Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that the successful conduct of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s National Convention was a pointer to the party’s readiness to rescue Nigeria from the current hopelessness that pervades the country.
Okowa stated this while speaking on Channels Television’s “Politics Today” monitored in Asaba.
He said that Nigerians were tired of the rising insecurity and economic crisis ravaging the country, adding PDP had through the success of the convention, sent the right message to Nigerians that it was properly positioned to change the ugly narrative and gloom in the country.
The governor said that there was need to recreate hope in the nation because a lot of people had lost faith in the country.
According to him, as at today, not only our youths but a lot of Nigerians are feeling very bad about the nation and this kind of situation is not the best for us.
“We need to recreate hope; we need to make them believe that Nigeria is one, that Nigeria is a united country and that there is hope for a new Nigeria.
“With the successful conduct of our national convention, we have sent the message with the right conviction to Nigerians that PDP is truly ready to rescue them.
“The rescue mission is about our country. We know exactly what we are in at the moment; there is so much crisis in everything; crisis in security, crisis in the economy and a lot of people are truly very hungry.
“The number of the poor people is growing by the day and the youths are becoming very restive and they are no longer comfortable with the country they call their own.
“When you look at all these things, with the fact that the economy is nose-diving everyday and when you look at the kind of budget that is being presented to Nigerians, there is cause to worry that it is not something that can actually take us in the right direction.
“There are a lot of issues and most practically, the insecurity issue in the land which is growing worse by the day, and that is beginning to impact negatively on production, in terms of agricultural produce and that is not good enough for our country.
“From real insecurity we may find ourselves in the next few years going into food insecurity and that will probably be the worse of everything we can have as a nation.
“So, looking at the totality of all these, you will definitely agree with me on the need to re-jig the pathway that we are toeing at the moment.
“It is not the best for us and I think it’s agreeable by all Nigerians that something needs to be done; that’s why we have presented ourselves as a credible alternative to take Nigeria back to the path of progress; to take Nigeria back to a situation where people can begin to build hope for tomorrow,” he said.
On why former President Goodluck Jonathan was absent at convention, Okowa explained that the former president was duly invited but was unavoidably absent because of prior engagements outside the country.
He said the PDP remained cohesive and united, adding that “we are working together with the leaders and founders of the party, and we agreed that we will continue to keep ourselves together for the huge task ahead.”
On alleged dominance of the party by the Governors and why the leaders chose Senator Iyorchia Ayu as National Chairman, Okowa said that the party looked for someone with a command structure and reasonability of enough administrative capacity which Ayu possessed.
“In the North, there was a lot of consultation with different leaders where the name of Senator Ayu was presented and finally accepted.
“The person of the national chairman comes with a very high level of integrity, high level of experience, with the necessary command structure and a reasonable administrative background that can truly help to keep the party united on the rescue mission.
“Governors as leaders of the party in their various states have the right to stick together and provide guidance for the party and I believe that we are doing our best to provide leadership and guidance to the party in the absence of a president.
“I still think that the governors tried their best to give guidance since we don’t have a president somebody must lead and we have been trying to lead; it had to be collective leadership to get to where we are. If we left it loose it will be a ship without a captain,” he said.
On why PDP will win the APC in 2023, Okowa said: “We are not competing with them anymore because looking through the years of the PDP and that of the APC of about six years plus the difference is clear; Nigerians are able to see for themselves.
“Though things were very difficult, we were able to build a foundation during Obasanjo’s administration. The reverse is the case in this present administration in such a manner that is not good for our nation.
“The level of insecurity, the economy today, the naira-to-dollar situation, indeed, there are too many issues.
We are getting to a stage now where there is shortage of food for the middle class, not to talk of the low class.
“The high level of unemployment has become unbearable. Farmers cannot even access their farms. We have gotten it all wrong in this current administration, and I believe that Nigerians know the truth.
“Nigerians know that PDP will do a lot better than APC; there is no competition, no comparing, it is quite clear that we are not moving in the right direction under the APC government.”