Abdulsalami Abubakar, former military head of state, has scored the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) low in terms of playing its role as a credible opposition.
Speaking when Raymond Dokpesi, a chairmanship aspirant of the party, visited him in his residence in Minna, Niger state, the elder statesman challenged PDP to assume proper opposition role., saying though no political party could remain in power forever, the main purpose of any party, whether in governance or in opposition, was to serve the people.
He said though no political party could remain in power forever, the main purpose of any party, whether in governance or in opposition, was to serve the people.
Abubakar said while the party in governance held the “shots’’, the opposition “checks the shots being fired to ensure that the right thing is done’’.
“I must say it is very sad that you have not played your role properly in opposition,” he said.
“Maybe you are suffering from the shock of defeat, but I thought that at least six months down the line will have been enough to come out of the shock, to really face governance.
“It would have been enough to perform your role in giving a credible opposition which I am afraid you have not done.
“You being one of the major parties in Nigeria found yourself in opposition; since you did not perform that function, the smaller parties also found themselves in this way.
“I am happy now you are waking up and I hope this is the end of acrimony within your party.
“You will now build a formidable party that will play the role of opposition.”
The former head of state said some aspirants interested in the national chairmanship position had also visited him.
He advised the party to learn from the lessons of the recent leadership crisis.
“You need now to check why you slid from ruling to opposition party to see what you have done wrong and correct with a view to learn from some of these things,” he said.
He also advised PDP leaders and members, especially the aspirants for positions, to go to the December national convention without bitterness.
“If I am right, there are about five or six of you interested in the chairmanship position,” he said.
“You have your visions and aspirations which legitimately as politicians, you have the right to play a role not only in your party but in governing the country.
“I do hope that you will go through this convention without bitterness because you have seen what rancour caused the party.”
Abubakar urged PDP members to continue to support the party and the country.