President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday warned members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who might be contemplating defecting to the incoming governing party, the All Progressives Congress, (APC) to better shelve such plans as their expectations would be dashed sooner than later.
The President said that those who had already defected to the APC with the hope to be patronized by the APC would get the shocker of their lives and return to PDP hungrier than when the left.
Jonathan made the assertions on Thursday at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja when he received the report of the 2015 PDP Presidential Campaign Organization.
As he spoke, the Founder of the Transformation Agenda of Nigeria (TAN), Dr Ifeanyi Uba burst into tears and was guided out of the meeting room at the new Banquet Hall.
Uba was also joined by former Minister of Finance, Senator Nenadi Usman in the weeping.
President Jonathan emphasised that it would be better for members of the party to stay put, and reposition the PDP and strategise for the next general election.
He expressed misgivings in the performance of PDP in some states, especially the northern part of the country, but advised the party members to let bygones be bygone and plan ahead for future political contests.
He said: “Ffor PDP, I always say that you don’t need to go to Americans to know how they moved from Democrats to Republican and so on…you can even come to Ghana very close to us. The present administration lost election some eight years back and it came back.
“The issue is how do we reconsolidate our party and we are committed and work hard, PDP will come back stronger.
“PDP is still the dominant party. If you look at the result, the difference is two point something (million) votes. If you look at areas where it appears that the PDP scored so low, PDP cannot get that kind of result.
“But the elections are over, the country remains. It is not as if Jonathan alone made the sacrifice. It is all of us. I just made the pronouncement. Some people here paid more sacrifice than I did.”
Jonathan spoke further: “I know how some of you are already being persecuted. I know how much was involved. The key thing is that as a party we must continue to unite and work hard so that as we go into the subsequent elections in 2019, PDP would be able to come up stronger. Even in the interest of the nation, we need PDP.
“Though we have lost the presidential, National Assembly and governorship elections massively in the northern part of the country, PDP is still the dominant party.
“Let us not judge PDP by the result of the presidential election. Our duty is to go back and identify those areas. PDP is still the most organised party that nobody owns. I encourage members of our party to remain and not be disillusioned just because we lost presidential election and decide to go to where they think they will feed their stomachs or something. It is not easy, I have been here for over five years and you can hardly satisfy 50 percent of those who worked for you. So, these people who are running, some of them are already carpet-crossing, they will come back with empty stomachs because they would touch the primary members of their party before they would look at you, the peripheral, because they know you are coming because you think there is food. Before it will get to you, the food will be gone. So let us be committed to PDP.”
President Jonathan disclosed that though he did not consult with PDP chieftains before calling General Muhammadu Buhari to concede defeat, he made the call on behalf of all.
Speaking earlier, Chairman BoT of the PDP, Chief Tony Anenih who eulogised Jonathan for taking the path of peace and stability of the country said though the ruling party lost the election, it won peace and the heart of Nigerians.
The Director General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, Dr Amodu Ali, who presented the two-volume report to Jonathan, stated that it was disheartening that PDP lost the March 28 Presidential election.
He added, however, that the president made the world proud despite other options, by promptly conceding defeat.
“You brought Nigeria back from the precipice. It was Nigeria that won. PDP will emerge stronger and wiser.”
PDP defectors story that Uba and Nenadi wept over Jonathan’s defeat in the presidential election and that Uba is said to have invested heavily in the project.