Against the much rumoured change of name for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former governor of Jigawa State and one of the presidential aspirants under the flagship the party, Sule Lamido has expressed reservations over the planned change of name even as he asked those clamouring for the change to look elsewhere to ventilate their aspirations.
Sule Lamido said on Tuesday in Minna, Niger State said that the party will retain it’s name as against what some people were clamouring for.
He alleged that the idea of changing the name of the party was being championed by new entrants and returnees but insisted that it was wrong to christen the party at this stage.
Lamido was in Minna as part of his ongoing tour to states to sell his presidential ambition to party members ahead of the party’s scheduled primary election next month.
The presidential aspirant accused the new entrants and returnees to the party of wanting to impose their whims and caprices just as he noted that the ”people who want to join the fold at this stage are those who want to change the party’s name to the detriments of what the founding fathers of the party did.
He argued that christening the PDP was the least of things needed at the moment. ”Changing name to satisfy those that wants to defect to the party is the least on the agenda of our party”. He added that the party was at present preoccupied with strategising to reclaim power from the governing All Progressive Congress, (APC).
Lamido who stressed that he was eminently qualified to be Nigeria’s next president, said that anyone who was not comfortable with the name of the party as it is now, could seek for another political shade and comfort elsewhere.
He boasted that as a foundation member of the party, it was not proper to allow those who were jumping ship to the PDP to hold it by the jugular.
It is believed that a lot of members of the party across the country are disposed to changing the name of the party under a proposed coalition that could wrestle power from the APC under a changed name and logo but Lamido appears aversed and indisposed to the idea.
He said the PDP has remained the only party with a well defined ideology since the return of democracy to the country in 1999. He argued that it was wrong for the party to behave like the other political parties who had had to change their names and logo in their bid to take over power from the PDP in the past.
The presidential hopeful hinged his argument on the premise that the use of propaganda and change in name could only make the case of PDP like that of the APC which had gone through name and logo changing, merger with other parties just to get power and have at present abysmally become worse than it was yesterday.
“As everyone can see, the APC led government has failed the country and it has orchestrated the destruction of Nigeria. The harm the party has done to this country under it’s new name and re-branded logo may not be corrected or rectified in the next ten years” he said.
He listed some of the unfortunate developments Nigeria has had to grapple with since the APC led government took over the reigns of government in Nigeria to include the pogrom in states like Benue, Zamfara and parts of southern Kaduna, Birnin Gwari and the general security challenges across the country.
He said the APC government, despite it’s avowed change mantra, has not been able to restore peace to Benue, Zamfara and Borno states largely because it is incompetent, lacks vision and knowhow.
Speaking on the defection of Senator Godswill Akpabio from the PDP, Lamido said the former governor was blackmailed and he fell for it. “Akpabio went to the APC for protection, the APC government showed him some vital documents and files against him and he became jittery”.
Lamido who also stired up another controversy besides his stance against the clamour for change in his party’s name, said he was not afraid of the machinations of the present administration.
He said the government was good at propaganda, name dropping and witch-hunt of opponents and critics. He insisted that the immediate past Senate Minority leader and former governor of Akwa Ibom state was blackmailed and bamboozled by the APC led government.
He said Okpabio jumped ship to the governing APC in search of ”protection from prosecution because he was afraid of going to jail. ”He, (Okpabio) was shown some documents and files relating to his past deeds and he caved in” according to Lamido, the fairy politician from Jigawa who was once a Minister.
Chairman of the party in Niger state, Barrister Tanko Beji told Lamido that once he got the mandates of party delegates at the scheduled primary election, members of the party in Niger state would throw their weight behind him.