The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has said that only Nigerians are in the position to say why the party was rejected at the poll during the last general elections.
It said the rejection of the party was still a surprise despite the achievements it claimed the party recorded in the last 16 years during which it was in control of the Federal Government.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated this at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.
He was speaking at the 17th year’s anniversary of the formation of the former ruling party.
Using his own criteria, Metuh said his party did well by not only promoting the spirit of democracy in the 16 years, but by also fighting corruption and promoting the image of the nation.
But when asked whether with such achievements he was astonished that majority of Nigerians still rejected the party during the last general elections, he said only Nigerians could provide answers to the question.
He said, “Only the voting public can say why we were rejected. We must have made our mistakes and some of the issues that affected the election had to do with the people.
“We believe that we did our best for the Nigerian people and we got the largest number of people from the Diaspora to start business here.
“In those 16 years, we did our best. We created a system where merits were recognised.
“We created a lot of super rich Nigerians, like Dangote, Oando and other companies. Nigerian companies now compete with foreign companies in the oil and gas sector.”
He said it would be wrong to say that the party created corruption. He added that because of its belief that corruption should be stamped out of the country, the party through the Presidents it had produced fought the menace with vigour.
He said this was the reason why anti-corruption agencies, like the Economic and Financial Crime Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission were created.
He said, “Was corruption part of our achievements, no. In fact, anti-corruption was part of our achievements because we formed and created EFCC and the ICPC.
“These agencies were created with strict establishing and operation laws to ensure effectiveness and immunity from executive interferences.”
He added that down the years, SERVICOM desks were opened in ministries and agencies to further ensure ethical standards in government businesses.
Metuh added that as a result of these deliberate policies, human right and business friendly environment were created and they saw to the massive return of Nigerians in the Diaspora and the influx of direct foreign investments into the country.
Asked why key members were leaving in droves if actually the party has done well in the past 17 years, Metuh said, “If people cannot handle competition, there is nothing we can do about that.”
He said, “Some members felt that they were not well protected when they sought assistance. Others left because we lost election. Others for selfish reasons while some others left when they felt they were honestly not accommodated in the party.”
Asked why the PDP lost election in spite of its achievements, Metuh added, “Only the voting public can say why we were rejected. What happened during the election has nothing to do with our achievement.”
Reacting to the statement made by a former PDP National Chairman and a former Minister of Defence, Dr. Haliru Bello, that the PDP was destroyed when it jettisoned its zoning formula, Metuh said that the statement was Bello’s personal opinion.