The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday made an admission that fielding immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole candidate for the May 29 presidential election was an error.
Speaking at a media parley in Abuja, the opposition party’s Chairman on National Conference Organising Committee, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, argued that the party ought to have stuck to its zoning arrangement, with an addition that the fundamental mistake the party made was the breach of its power shift pact in 2011.
Dokpesi explained that when President Umaru Ya’Adua died in office, the party ought to have allowed somebody from the North to complete his tenure, rather than settling for Jonathan from the South as its presidential candidate in 2011.
According to him, “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.
“We tender an apology. But the past is exactly what it is. We call on all party faithfuls, supporters and sympathisers to partner with us going forward.
“You asked about the mistakes the party made, the Ekweremadu Report is very explicit on that. It acknowledged the fact that the party made a lot of strides during the last 16 years, but also there was no internal democracy; there was impunity within the party; there was no level playing field for members of the party.
“The zoning principles of the party were abandoned and a gamut of all other issues which will come up during the conference. And for all these and for the people who have been offended, for people whose toes were stepped upon, we tender an unreserved apology.
“As a fallout of the matters arising from the last general election, it has become necessary to bring together the different stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party in a national conference that would critically review the current state of affairs in the party.
“A leader is not just the one sitting on top of the pyramid looking down at his followers and barking instructions to them, a leader is the one that sees as essential the grooming of those at the lower levels of the pyramid for an effective succession implementation scheme.”