National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Iyorchia Ayu has advised all its governorship candidates to reconcile with defeated aspirants before the 2023 governorship elections.
Ayu gave the advice this while presenting Certificates of Return to the candidates.
He advised them to remember that many were called but few were chosen.
“You were chosen to be our flag bearers at the forthcoming elections. Everybody who contested with you was also chosen.
“You must carry every member of the defeated aspirants’ communities along because they contributed in mobilising and growing our party.
“I want to sincerely thank you for the work you put in. And we hope you will continue to work hard because this is just the first step,’’ Ayu told the candidates.
The chairman expressed the belief that the PDP would win governorship seats in 25 states at the 2023 general elections.
He said that the PDP was confident of retaining all its 13 states because its governors had performed very well.
Ayu added that the PDP had no fear that the people would vote PDP governors back to power and also vote for PDP where it does not currently have governors.
“We believe that the PDP will go back to his winning ways. When we started in 1999, we were able to produce 21 governors; we grew that number in 2003 to 28 and sustained it at 28 up to 2007.
“Unfortunately, we came through hard times and the number declined. Today we have only 13 governors. For a political party of this stature, that number is not good enough.
“All of you must, therefore, work very hard to reconcile with whoever opposed you, work with everybody, and carry everybody along.
“At the end of the day by next year, we should be able to come back to at least 25 governors,’’ the party leader said.
Ayu assured the PDP candidates that the party’s National Working Committee and all other stakeholders would give them the necessary support to emerge victorious.
Speaking at the ceremony, the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said it was evident that the PDP was the party Nigerians were waiting for.
Congratulating the gubernatorial candidates, Abubakar urged them to be united and work for the victory PDP.
“I want to assure all of you that we will work together as a team and make sure you are all brought back elected as governors in your respective states.
“I will ensure that we work together as a team in every state of this country to enthrone a PDP government.
“The question of saying that we are going to give a quarter of the country or so to the ruling party must not arise in this election.
“The processes which have made you to emerge are now history; what is before us is a task that we must all unite and achieve for this party and for Nigerians,’’ Abubakar said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that all the party’s governorship candidates were issued their certificates of return, except for Ebonyi and Kano because of legal issues within the party in the states.
Those who received the certificates were: Ladipupo Adebutu (Ogun), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi State), Seyi Makinde (Oyo State) and Ahmadu Fintri (Adamawa)
Others are Peter Mbah (Enugu State), Prof. Uche Ikonne (Abia), Oborevwori Sheriff (Delta), Pastor Umo Eno (Akwa Ibom), Siminialayi Fabura (Rivers) and Sandy Onor (Cross River).
Also issued with the certificates were Mohammed Sule-Lamido (Jigawa), Kefas Agbu (Taraba), Titus Uba (Benue), Sa’aidu Umar (Sokoto State), and Isa Ashiru (Kaduna State).
Gov. Mohammed of Bauchi State, who spoke on behalf of other candidates, said they appreciated the party’s leaders, assuring of synergy at state level for the party to emerge victorious in 2023.
“We assure you that there will be no problem in all the states and we are going to work with you to make sure that Abubakar emerges as the president of Nigeria.
“We assure you there will be synergy. There will be cooperation. And we are going to work assiduously to make sure that our party emerges victorious at the various levels.
“We know we are in the opposition and we are not going to relent until we become the ruling party in our country, Nigeria,’’ Mohammed stressed.