AHEAD of its national conference scheduled to commence tomorrow, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has pleaded for forgiveness from Nigerians for mistakes of the past.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, Chairman, Planning Committee of the PDP National Conference, Dr Raymond Dokpesi said the apology became necessary as the erstwhile ruling party did not meet expectations of Nigerians for the 16 years it was in control of the Federal Government.
Dokpesi said: “We are aware that there were errors we made. We admit that we made mistakes and we have not met the expectations of Nigerians and we tender unreserved apologies for these mistakes.
“You must have seen the Ike Ekweremadu report on why we are apologising.
There was no internal democracy, there was impunity within the party and there was no level-playing field for members of the party.
“Zoning principles of the party were abandoned and a gamut of all other issues which will come out during the conference and for all these and the people who have been offended, for people whose toes were stepped upon, we also tender unreserved apology.”
“These are the reasons why we are begging and apologising. We want to a$$ure every founding member of the party, that we deviated from their visions, and that’s why we are going to have all our founding fathers at the conference.
“For every and any mistake we have made, I, there- fore, say, we tender our unreserved apologies.”
Dokpesi also expressed regret that the party’s zoning principle for elective offices was jettisoned in 2011 and 2015, for former president Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to emerge as presidential candidate.
He further declared that the party’s leadership ought to have allowed the North to complete the tenure of the late president, Umaru Yar’Adua who died in May 2010.
“ The party, in 2010 and 2011, made the first round of mistake of not allowing the North to complete its term.
“That was when the party gave a special favour for the then President who came to complete the term of Yar’Adua to be allowed one term to finish.
“The same small leaders of the party came forward in 2015, to state again and re- fused to allow the North to field the party’s presidential candidate, they manipulated the party to do the same.”