Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta has advised the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC) administration in Nigeria to brace up for the challenges of national development and reconciliation.
Uduaghan said this in Ibadan on Friday night at the 2nd National Public Lecture of the University of Ibadan ALUMNI Association at the institution’s Trenchard hall.
He urged the incoming administration to begin a unification, reconciliation and healing process of the country.
“Nigeria’s electoral map has been redrawn. It was the first time a ruling party would be voted out and submitted willingly to the verdict of the voters.
“President Goodluck Jonathan has shown great leadership and statesmanship and we are proud of his conduct.
“The election, however, showed deep division more than anyone could anticipate,” he said.
He said that it was the first time the entire North would speak with one voice and the old Eastern region also with a voice.
According to him, this development has placed a huge burden on the president-elect and his team.
“I hope the APC leaders will listen to my voice as this will greatly help in moving the nation forward. I can speak of this as a member of PDP in the last 16 years, who knows what lies ahead.
“My opinion does not make me less partisan or less chieftain of the PDP. I am a patriot but a card carrying member of PDP.
“I believe in my party despite its shortcomings and mistakes, it is still a great party with a profound vision for Nigeria and Africa,” he said.
He said that the PDP, which took over from the military in 1999 was able to consolidate civilian democratic rule, likewise initiated reforms in several sectors re-basing the economy as the largest in Africa.
The governor, however, said that he had not studied the ‘Change’ the APC was promising Nigerians, hoping that they would be serious about it when they assumed office.
He called on the PDP to reinvent, and re-organise itself in order to be an effective opposition party and as a conscience of the nation.
“Gone are the days when party leaders boasted that PDP would hold on to power for 60 years and it took only 16 years for that dream to collapse.
“It is not time to despair but the time for hard work. I call on all committed, knowledgeable and matured leaders to step forward to pick up the pieces.
“We have lost the election but let us not lose the lesson of the defeat,” he said. (NAN)