Abuja - The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to put forth its two frontline aspirants as joint presidential candidates to face President Goodluck Jonathan at the 2015 presidential election.
Olisa Metuh, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, gave the challenge at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
“We declare that the APC can put forth its two frontline aspirants in one bunch, namely Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as joint presidential candidates with their collective credentials and followership to face our candidate, President Goodluck Jonathan,” Metuh said.
He said the PDP was going into the conduct of its presidential primaries with excitement, knowing that it was keeping an appointment with the destiny of the country as embodied by President Jonathan.
The PDP spokesman said that with President Jonathan, the PDP was rest assured that it had a very good product to sell to Nigerians.
“We are confident that President Jonathan, as our candidate, is primed to win the 2015 presidential election based on his popularity deriving from his forthrightness, humility and steadfastness to the Nigerian project,” he said.
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This, he said, was coupled with the president`s record of verifiable achievements in all sectors of the country's economy.
Metuh stressed that the APC should expect a crushing defeat at the polls, because of the PDP`s preparedness and the popularity of President Jonathan, its sole presidential candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
He added that for the PDP, it was neither a matter of conjecture nor propaganda.
He said that it was certain that with the grassroots support and the love it enjoyed from Nigerians across board, President Jonathan would secure an emphatic victory at the polls in 2015.
According to him, with President Jonathan, the country would continue in the path of unity, stability and prosperity.
This, he added, had been the driving force and inspiration of the PDP-led government in delivering its mandate in the last three years to the people.
Metuh further added that this trinity of unity, stability and prosperity, had made President Jonathan the most suitable president for the country in these current times.
“Never in the history of our nation have we witnessed the insurgency that is ravaging parts of our country. The insurgency is hitting at the heart of our national unity and cohesion.”
“Instead of reacting in ways that could damage the trust and love of Nigerians for one another, the President has acted more on the side of caution,” Metuh said.
This, he said, the President did, by ensuring that actions to defeat terrorism were carefully thought-out and pursued, adding that this was a product of deep reflections.
He noted that in 2013, when President Jonathan was to declare a state of emergency in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, some persons were of the view that the emergency rule should be total.
The president, he said, however, thought differently as he did not tamper with the democratic structures in the states as suggested.
Metuh stressed that the president must be commended for showing leadership and applauded for embarking on electoral reform which had helped to strengthen the integrity of the county’s elections.
He noted that President Jonathan intervened on the heels of the 2011 general elections which witnessed political polarisation along ethnic and religious lines following the release of the election result.
He further said that the president had been able to stabilise the country`s polity by his pan Nigerian outlook and approach to governance.
This, he said, had strengthened national unity, adding that Jonathan had been able to give every geo-political zone a sense of belonging in terms of infrastructure development, economic and human capital empowerment.
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“Besides, the visible and concrete infrastructure development in our nation, President Jonathan has been able to demonstrate a deep sense of equanimity in providing leadership,” he said.
This according to the PDP spokesperson is in spite of negative remarks by some opposition leaders.
He added that amidst the recessions and economic downturn in most nations of the world, Nigeria`s economy had been stabilised and its unity preserved and democracy enhanced.
He noted that the President Jonathan-led administration had revived the comatose railway transportation in the country with some of the rail lines already in operation.
“Not only have the nation's highways improved, ongoing works can be seen in almost all parts of the country.”
“When the Jonathan administration came on board, only 5 000 out of the 35 000 kilometres of federal roads were motorable; today, the Jonathan government has rehabilitated and reconstructed 20,000 additional kilometres,” Metuh said.
He added that the remaining 10 000 kilometres would be completed in the next three years, while other new roads would be executed.
He also noted that there had been monumental achievements in the agriculture sector, particularly in the distribution of fertiliser, development in the production of rice, cassava and other Nigerian staples.