Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, has stated his belief that the forthcoming polls will be a landmark event in the country’s democracy, adding that all hands must be on deck to ensure the peaceful conduct of the elections.
The PDP chieftain, speaking via a statement on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 said the February election will be the fifth consecutive round of elections to be held in the country, making it the longest democratic spell the country has ever witnessed since its democracy in 1960, stressing that Nigerian’s should come out in their numbers to vote for the ruling party.
Read Anenih’s statement below:
“In the run-up to this important contest, some at home and abroad are questioning the ability of Nigeria to conduct the election without exacerbating her existing fault lines and plunging the country into violence and chaos. While I acknowledge that these concerns are not without foundation, I have no reservation whatsoever in assuring my fellow Nigerians that, whatever the odds may be, Nigeria will keep moving forward in unity.
“As the chairman of the BoT of the PDP, I am unwavering in my belief that the unity and advancement of our country are better protected by the PDP than by any other party. In the past four presidential elections, many of you, my fellow compatriots, agreed with me and voted our party to victory.
“For this privilege you’ve repeatedly given our party to steer the ship of state since our nation’s return to democracy in 1999, I thank you once more. I am also calling on you, fellow compatriots from the North, South, East and West, to once again, vote the PDP in 2015.
“It is a matter of verifiable fact that the PDP, besides faithfully discharging its foremost duty to Nigeria of sustaining a stable, functional state, has recorded many achievements in agriculture, aviation, education, roads, railways, industrialisation, women and youth empowerment and many other areas. At the same time, I readily concede that we need to build more on what we’ve already begun.
“Indeed, it is precisely because we need to build more on what we’ve already done that we seek the support and mandate of Nigerians from the North, South, East and West to once again vote President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term in office and the PDP in order to keep moving Nigeria forward in unity.
“In the heat of this campaign period, it is easy for significant accomplishments recorded by the President Jonathan-led PDP government to go unremarked. For instance, very few speak about the revolution in Almajiri education in the North brought about by President Jonathan, which has so far seen the completion and commencement of more than 150 purpose-built schools integrating Almajiris into the regular education scheme. Many more of these schools are under construction.
“Additionally, even fewer people speak about how President Jonathan has completed the dredging of the lower River Niger from Baro in Niger State to Warri in Delta State. Indeed, over 6.7 million passengers and over 1.6 million tonnes of cargo have been moved through this channel in less than three years, proving that Nigerians, from the North and South, are travelling and trading with one another and we should stand together to ensure that we keep our country moving forward in unity.
“Lest we forget, fellow Nigerians, let me remind us that the PDP has successfully carried out a strategic restructuring of what was largely a state-run economy to a free-market economy, thereby engendering greater human development, free enterprise and irreversible economic expansion.
“These policies have created new jobs and empowered Nigerians from the North, South, East and West, thereby fostering more inclusive economic growth, especially in agriculture and the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector through programmes such as the Subsidy Reinvestment Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) and YouWin.
“It is a universally-acknowledged principle that inclusive economic growth for the populace is the best guarantee that we have not only for our political and democratic stability, but also in ensuring that Nigeria keeps moving forward in unity.
“Fellow compatriots across Nigeria, with your support and a renewed mandate at the polls, President Jonathan who is the best candidate in the forthcoming presidential election and the PDP shall redouble their efforts to stem the evil tide of terrorism and insurgency, fast track greater access to qualitative education across the country, pursue an even more aggressive infrastructure development programme, while still safeguarding the democratic ideals of free speech and liberty which we all enjoy today.
“Finally, in this campaign period, and as we all turn out en-masse to vote President Jonathan and the PDP on February 14, I urge all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religion, region, or political affiliation, to eschew all forms of mudslinging, disorder, and violence. Let us prove the naysayers wrong. Let us show the world that as Nigerians, regardless of our differences, we are determined that Nigeria must keep moving forward in unity. Long live the PDP, long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!”