By Precious ENWENEDE
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has said that the battle for 2019 general election had started in earnest and that PDP is prepared for the challenges ahead.
It would be recalled that the former Senate President, Senator David Mark, raised the hopes of the PDP, that the inability of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to find what he described as compass to navigate the ship of the state and respond appropriately to the yearnings of Nigerians was an ample opportunity for the party to bounce back to power.
While urging aggrieved stakeholders of the party to put aside their differences, the chairman said PDP could not afford to remain divided if its desired goal was to be achieved.
Speaking further, the chairman distanced himself from the comment made by his media aide regarding the call for Sheriff to step down that had referred to the stakeholders, who made the demand as “self-styled” elders.
“As a well cultured and astute politician, I would never make any comment that would ridicule the party”, he said explaining that it was not in his character to join issues with highly respected elders, noting that he never authorised any of his aides to react to issues raised by the aggrieved elders.
Speaking further, Sheriff said the elders deserved the right to complain about issues they considered inimical to the progress of the PDP and explained that the present leadership of the party was poised to lend a listening ear to all shades of opinions, with a view to strengthening it to face the challenges ahead.
“Under our leadership and the support and encouragement of stakeholders and supporters, PDP will definitely bounce back in 2019,” he said.
In a related development, former Senate President, Senator David Mark, has raised the hopes of the PDP, that the inability of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to find what he described as compass to navigate the ship of the state and ultimately respond appropriately to the yearnings of Nigerians was an ample opportunity for the party to bounce back to power.
According to Senator Mark, if the party must come back to power, following its defeat by the APC, after 16 years in government, there was urgent need for a truce among party members ahead of the May 21 national convention.
He also advised the party to avoid the pitfalls of the past, such as imposition of candidates against the wishes of the majority.
In a statement by his Media Assistant, Paul Mumeh, he said: “We are returning the party to the people and let the people decide. Nigerians can now spot the difference.”
“The PDP is still the right choice. Therefore, we must respond positively and ultimately return the nation to the path of glory once more” , he said.