FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan rallied members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its non-elective national convention in Abuja on Saturday defending his achievements in office and warning that the former ruling party cannot be intimidated.
He told cheering crowds at the Eagle Square that having successfully emerged from a crisis, the party was primed to return in full force to battle for the presidency in 2019 and reclaim power.
“I’m here to assure you that nobody should intimidate PDP. PDP is the only party that can take Nigeria to greatness. I believe in the PDP. Even God believes in the PDP. This is August 12 and there’s no rain because God wanted us to celebrate PDP,” he declared.
While noting that members should be rejoicing because “PDP has come on strong”, Jonathan explained that it was more often difficult for a defeated ruling party to bounce back in Africa but PDP was able to do so in two years.
“Those of us in PDP should pump our chests, we should be proud of ourselves because we were able to come out of this within two years and very ready for 2019,” he said.
Jonathan affirmed that PDP was still the largest party in Nigeria and was back to regain its pride of place in the country as the party to lead Nigeria to greatness.
He said even though the party could not claim to be perfect as a human institution, as a party of vision and accomplishments, its achievements as at 2015 were clear for all Nigerians to see.
The former president said the party’s achievements could not be match especially in the last four years of his administration during which inflation was tamed to a single digit, it maintained price stability and grew the economy to be number one in Africa.
“From the days of Obasanjo through the days of Yar’Adua to Jonathan, we have done well. Nobody can intimidate you,” he declared.
He recalled that even when the country went through a major flood disaster in 2012, food prices did not rise because of the way the administration dealt with the situation.
The former president added: “I was told that some people were insinuating that if PDP had remained in power, the economy would have been worse off and I laughed.
“We had a strong team that was managing the economy of the country. That is not a talk for today. But definitely, we will talk one day.”
He spoke of the benefit of his administration’s programmes including the e-Wallet as well YouWin that has now been adopted by the World Bank for other countries.
On corruption, he conceded that his administration may not have plugged all loopholes but introduced innovative programmes to reduce corruption including the Bank Verification Number (BVN), Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
He urged the members to take the message back to their people that PDP was back to reclaim power at all level and drive away poverty from the land.