PDP ready to shove APC out in 2023 –Ebenezer Babatope

The National Publicity Secretary of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Ebeneezer Babatope says the party will get its act together in a matter of days. Babatope expresses his minds on issues surrounding the party and national matters in an interview with Oladipupo Awo jobi. Excerpts…

If your party zones the presidency to the North, how do you think the people would react as we currently have a Northern president spending second term in office?

I can assure you that as I am talking to you, the party has not taken a decision on where to zone the presidency and we have a zoning committee backed by the National Working Committee (NWC) on how to go about the matter. It is when we decide that we can make permutations on the reaction of the people. But I can assure you that when we do so we will make sure that we have victory for the people of Nigeria.

It’s like the PDP believes that the last president from their party is from the South so they would go for a Northern president now…

As far as we are concerned, we are not against what the Southern governors said, but within the next one week we are going to take a decision on this.

The new National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu, was a member of the PDP, what does this portend for your party?

It does not portend anything, I know Senator Abdullahi Adamu very well, he was with us, he was the Governor of Nasarawa State under the PDP for eight years. I am not afraid of his appointment or election; the APC will meet the PDP well prepared to sort everything out. But like I have said, let’s wait for just one week, we are going to get our acts together, then you will know what will happen next. We have the likes of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Dele Momodu that have collected presidential forms in your party. Some people look at Atiku who said he would leave your party if he is not picked, and Saraki is saying his own too, what do you say to this? That is why we said people should give us just one week and everything will be sorted out. There would be no problem at the end of the day.

Your party said that the court should declare the National Convention of the APC illegal, people are saying that why would they go to that length, when they should face politics?

Don’t forget that we are politicians and whatever the judiciary pronounces is the final. We will wait for the court judgement. We are preparing for the general elections and we hope that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will not prove an obstacle to the election. We want an INEC that will give us good, credible and fair general elections.

How easy do you think it would be for the PDP to get back to power as the APC has the highest number of governors and just recently someone like Rabiu Kwakwanso left your party and you still have some issues?

As far as I am concerned, we are going to do the best for our party and Nigerians. I’m not moved that Kwakwanso has left our party, he can go wherever he wants. All that is important to me is that we set our party on the path of electoral victory, justice and fairness.

Do you think the South West is justified in asking to produce the next president of Nigeria, and it is believed that even if the South East wants the presidency it should be from the PDP since it is more popu-lar there than the APC

…All that I know is that we will not allow the people of Nigeria to be rubbished by injustice and unfairness. We stand by justice and fair play.

What do you think this government should do about security against the background of the attack on an Abuja-Kaduna train and some other incidents that have been happening?

The government must take the issue of security seriously as insecurity is ravaging our country and it is making nonsense of our efforts of having democracy. When we have security there would be rest of mind. Insecurity is becoming so serious and everybody must show concern so that it can be solved.

Which one should come first; restructuring of the country or general elections as some people are saying that without restructuring there can be no elections?

Let us just know that our country needs prayers so that everything should be well. The PDP has not taken a position on this, but I am for restructuring.

What is your advice to INEC?

They must make up their minds to give us good and credible elections. They should go for justice and democracy.

Some people believe that their votes do not count and that they would not vote in the next general elections, what is your advice to them?

We must make sure that our votes count and democracy prevails and by the grace of God the will of the people will prevail.

What will your party do better if it gets to power in 2023?

We have learnt our lessons and we underestimated the potential of the Nigerian people; we will work for the people and have justice and make sure that democracy prevails.




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