A former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, said on Thursday that if he was not forced out of office, his party would have won the 2015 general elections.
Tukur, who spoke with journalists at his residence in Abuja as one of the activities to mark his 80th birthday, said the party was winning elections when he was in office.
The former PDP chairman was forced to resign from office when he sanctioned some governors of the party.
Tukur, who was a former governor of the defunct Gongola State, identified lack of internal democracy as the bane of the former ruling party.
The defeat suffered by the PDP was unprecedented as the then opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, won the power at the centre and many states where the PDP had hitherto remained unbeaten.
Tukur however said the situation would have been different if he had not been booted out of office unceremoniously.
He said, “Well, when I was there I won elections and in the same vein, if I was there I also expect to win the election.
“But first and foremost, this is a democracy and in every democratic system, you have the opposition and the party in government.
“So, it is time (for the opposition) because it is a democracy and it is the people who decide who they want to vote for and that is what the people have done.
“Sure the PDP will rediscover itself. I am sure about that; it is their own party and they can find out what have gone wrong.
“If for 16 years people allowed you to rule them and in the 17th year they say no, you have to find out why they said no.”
He said he faced problems in the party because some of those he described as strong members of the party were afraid of election and would rather prefer selection.
He said such powerful men were ready to leave the party, but he decided to leave for them.
Tukur added, “Well, I thought we were in a system of democracy and my views were such that what I believed in were what I will preach.
“I wanted election and people said they wanted selection. If the majority or the strong people in the PDP did not believe in it then the choice or the next thing for me to do was to leave.
“It is either I leave or they leave but I did not want them to leave, so, I decided to leave. At that time, people said I was preaching internal democracy instead of imposition. So, it was difficult for me to sit down and be part of them.”
Despite the way he was treated in his party, Tukur said he would not defect to the APC, saying that it would be difficult for him to change his principle at 80.
He said, “At 80, what do you want somebody to do? You want to change somebody’s character at 80? Is it possible?
“At 80, you remain because you cannot bend. You are unbendable anymore and if you do it by force, you will break.”