Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
Former Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, has confessed to staffers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that “I was part of the problem” that derailed the party.
He said he played a role in the problems buffeting the lead opposition party in the country.
Mantu, addressed PDP staff at the National Executive Committee (NEC) hall when the Board of Trustees (BoT) met with them, after a week-long closure of the party secretariat by the Police, following the emergence of three groups that laid claims to its leadership recently.
The ex-deputy Senate president said alongside other leaders of the party, he owes the country an apology over impunity that reigned in PDP, and by extension, the national politics.
Mantu, who was a front-line proponent of Olusegun Obasanjo’s failed third term project said being part of government from 1999 till 2007, when he lost election to return to the Senate, he was part of the system of the party that created the problem.
“This is what we call impunity. The first kind of impunity is the one that is ruining our party, and some of us said no! We cannot just fold our arms and see our party sinking deeper and deeper to the grave.
“That is why we rose to the challenge and said no to impunity; no to imposition; no to recklessness; we said no to everything bad that has actually destroyed our party.
“And we decided to pick the bits and pieces and rebuild the PDP. We are not going to say this man is right, that man is wrong.
“Those of us who have been in the system right from 1999, whether I like it or not, I was part of the problem. That is why I say we need to apologize to the Nigerian people. We need to apologize to God in Heaven who gave us power and we misused that power, and I say we are now born again, we are repentant. We are now saying, as born again people we must do things differently, we should be seen to be doing things in accordance to the aspiration of the people”, he said.
Mantu, who said the re-branded PDP would need a contrite heart in its future engagements added that the staff also share in the blame that caused the woes of the party.
According to him: “you too must be born again because some of you served as secretary of our committees that go and write results they don’t have.
“When you go and write results instead of conducting congresses. Not everybody is as guilty but if you are part of a system, you must take responsibility.
“I have worked with many of you as secretaries in conferences. I know many of you. I can name names here. What am saying is that we must be repentant and change our attitude”, he noted.
Earlier, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sen. Jibrin Walid had said the BoT was not out to take over the job of any group but to fill the vacuum which power abhors.
He thanked the Inspector General of Police for his quick intervention through the deployment of personnel to protect the properties of the party from being destroyed as well as the life of the staff who maybe within the complex in the event of any assault.
“BoT remains the only legal body in the whole set up that has no court order against it. We are here to play our role and not take over the secretariat. We are hoping that the problems will be resolved.
“BoT is taking it upon itself to resolve the problems in the party. We have gone very far in resolving the problems. We are making contacts and consultations.
“The BoT has not come to apportion blames. We seek your corporation; we are not here to take over offices of anybody. Your offices are your offices. We will do our best to ensure normalcy in the party.
“We will do that without fearing anybody. We will do that so that our name and role will be fully maintained”, he said.
He added that the PDP was not down but on a sabbatical from which it will rebound.
“We are only on sabbatical leave. When we are done we will return to the center. We are going back in 2019 but we can only do that if we corporate. We have come to play the role of fathers”, he insisted.