Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
Former Chairman of Daar Communications and chairman of PDP E-registration committee, high Chief Raymond Dokpesi has dismissed the $2.1 billion Arms gate at as a hoax.
He said the whole charade was organized to diminish the Peoples Democratic Party and its leadership.
Dokpesi said whatever the adversity directed at the Peoples Democratic Party, the party will continue to thrive and survive the crises.
He said the PDP is facing a massive persecution of a kind never before experienced and the onslaught is targeted at the leadership of the party.
Dokpesi who said these in his acceptance speech while receiving his certificate of patron of the PDP National Vanguard stressed that the fighting spirit of the PDP will keep the party alive.
He said the present attack on the Peoples Democratic Party and its leadership by the APC led federal government would only impede on Nigeria’s political journey and maturity.
Dokpesi who was recently granted bail for alleged share of N2.1bn of Arms money received from the Office of the National Security Adviser said even as he was speaking, there is an ongoing relentless pursuit of PDP members across the country.
He stressed that although the onslaught may be tough, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party will not broken but would remain resolute to keep the PDP flag high.
“I assure you that we will not be weakened or demoralised in playing our role as the important opposition voice which is a very critical ingredient in any democratic state. We may be harassed, we may even be bent, but we are resolute and will not be broken! Even as I speak now the relentless pursuit of our members across the country is being intensified and I can say with some measure of certainty that a lot more lie in stock for the PDP and it’s members.
“Our Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) played a key role in the entrenchment of democracy in this country. In its sixteen years in power, it brought about major reforms in the economy, communication, technology and business which has today made Nigeria the biggest economy in Africa.
“The democratic freedoms which the now ruling party rode to power with, was made possible by the PDP government which ensured fundamental rights of citizens to freely express themselves were guaranteed even at the expense of its existence as the then ruling party. Legislation like the freedom of Information Act, realities of the PDP government.
“Our Party the PDP is at a key stage in its development as it embarks on critical reforms to reorganise, rebrand and restructure itself for the challenges of governance in our country’s democracy.
Our Party’s congresses are due ahead of our National Convention in March 2016. Make no mistake about it, we will remain a vibrant pillar in the superstructure that defines our political firmament as a country.
“I wish to emphasise that the current ruling Party is making efforts to impede our journey to political maturity through the manipulation of the federal system to serve purely partisan interest.
“Our Party is indeed experiencing a massive persecution, political reprisal and vendetta, of the kind never before seen on our shores and targeted at the leadership, membership and indeed sympathizers of the PDP by the APC Government of the day.
“However let me call on all members of the PDP nationwide especially you members of the Youth Vanguard to remain firmly resolute and stand behind the Leadership of the Party at all levels in our bid to ensure the Party gets fair hearing and judgments in all the cases at the various election tribunals.
“The provisions of section 287 of our constitution are very clear on the obedience of court orders by all arms of Government.
“I must hasten to assure you that there is nothing like the much flaunted 2.1 Billion USD Arms gate. The competent courts of our land would sooner or later prove this coinage aimed at decimating the leadership and membership of our great party to be nothing but a hoax.
“Some of us are reminded of the events of 1984/85 which by any stretch of comparison are similar to the unfolding events of today. As I have said not too long ago, we must stand resolutely united especially in the face of this momentary political adversity. For one thing I say again that the PDP is not dead, is not dying and will not die.
“I assure you ladies and gentlemen, the youth and vitality of this nation, our faith in Nigeria remains unshakable. We will support any policy of government that seeks to promote the ideals of good governance. But we should also not be cowed to speak up where we disagree.
“I must end this short acceptance speech by looking at you members of the PDP Youth Vanguard eye-ball to eye-ball and say unequivocally that You are the future of this great country. It is you who must now decide where the country goes, Forward or Backward and you must do so given the opportunities of our democratic choices. It is you who must bring about the actualization of the much vaunted potentials of our country. You constitute the veritable platform on which the future of this country must stand.
“In accepting your nomination and appointment as Patron of the PDP Youth Vanguard, I will discharge my responsibilities within the limits permitted by our Constitution and laws.
“I wholeheartedly accept to serve as Patron to the PDP Youth Vanguard and thank you once again for considering me worthy of the position,” Dokpesi assured.
Earlier in the day, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Youth Vanguard had stormed the Party’s National Secretariat, Abuja in solidarity with the Party over what it described as it’s season of travails, demanding the release of Olisa Metuh who is in the custody of the EFCC before visiting home of the Chief Dokpesi at the Kpaduma Hills, Asokoro to present him with the honour of Patron of the PDP National Youth Vanguard.
National Coordinator of the PDP Youth Vanguard, Amb. Ibrahim Bala who spoke to journalists at the Wadata house amidst chanting “Release Olisa Metuh now, Stop intimidating our image maker, PDP cannot be intimidated.”
Bala said the PDP Youth Vanguard would mobilize massive support for the PDP across the country to make the party acceptable across board for victory at the poll in the centre come 2019.
The PDP Vanguard commended the leadership of the party for her effort so far at revitalising the party and preparing it to stand as a winning formula in 2019.