our past mistakes. Indeed we have learnt our lessons and by this convention, we are now set to forge a new path for our great party and Nigeria. Under my watch, internal democracy will be strictly adhered to with a deliberate policy to return ‘real’ power to the people. No more imposition, no more impunity
(Thank you for having the decency to honour Chief Alex Ekwueme. However, the “mistake” which you fail to name here is that your party rejected him and opted for corruption and money when he offered himself to serve. All he had was patriotism and intellectual wealth – it was not enough for you. Your route to the Chairmanship does not show that your party has learnt any lessons.)
Every member of this party can from this moment, consider him or herself, an equal shareholder in our common destiny. I call on all Nigerians, of all creed and class, to embrace this new PDP and join in this quest for a new Nigeria. Particularly, I reach out to our old members who for one reason or the other have left the party, to please come back ‘home’.
(If ordinary Nigerians, floor members of your party, the ones you buy Ankara for and bus them to Abuja when you need cheering crowds, buy your lie that they are now equal shareholders in a common destiny with you, Atiku Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida, Goodluck Jonathan, Wike, Akpabio, and all the other one percenters in your party, that is their own funeral)
I cannot end this address without acknowledging my co-contestants especially for the chairmanship position. Truth be told, any one of you is eminently qualified to lead this party. I thank you for a worthy contest and being part of history as this marks the first time such a highly competitive contest to produce the leadership of a political party has been held in Nigeria. You have every cause to stand tall and I now extend my hand of fellowship to you all. Let ‘US’ Rebuild, Reposition & Regain. In the same breath, let me thank the outgoing National Caretaker Committee led by Senator Ahmed Markafi. We will forever remember your courageous leadership in our most trying times. History will no doubt, be kind to you. I must also thank the Convention Committee led by HE Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa for a job well done.
(Na una sabi)
Finally in accepting this mandate, I am guided by the words of the 19th President of the United States of America, Rutherford Hayes who said in 1877 “he serves his party best, who serves his country best” .
God bless you all
Long live the Peoples’ Democratic Party of Nigeria
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(You have been quoting American Presidents up and down in this speech. Is this your way of telling your party’s potential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to hurry up with his visa application and visit America soon?)