The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday formally reacted to the defection of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to the All Progressive Congress (APC), stating that he and others were on a voyage while the PDP was awaiting their comeback.
PDP further said the defection would not affect the fortunes of the party.
Speaking at a workshop titled: ‘PDP National Woman Leader’s Strategic Consultative Workshop with women in media and communication’, with the theme ‘The Role of Media in Promoting Women’s Participation in Politics’, the Deputy National Chairman of the party, Mr. Uche Secondus, said the defection of Atiku and others would not affect the party, as the defectors were merely on a voyage.
According to him, “Defection or not will definitely not affect our party. When they leave, they go on voyage and they come back and we receive them, and I can tell you that they will go and come back.
“We are waiting for Atiku to go on this voyage and to come back because he has done it before; this is not the first time, so we will welcome him back when he eventually come.” He added: “APC cannot win election because they are not firmly rooted.”
Continuing and specifically referring to APC, which had commenced the registration of its members, the deputy national chairman of PDP said: “The opposition has just started the registration of their members, we have done registration of our party 13 years ago and every year, we update, so we are the largest party in Nigeria.
“They cannot meet us, whatever they are doing in the media, is gymnastics, the reality is that PDP is firmly rooted, don’t allow them to change your perception, don’t be afraid, they have no offices in over 9,000 wards.”
He stressed that women were free to contest for president, governor, Senate, House of Representatives or any other elective positions, stating that it was time for women to be counted and not play in the background.
In her welcome address, the National Woman Leader of the party, Kema Chikwe, charged PDP women leaders to mobilise for the party in the 2015 general election.
She cautioned the women not to be deceived by the opposition, as APC agenda was to do business with the nation’s oil.
In his keynote address, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metuh, said the media had not been able to eliminate the ingrained tendency to promote negative gender stereotypes that apparently militate against the Nigerian women and their quests for greater participation in politics.
“A sizeable section of the media still projects women largely as weak and objects of sexual fantasy, incapable of handling hard, complicated and serious public responsibilities,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Mu’azu, yesterday said the party would compensate loyal members.
Mu’azu spoke when a group, Goodluck Support Group (GSG) elders’ council, led by a former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, paid him a courtesy visit, at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
The national chairman, who was responding to Mantu’s complaints that loyal party members have not been adequately compensated, said the PDP would provide a level playing ground to all members.
Mu’azu, who urged all PDP support groups not to stay in Abuja, but to embark on grassroots mobilisation for the party ahead of the 2015 general election, said: “PDP will provide a level playing ground to all members. I agree with you, but I will meet with the President so that party loyal members are adequately compensated.”
Earlier, Mantu had commended Mu’azu for his stand against bribery, adding that such a position would bring sanity to the party and the society at large.