One of the candidates for the Peoples Democratic Party’s Chairmanship race, Chief Raymond Dokpesi has said that he seeks the position to revive the dying vision of the party’s founding fathers and reposition it as a formidable opposition in the country.
He said it is imperative to restructure the party so it can take power from President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress in 2019.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Thursday, August 11, Dokpesi said he is the best man for the job, adding that any attempt by PDP governors and other interested parties within the party to micro-zone the chairmanship of the party to the Southwest will only create more problems for the party.
He said: “My mission is to serve the party and restructure the vision of its founding fathers in line with developments that have taken place and restore strong values to deepen and strengthen the party. “We want to give strong opposition to this government because there is a lot hunger and poverty in the country and Nigerians are suffering.
“My ambition is for PDP to win 2019 and I am going to deploy massively for that to happen. For that reason I am going to bring back all those leaders who left and I hereby tender my unreserved apology to them to return.
“There will be level playing field for all candidates under my leadership. I am not an agent of anybody and I am not sponsored by anyone and I feel insulted to hear that someone is sponsoring me. But I have no commitment to anybody. I am ready to kneel down for those aggrieved to come back to the party in order for us to be victorious in 2019.
“I am the most acceptable candidate for the job. It has been repeatedly made clear that the post is for the south and nothing more. Nobody can micro-zone it to the Southwest. I’m pursuing the matter without violating any rule of the party and nobody can accuse me of anti-party activity because I had already done 24 states before they did what they did. I believe they have the love for the party like I do.
“I strongly believe that time has come for the party to determine its future by allowing all in the South to contest so as not to lose its position but to play proper opposition and leave its old ways. I believe that Nigerians are yearning for the new leadership I represent.
“I hope the PDP Governors have learned their lessons and depart from the ways of the past and I am not naive to take their words hook line and sinker. Nigerians are watching them. The consequence of not allowing the will of the people to prevail will break up the party and it can therefore not survive the current crisis. I don’t belong to any faction of the party.
“The challenges I’ve seen moved me to contest for the post of chairman. If I lose, I will still remain a loyal and committed member of PDP. My reason for being in PDP is not to be president or minister but to contribute to national development and create better future for children.
“I have retired from public service but I have a stronger household name than any other contestant and I have created a national and international image than any other contestant in the race. I want to do something to prosper the ordinary man and will remain in PDP till the end.”
Dokpesi stressed that the National Working Committee clearly zoned the chairmanship position to the South while the Presidency goes to the North, adding that it is unfortunate some people are trying to manipulate it.
The party’s national convention is scheduled to hold on August 17, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.