The opposition Peoples Democratic Party has apologised to Nigerians for some of the mistakes the party made while it was in power between 1999 and 2015.
The party’s apologies were conveyed by the Chairman of the planning committee of the PDP National Conference, Raymond Dokpesi while addressing the media Tuesday in Abuja.
“We are aware of the errors of the past 16 years, as human beings, we must have made mistakes and we could not meet the expectations of Nigerians, for that we tender an unreserved apology,” Mr. Dokpesi said.
“Make no mistake, the PDP is aware that there were errors made along the way.
“We admit that at certain times in our past, mistakes have been made, we did not meet the expectations of Nigerians,” he said.
Mr. Dokpesi, who also announced that the party’s national conference would hold at the Thisday Dome in Abuja on Thursday said the PDP had learnt from its mistakes and that the conference was planned to find ways of reviewing issues fundamental to the promotion and sustenance of good governance and democratic ideals in Nigeria.
Mr. Dokpesi identified some of the mistakes made by the PDP to included a deviation from the vision and principles of the founding fathers of the party.
He also said the party’s decision to abandon its zoning formula greatly led to its predicament.
“The first fundamental mistake was made in 2010-2011 by not allowing the North to complete its tenure,” he said.
He also said the decision to block other party members interested in running for the presidency against former President Goodluck Jonathan and the abandonment of internal democracy as well as the inability to ensure that the party was supreme in all matters contributed to the problems of the PDP.
Mr. Dokpesi said the national conference would show Nigerians that the leadership of the PDP “mean business” and “are determined to turn things around”.
He said as a fallout of the matters arising from the last general elections, it had become necessary to bring together the different stakeholders of the PDP in a National Conference that would critically review the current state of affairs in the party and suggest modalities that would allow the party return to power at all levels of governance across the country.
Handing over to the Youth
Mr. Dokpesi said the PDP would reinvent itself by transforming into a youth-oriented party.
In that regard, he said over 50 per cent of delegates for Thursday’s national conference were youth selected from the 774 local governments across Nigeria.
“We have decided that 774 youth below the age of 35, who must have a university degree or equivalent, are delegates to the conference,” he said.
He added that another batch of 774 female members who must also fall within the youth age bracket were also invited.
He said the National Working Committee of the party was determined to return the PDP to the ordinary members ahead the next national convention of the party, billed for March 2016.
“The young generation would be the centre of focus for the new PDP,” he said.