By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- DEPUTY Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Saturday said that the 2019 presidential contest would be keen, just as he stressed that it was an indication that the decision of several chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, himself inclusive, to stay back to revive the party after the 2015 general elections had paid off.
In a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, Ekweremadu said that his decision to remain in PDP during its trying times and despite political persecutions, was to ensure Nigeria continued to enjoy a balanced democracy devoid of one-party system.
Fielding questions from Journalists during an interactive radio programme on Urban 94.5 FM Radio, Enugu, at the weekend, Ekweremadu said, “the beauty of democracy is stiff competition and vibrant opposition. If you recall my statement in April 2015 after we lost the presidential election, I made it clear that on the PDP we stand. I didn’t nurse any illusion that it would be a smooth ride, but I was determined to pay the price.
“For me, we have paid a lot of price in PDP. I have committed so much of my time to making sure that PDP is what it is today. I am proud to see the product of those efforts manifest. Today, the PDP is a party to contend with. You couldn’t say the same thing about the party in 2016, for instance. Then, the party was in shambles. We were able to put things together. Together with our friends, colleagues, our governors and some other people, who stayed behind, we were able to rebuild the PDP.”
On the chances of the major political parties, Ekweremadu explained: “Let me tell you the exact thing about what is happening presently. Ahead of the presidential election, no one can surely say that this party would win or this candidate would win. But in 2015 or 2016, nobody gave PDP a chance and today PDP has bounced back to life.
“So, when you watch the rallies, you say oh, this is a huge crowd for APC in Adamawa or that was a huge PDP crowd in Katsina, the home of the President. That is an interesting thing and that is exactly what we worked for and we are able to see Nigerians participating. So, I am happy when I see this close contest and by the grace of God, PDP will win.”