The opposition party also alleged that the Federal Government was planning to descend on PDP members in 2018 and build more prisons.
The National Chairman of the party, Mr. Uche Secondus, stated these in Abuja at the opening of a two-day retreat for members of the newly elected National Working Committee of the party.
Secondus lamented that the rate at which leaders of the party were being harassed was getting out of hand.
Particularly, the national chairman was angry over the alleged hounding of the former Senate President, David Mark, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), adding that, “there is nowhere in the world where a former Senate President has been harassed like this before.
“APC should stop intimidating our leaders, we will no longer take it, enough is enough! They don’t need to attack us, they should fulfill what they promised us. Enough of this, we are not in a military government. What I am telling them is that God is not sleeping. When the time comes, the people will speak through their votes.”
Secondus warned that those building the prisons might be the occupiers, adding that it was wrong for the Federal Government to be persecuting members of the PDP because of their refusal to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress. His words:
“We learnt that they are building more prisons. Let them go ahead and build more. They will be the one to stay there.
“We learnt that they are coming after our members in January. Let them continue. How many people will they put in jail?
“They should stop intimidating people. They should remember that almost everybody they had put in jail wrongly came back to become President.
“This is because they were jailed unjustifiably. So, if they are persecuting us, let them continue. But we will not withdraw the ultimatum we gave them to quit Aso Rock in 2019.”
The PDP chairman alleged that the ruling party “protects its members”, unlike the past administration, which did not spare members of the PDP.
“We stabilized the structure to fight corruption. Obasanjo, a PDP President, started the fight against corruption. He fought our members. But unlike now, no matter how corrupt you are, if you don’t want to be arrested, just defect to the APC,” he added.
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On the determination of the party to return back to power in 2019, the party chairman stressed that the new executive was poised to rediscover the winning magic of the party and to reignite the fire that once made Nigeria a shining beacon in Africa.
Secondus said efforts will be geared towards repackaging the PDP and to unveil it to the Nigerian electorate so as to regain their confidence.
According to Secondus, PDP will be taking a cue from the International Republican Institute (IRI) which said the party lost the election because of its inability to recognize the power of social media and its failure to harmonize its communication channels.
“We must, therefore, begin to invest in our party with the aim of repackaging and eventually unveiling a reformed PDP to the Nigerian electorate, so as to regain their confidence. We must redefine who we are in the minds of Nigerians, down to the grass-root level,” he said.
Secondus said the two-day retreat is a self-reawakening; to give everyone a say in the outcome, a chance to fully participate in crafting the key strategies to move the party forward.
Also Speaking at the event, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu, said the PDP would field a presidential candidate with popularity that would outmatch any candidate presented by the APC in the 2019 election.
According to Ekweremadu, the emergence of Secondus as PDP’s national chairman has struck fear in the minds of the APC leaders who see him as an experienced political tactician capable of swaying victory to his side.
He urged the NWC to provide a level playing ground for all interested and qualified aspirants for the party’s presidential ticket.
“Of utmost importance in the build-up to 2019 election year is our choice of presidential candidate. The fate and political fortunes of the party depend on the party’s presidential candidate.
“The party must, therefore, identify a candidate with the credentials, reach, charisma, competence, and popularity to outmatch any candidate presented by the ruling APC and any other party for that matter,” he said.