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FULL VIDEO: What Goodluck Jonathan said that angered Presidency

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday in Abuja announced that the Peoples Democratic Party had returned from limbo and would reclaim power in 2019.

Jonathan asserted this in his address at the party’s special non-elective national convention.

It is my honour and privilege to address you on this auspicious occasion of the non-elective convention of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Let me start by paying tributes to the founding fathers of our great party and all others who had laboured so hard over these past months to restore peace and tranquillity in our party. The PDP like every successful human organization has gone through a momentous time in the last one and half years.

As a party that heralded Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, the PDP had become so accustomed to success in its 16 years in power that the first time our fortunes changed at the polls, it was obvious that the party would suffer the aftershocks of the loss. It was in deed a most trying period for us as a political party.

However, it is not an experience that is peculiar to us. This is because all over the world, any party that loses election at the centre as we did will, first of all, struggle to hold together, before regaining its composure to effectively present the strong voice of the opposition, and resume the contestation to return to office.

But we thank God that the worst is over for our party. It is to his grace that we were able to emerge from this unsavoury experience, from which some political parties in other emerging democracies hardly recover, to become even stronger, within a short period of time.

The PDP is in deed back to reclaim its prime position as the party to lead Nigeria to greatness. As a human institution, we cannot claim perfection, but obviously as a political party, our accomplishments as at 2015, far outweigh our shortfalls.

Our giant developmental strides are there for all Nigerians to see. There is ample evidence to demonstrate that PDP has indeed proved to be a party of vision and accomplishments.

As I said when I addressed our members in April during the stakeholders’ forum which I convened; the 2011, 2015 general elections and other polls conducted by our administration were accepted globally to have met the international standards for free, fair and transparent elections. There is no gainsaying the fact that our disposition in freely handing over power to the opposition, after the 2015 polls, helped to deepen our democracy and project our country as one of the world’s stable democracies.

This wouldn’t have been possible if our Government did not reform the electoral and political process, by giving the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the autonomy it requires, to enable it to conduct free and fair elections.

On the economic front, we provided focused leadership, through institutional and sectoral reforms which impacted positively on the fundamentals for growth, especially in the last four years of our time in power. The effect was that we tamed inflation at a single digit, maintained price stability, grew the economy to become the largest in Africa with a GDP of over half a trillion US dollars, and the number one foreign direct investment destination on the continent.

I learnt that some people said that if PDP had remained in power beyond 2015, the economy would have performed worse. This couldn’t have been the case, because we had a sound economic team in place, managing the economy. Let us not forget that the great floods of 2012 was a major calamity that damaged homes and farmlands on the plains of River Niger and Benue. But despite the devastating effect of this natural disaster, there was no food shortages or arbitrary increase in prices, because of what we were able to accomplish with our Agriculture Transformation Agenda, which considerably boosted food production.

My appreciation also goes to all PDP members and supporters, both at home and in the Diaspora.

I thank the Convention Planning Committee for putting this August event together. I also congratulate all delegates for the successful trip to the convention.

Finally, I wish you all successful deliberations at this convention. May God return you all back home safely.

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