Former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, expressed his concern over the decreasing dominance of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigerian politics. At a reception held for returning and newly elected governors on the party’s platform, Atiku urged the party to address the challenges it faces and develop strategies to reclaim its position as the leading political party in the country. However, some key members of the PDP governors, known as the G-5 governors, were absent from the gathering, including Nyesom Wike, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Samuel Ortom, Okezie Ikpeazu, and Seyi Makinde. They neither sent representatives nor apologized for their absence.
These governors opposed Atiku’s candidacy and worked against the PDP in the February 25 presidential election, contributing to the party’s poor performance at the polls. Despite this setback, Atiku urged party leaders and members to remain hopeful of victory at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal. He stated that the PDP did not lose the last election, and the party should focus on retrieving its mandate that had been stolen.
At the event, former Vice President Namadi Sambo also expressed concern about the treatment meted out to some PDP members, especially in Kaduna State, where he hails from. Sambo called on the acting National Chairman to look into the situation in Kaduna State, where people are being suspended from the party without due process.
Acting PDP National Chairman Umar Damagum said that the party’s issues were being addressed by the National Working Committee (NWC), and Nigerians are hoping for justice at the Election Tribunal. The chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, expressed confidence that the mandate freely given to the party and its candidate would be restored by the court.
In his keynote address, Mudal Lawal urged the returning and Governors-elect to prioritize appointing the right people into offices, focus on performance management, fiscal performance indicators, fiscal resilience, and devolution of powers. He also emphasized the importance of being prudent in the management of resources, monitoring and evaluation, and addressing the issue of debt to service ratio, which has become a governance concern in public administration in the country over the past few years.