Iyorchia Ayu, national chairman-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the opposition party must move beyond issuing “occasional press statements”.
He said the party must demonstrate to Nigerians that it is ready to rebuild the country.
Speaking on Tuesday at an event organised for the newly elected officers of the party, Ayu said the PDP must thoughtfully articulate and design a clear programme of what it intends to achieve for the country.
“This is a very auspicious moment in the life of our party. It is not often that we get to assemble this way for deep thinking and exchange of ideas on the way forward for our party and our country, a country that has been badly brutalised, robbed and traumatised in the past six years plus,” the former senator said.
“Our country is in very deep trouble so we have a duty, and Nigerians expect us, to rescue and rebuild the country.
“We must be more than a party that just issues the occasional press statement condemning the APC government. We must demonstrate to Nigerians that years in opposition have not dented our will and desire to win and to govern for the benefit of our country. Nigerians look up to us to reunite this country which has been badly divided over the past 6 years. Nigerians want to see that we are united and ready to govern.
“That is why the theme of this retreat is very apt. Surely Nigeria needs rescuing and rebuilding. The damage done by the APC is pretty obvious — insecurity everywhere, including shared sovereignty with criminal and terrorist gangs, a collapsed economy with a comatose manufacturing sector, soaring prices, naira near worthless, interest rates very high, with the Central Bank of Nigeria picking and choosing winners and losers and virtually running a parallel government.
“We must offer a clear, workable alternative to rebuild our country. Just recently the US Council on Foreign Relations published a study by two experts which said Nigeria is, already a failed state that has reached a point of no return and would collapse. That is where the APC government has brought us to. We need not waste our energy arguing whether the American researchers are right or not. Rather, we should focus our energies, imagination and creativity towards ensuring that their prognosis does not come to pass. We must work to reverse that march towards collapse.”
Ayu said no other party is better equipped to rescue and transform Nigeria than the PDP, adding that “we have to rebuild Nigeria to become a fertile ground for our young people and other entrepreneurs to unleash their creativity and innovativeness consumer spending”.
“Let us rebuild Nigeria as a country that does not treat any of its peoples as second-class citizens. We have to rebuild Nigeria to provide education for all its citizens. We have to rebuild a Nigeria that secures its borders and protects its law-abiding citizens wherever in the country they may live, whatever their occupation and whatever their language, religion or ethnicity,” he said.
“We have to rebuild Nigeria with roads, bridges, and railways that crisscross and connect different parts of this country to facilitate and promote the movement of people and goods to grow our economy.”