In a bid to build a strong opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has extracted a commitment from its lawmakers-elect into the eighth National Assembly that they would not defect to another party while in office.
The party leadership got the undertaking from the new lawmakers at a one-day retreat in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday.
In an eight-point communiqué issued at the end of the retreat, members of the Forum of PDP National Assembly members-elect explained they undertook to “provide the nation with a healthy, robust, vigilant, and responsible opposition to promote democratic good governance and development.”
In the communiqué which was signed by the Senate Deputy President Ike Ekweremadu and the deputy leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Leo Ogor, the forum further resolved “to shun defections and remain in the PDP to revive its political fortunes and give Nigerians better leadership; to continue to work as a body and speak with one voice at the National Assembly to further the party’s ideologies, interests, and national good; and to set up an effective oversight mechanism to benchmark the activities of the APC-led government on real time basis”.
It noted that PDP leaders and governors attended the retreat en masse and promised to avail their contingent to the eighth National Assembly the support and cooperate with other critical stakeholders to provide a responsible and effective opposition in the polity.
It continued: “The PDP leadership pledged to work with the members of the PDP in the National Assembly and give them the maximum support to excel as a vibrant opposition in parliament.
“The PDP leadership and National Assembly members emphasised the need for an efficient media management and in this regard will partner with the mainstream media to hold the APC-led government accountable to the people of Nigeria in the management of the country.
“The PDP National Assembly members resolved to partner with the party leadership and PDP governors to deliver quality governance to the people of Nigeria in PDP-controlled states.”
The lawmakers-elect also agreed to hold such retreats and other strategic fora regularly.