The Convention, where the PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections was expected to emerge, was declared open by 9:17 p.m. by the opposition party’s National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus.
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In his opening speech, Secondus promised that the presidential nomination was going to be free and credible to serve as a model for future exercises.
He charged the delegates to take into cognizance the fact that whomever they chose as candidate would have a great impact on the PDP’s resolve to sack the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019. According to him, “the presidential primary will be done in a credible and orderly primary. This convention will be a reference point in the country for years to come. All is not well in our country. My appeal to delegates to know that the choice you make today will go a long way in rescuing the country from the inept government of the APC.
“This presidential primary will be conducted in a transparent manner. The whole world is watching us, and we are going to deliver.
The simple message is President Buhari, it is time to go home. Let’s take back our country. We are returning to help Nigerians stabilise their country.”
The PDP chairman added that “the international community must note that the APC-led government and the president have the lowest job approval rating recorded in recent times. International analysts, banks, respected newspapers and magazines are united in the single view that Nigeria does not deserve this type of government.
“Before I end this address may I appeal to you delegates to note that the choice you make today from among our eminently qualified aspirants each of whom has extraordinary record of leadership achievements will go a long away in rescuing our nation from the inept governance of the APC.
“Nigerians and international community outside this arena are anxiously waiting for your choice because they expect you to choose one who will defeat President Buhari in 2019 and go further to rescue the country.
“May I again reiterate to our aspirants that this presidential primary is going to be conducted in the most transparent manner to make it a pace setter in Africa.
“However, when we have finished our roles as human beings we must submit our will to that of God who it is that is the ultimate decider and this should be our guide as we accept the result that comes out of this process.
“The simple message from across Nigeria and the globe is: President Buhari, it is time to go.”
He also stated that the “PDP is returning to help Nigerians take back their country.
We are returning to stabilize Nigeria, to unite a visibly fractured country. We are returning to create a new Nigeria where peace and justice would triumph and where rule of law and respect for human rights will prevail.
“PDP will secure Nigeria. We will end the carnage in the Northeast. We will stop the bloodletting whether by cattle rustlers or farmers and herdsmen conflict through a law and order approach.
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“PDP will educate our youths. Our numerous investments in education over the years in the country and expansion of opportunities through increased capacity and private sector involvement in education will be reinvigorated.
“PDP will reduce poverty in the land. We will return Nigeria to the path of economic growth from the current stagnation. We will work with the private sector to expand economic opportunities and create jobs for our most valuable resource: the People.
“We shall rebuild the middle class that has been decimated under the directionless government of the APC. We shall restore the mortgage system we started years ago.”