The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has vowed that the National Working Committee under his leadership will return the party to the people.

Delivering his inaugural speech titled “Let Us Rescue And Rebuild Nigeria” at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Friday, Ayu said “today marks a new journey and a new direction for the PDP. As one who was part of those that founded the Party in 1998, I am well aware of its core values and vision which are centered around the people and their well-being.

”Our task at this auspicious moment is to return the Party to the people. But to do that, the Party needs to be reinvigorated, reinvented, and repositioned. We are not unmindful of our missed steps and actions in the past, but we have learned our lessons, both in government and in opposition. Today, we stand tall, and with a firm resolve to rebuild our great party and rescue our nation”.

He said the PDP is back to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.

“Under the new NWC, PDP will strengthen its internal democratic processes. We shall endeavor to reach out to all party members, young and old, male and female.

“This National Working Committee will create alternate platforms within the Party to actively engage the young people and our women, not only for mobilizing and winning elections but for advocacy, policy formulation, and the design of a new development agenda for the Party.

“We shall return the party to vigorous discussions; pay serious attention to new thinking and the implementation of policies and programs that will secure and improve the quality of life of all Nigerians.”

He said the Peoples Democratic Institute (PDI) will be revived and strengthened to drive this process.

“Before the next election cycle, we shall present a PDP manifesto that will bring back hope to our people. We will unite the people. We will deepen the content of our democracy. We will rebuild our collapsed economy. We will make Nigerians the focus of development. We will expand our international vision beyond the Niger Republic. We will check the rampaging insecurity. We will restore Nigeria’s lost glory. And we will reclaim our dignity, destiny, and pride as the Giant of Africa”.

According to him, the PDP is the only organic political party. It has remained a credible, tested, tasted, and trusted mass movement since the return of democracy in 1999 where other parties have either fizzled away or merged with others.

“Some have mutated into a contraption like the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), without any clear ideology or a coherent program of action. This contraption seduced Nigerians with propaganda in 2015. Today, Nigerians have seen the limit of propaganda and demagoguery. The only thing the APC is doing successfully is irresponsible borrowing.

“The PDP, on the other hand, has a history of performance and legacy achievements. In our 16 years in power, we not only gave Nigerians good governance, but we also strengthened democratic institutions so as to add value to the people. In an unprecedented move, we stabilized our democracy by sanitizing the armed forces of politically exposed officers.

“We gave Nigeria her first-ever successful transition from one civilian administration to another in 2007. To the disbelief of all watchers of African politics, we willingly conceded defeat in 2015 and handed over power to an opposition party in 2015.

“It was the PDP-Federal Government that created value-adding public institutions like the EFCC, ICPC, NAFDAC, the Debt Management Office (DMO), the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) among many others.

“The PDP administration also strengthened the governance process by enacting laws to effectively drive public administration in Nigeria, namely: the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the Mid-Term Expenditure Fame-Work, the Treasury Single Account (TSA), Integrated Personal and Payroll Information Systems (IPPIS) just to mention a few.

“We negotiated and obtained forgiveness of over $30 Billion of debt, making Nigeria almost a debt-free country. Foreign direct investments flowed in. Cumulatively, the foregoing made Nigeria, not only the fastest growing economy in Africa but also the biggest economy on the continent,” he said.

Ayu said the APC has given the country two recessions and turned Nigeria into the poverty of the apital of the world. Today, close to 40 million Nigerians have no jobs.

He said “In the last six years, the APC-led government has mismanaged our diversity; divided the country along regional and religious lines. It has exacerbated religious tensions in the country.

“And through its marriage to nepotism, the incompetent APC- Federal Government is fueling secessionist agitations in the East and West of Nigeria”.

He said Nigeria is drifting dangerously towards a failed state. “Terrorists are now sharing sovereignty with Nigeria. Nigeria is simply ungoverned. Nigeria is collapsing under the leadership of a retired general!

“The APC used both the mainstream media and the social media to access power. Today, it coordinates a systematic assault on the media, civic freedoms, and freedom of speech.

“Let me give you the grim legacy of the APC: Two economic recessions in six years. A sluggish GDP growth rate of below two percent. About 40 million Nigerians have been pushed into extreme poverty in six years. Inflation is at an all-time high at 18%.

“A weak and devalued Naira, devalued by over 300% since 2015, has made our currency the worst in Africa. Unemployment now stands at 33%. Meaning: Close to 40 million Nigerians, willing and able to work, can’t find jobs.

“A total debt stock of over $90 billion now hangs over Nigeria. An erratic exchange rate regime has depleted N324 against the US Dollar in the last six years.

“Kidnapping for ransom is now big business. We share sovereignty with terrorists who kidnap and rape our women, including our mothers and under-aged children.

The terrorists even kill them when ransom is delayed. These are not political alarms, but statements of facts.

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