Abubakar, who was chosen as the PDP flag bearer in June after defeating Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike in the primaries, said the party had learned from its mistakes and was ready to reclaim power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). He praised the founding leaders and members of the PDP for their sacrifices and contributions to Nigeria’s democracy since 1999.
He said the PDP had a track record of achievements in various sectors of the economy, such as telecommunications, pensions, banking, agriculture, and infrastructure. He contrasted this with the dismal performance of the APC, which he accused of wrecking the economy, plunging the country into poverty and insecurity, and eroding democratic values.
He urged Nigerians not to lose faith in the nation but to rally behind the PDP as the only viable alternative to the APC. He also promised to unite all aggrieved members of the party and work with other opposition parties to form a broad coalition against the APC.
Abubakar’s running mate, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, also spoke at the anniversary event, which was held at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja. He said the PDP had a clear vision and agenda for Nigeria’s development and would deliver on its promises if elected.
The anniversary was attended by several PDP leaders and supporters from across the country, including former presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo, former senate president Bukola Saraki, and former governors Peter Obi and Ayodele Fayose, among others.
The PDP was formed on August 31, 1998, by a coalition of politicians and activists who opposed military rule and advocated for a return to democracy. The party won the 1999 presidential election with Obasanjo as its candidate and Abubakar as his deputy. The party remained in power until 2015, when it lost to the APC led by Muhammadu Buhari. The PDP has since been in opposition at the federal level but still controls some states and local governments.