Vowed that the ruling party would reclaim Kwara State
President Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday expressed optimism that his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would reclaim all the seats it lost through defection of its members to the opposition.
He specifically declared that the 2015 general elections would provide a platform for the test of might between the PDP and the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, in Kwara State.
Five PDP governors defected to the APC last November in what was considered a major political realignment in the country.
The governors are Chibuike Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabi’u Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
A number of the party’s senators and its members in the House of Representatives followed suit.
In Kwara State, its governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed; his predecessor and serving senator, Bukola Saraki; all the council chairmen in Kwara, and majority of state and federal lawmakers in Kwara left for the APC.
However, the ruling party approached the Federal High Court in Abuja in December, asking it to sack the defected governors.
It argued that the governors should be sacked from office on the ground that, due to their defection, they had forfeited their offices, which they said should revert to the party.
Receiving some PDP elders and political officeholders from Kwara in Abuja at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, Mr. Jonathan said all stolen mandates would be returned to the ruling party on or before 2015.
“In 2015, we will know who owns Kwara and if God gives us the opportunity, which I believe, probably we will even test our strength before 2015,” he said.
“All stolen mandates will return to PDP and those who think that they can run away with our mandates, they should have a rethink.
“We must take over the state structures of the party, the governor and the state assembly; we must take all because it is easy to reach the grassroots through the states than the centre.”
Mr. Jonathan assured that the PDP would recover the state from the APC, adding that the ruling party’s secretariat in Abuja would provide the support to achieve that goal.
He added that some members of the National Assembly who decided not to defect to the APC would not regret their action.
The president, “As a member of the assembly who refused to defect, you will have nothing to regret. Just celebrate it. If they think that PDP will allow them to run away with it, they will see it.
“So, any state we are unable to win, members of the party in that state will continue to live like orphans. So, definitely, we are taking Kwara.
Mr. Jonathan expressed appreciation to the indigenes of the state for the reception accorded him and other members of the PDP during the last February rally by the party in the state.
Earlier, the spokesman of the delegation, Azeez Jimoh, said it was visiting Mr. Jonathan to express their support and solidarity to the president and the PDP.
He also expressed the gratitude of the Kwara PDP for appointing the state indigenes into government positions.
Mr. Jimoh, who spoke on behalf of the leader of the delegation, Bola Shagaya, assured the president that the party would win all elective positions in the state.
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