Earlier this week, Raymond Dokpesi decided to tender an apology to Nigerians and rather than emphasise that he was speaking for himself, he deigned to speak on behalf of the party. “We made some mistakes. We apologise,” he said, while addressing the press concerning the PDP’s forthcoming national conference in his role as chairman of the organising committee.
The apology by Dokpesi was dismissed by most Nigerians and commentators because he premised his argument on a position that the PDP made a mistake in fielding former president Goodluck Jonathan as its flag bearer in 2011 and 2015 because the former president is not from the North. Dokpesi’s post-mortem on the PDP’s failures was not about the party’s perceived nonperformance but their non-adherence to zoning.
Now the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has also come out to distance itself from Dokpesi’s apology. The party, through the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, explained that Dokpesi’s apology was baseless as he was not a member of the party’s National Executive Committee.
Metuh told journalists that Dokpesi had the right to only speak for himself, and not for the party.
He reiterated the fact that the decision to field Jonathan was approved by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), the National Executive Council (NEC), and the National Caucus.
“In addition, the Constitution of the party allows a sitting president the chance to exercise his personal right to run for a second term if he so desires,” he said.
PDP has no regrets for fielding Jonathan, said Metuh, because “everybody was conscious of the decision; nobody was coerced into supporting the position.”
He, however, said it was not the time for buck-passing or blame-game but time to collectively reposition the party.
“We are repositioning our party. What we should do is to join hands to reposition PDP based on Sen. Ike Ekweremadu’s report to reclaim the party’s lost glory. This is what is expected of us all at this time,’’ Metuh said.