Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leadership to get off the moral high horse and noted that name-calling is a childish response to the crisis of confidence, which the ruling party is currently experiencing. Instead of looking for scapegoats, the PDP should take responsibility for the state of the nation.
In a statement by his media office in Abuja in reaction to the insinuations of the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Olisa Metuh, the former Vice President noted that it was inappropriate for the leadership of his former party to describe him as an “ingrate.”
He said that as a former Vice President and someone who had worked hard in the formation of the PDP, he deserved respect and decent language from the PDP leaders.
Atiku said when leaders speak; they should not do so with selective memory.
“The personal insults in the PDP statement succeeded in doing just one thing, which is to depict its managers as childish, petulant, and above all else incompetent. It confirms the notion on the part of many that they don’t have what it takes to live up to their ‘sacred’ mandate. They have lost their way, and their refusal to recognise the error of their ways has prompted the shepherds to – reluctantly – move on, for the nation’s sake to build a better future for the country’s teeming population,” the former Vice President asserted.
He recalled that the new guard in the PDP kept a low profile when he (Atiku) along with other champions of democracy such as the late Gen. Shehu Yar’Adua, the late MKO Abiola, the late Kudirat Abiola, the late Sunday Afolabi and other members of NADECO including Asiwaju Bola Tinubu fought in the frontline to remove the military from power.
“Since almost all of us – the founding members of the PDP – have been hounded out of the party because we allegedly have one aspiration or the other. People who supported military rule or did not even know what was going on are now the masters of PDP, and present themselves as the custodians of the nation’s future.
But I challenge anyone of them to show their contribution except looting the Nigerian treasury,” the former Vice President said.
“If I and other patriots working in tandem with the National Assembly did not work together to retain term limits in the Constitution none of those holding power today would not have been there from local, state or federal governments.
Those who wrap themselves in the PDP banner should at least recognise and respect those of us who made today’s debates possible,” Atiku said.
The former Vice President said the new masters of the PDP were detached from reality and had chosen to ignore counsel, and that the latest slur illustrates why the party has lost its play, and why it has become a threat to the country’s future.
Atiku said that after he had returned to the PDP, every effort to help the party renew itself on the basis of its constitution and in line with the principles of internal democracy, has been deliberately frustrated and distorted, either because of political expedience or because they would have undermined the current leadership’s efforts to transform the party into a personal fief.
The former Vice President observed that, with hindsight, “it seems that the old guard were hounded out of the party because they always fought to remind the party of its democratic ideals, principles and objectives.”
“I am ready to debate the PDP on issues such as jobs, security, infrastructure, healthcare and the economy, and the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria,” Atiku said.
“But I am not sure the PDP is ready to do this in the calm and objective manner we – all Nigerians – deserve,” he concluded.