Apologize First To Nigerians For Holding Hundreds of Party Meetings in Villa, ISD Replies PDP

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A group, the Initiative to Save Democracy (ISP), has told the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to offer hundreds of apologies for holding caucus, executive and party meetings at the Presidential Villa, during the time it held reins of the affairs of the country, from the Obasanjo years to the Yar’adua years up till the Goodluck Jonathan years.

The group was reacting to a statement by the opposition party criticizing President Muhammadu Buhari for hosting the virtual National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) Chambers on Thursday.

The ISP in a statement by its Chairman, Akinloye James, on Monday, said “if President Buhari is to apologize for hosting a virtual party meeting at the Villa, then the PDP must offer hundreds of apologies for their meetings which the group described as “mostly aimed at unproductive and unpatriotic activities.”

The group stated that the PDP had forgotten so soon how it turned the Presidential Villa to an undignified party parlor and hosted all manner of meetings there.

“When the PDP held sway for 16 years, their party held several of their meetings in the Villa. There were pictures, there were press statements, there were news stories. Nigerians do not have short memories — those events still linger.

“In January 2002, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had a meeting in the Villa with all members of the PDP at the National Assembly to discuss the state of the party.

“We vividly recall when the party was sinking, in 2013, and Olusegun Obasanjo met with then-President Goodluck Jonathan at the Villa. Another meeting held again with 16 PDP Governors. Prior to that meeting, Obasanjo had met with PDP Governors in the Presidential Villa for two days.

“One of those meetings in fact held at the First Lady’s Conference room in the Presidential Villa.

“It is simply the lack of genius, and in fact a working memory, that makes their party request President Buhari to apologize to Nigeria for using the Presidential Villa,” the statement read.

The ISD further stated that those meetings held at the Presidential Villa during the time of the PDP produced nothing but sharing of the commonwealth of Nigeria.

“You see those meetings the PDP were holding in the Villa, they were all bazaars! ‘Share this loot; share that loot. Take this and share it. Take that and share.’ Nothing productive, healthy, and positive came out of those meetings.”

The group berated the PDP for not contributing anything positive to national discourse but rather presenting itself as a “childish noisemaker.”

The ISD called on the opposition party to take conscious stock of its past and work seriously towards reforms, so it can present itself as a credible and worthy opposition in the country.

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