Iyorchia Ayu, the newly elected National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, says the former ruling party would have become dictatorial if it did not lose power in 2015.
President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, had defeated ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who was seeking reelection.
Buhari made history by becoming the first opposition candidate to defeat a sitting president in Nigeria.
Speaking with a select journalist in Abuja on Saturday, November 6, 2021, Ayu said the PDP could have become complacent if it didn’t lose power in 2015.
He also said the 2023 elections will re-energise the PDP to take back power and control more than 20 States.
Ayu said Nigerians would be ready to defend their votes in 2023 having experienced what the ruling party could offer in the last six years.
He said: “My priority is for the party to take power. Political parties priorities is always to win. Therefore, I reviewed the reasons why we lost power in 2015 and going to work to unite the party, to sharpen the programmes of the party, market the party to the Nigerian electorate in a way that they will be prepared to vote for us.
“In a democracy, it’s normal for political parties to lose power. If we didn’t lose power, maybe, we would have become a dictatorship or become complacent.
“To believe in democracy…there must have been something we were doing wrong or must have done wrong that the Nigerian electorate shifted. But today, if we didn’t lose power, they won’t experience the policies and programmes of the other party. They would think there is something better than us. Thank God, we lost power. Today, Nigerian people know better.
“And I believe we will re-energize the party and take over power again, not only at the centre, but in Nigeria, there is a lot of attention taking power at the federal level. There was time PDP was controlling about 20 states. That has been reduced to 13.
“We hope and pray and we will work very hard to increase that number from 13 to control over 20 states, possibly, we will win the federal government. So, that is really my vision for this party. We will unite the party as I have said and I believe that very soon, we will have a very united, a very focused political party.”
He said the decision to separate the zoning of party offices from those of executive and legislative offices was “very tactical”.
On intra-party crises, Ayu said necessary reconciliatory processes would be undertaken to reconcile party members and resolve issues in various states by working on the report of Bukola Saraki-led committee after its submission.
He said the return of former governors Olusegun Mimiko and Rashidi Ladoja was the beginning of high profile defections to be witnessed soon after the party had surprised the critics who thought it would disintegrate after the convention.