President Goodluck Jonathan, Thursday said all members of the Peoples Democratic Party who defected to the All Progressives Congress because he lost the March 28 presidential election would return ‘with empty stomachs,’ saying the leaders of the APC ‘would first settle their existing members before thinking of settling defectors.’
He added that “food” may have finished before it gets to the turn of the defectors to eat.
He spoke at the presidential Villa while receiving the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization’s (PCO) report from its Director General, Ahmadu Ali.
While warning members of the party who are defecting to other parties that they would be worse off, President Jonathan noted that despite losing the presidential, the PDP still remains a formidable party.
He said though he did not consult anybody before calling General Buhari to concede defeat, the president said he did so on behalf of all members of the party.
“I still believe though we have lost the presidential elections, some National Assembly elections, governorship elections, especially in the north, PDP is still the dominant party. Let us not judge PDP by the result of the presidential elections. Our duty is to go back and identify areas of challenges so that the party will come up strong and play the role as a very strong party.
“PDP is still the most organized party, is still the party that is not owned by anybody, is still the party that whatever you are you can get to any level with your competences and so on.
“So I encourage members of our party to remain loyal to the party, not to be so disillusioned because we lost presidential election and decide to go where they think they will fill their stomachs or something. Is not easy I have been here for five years plus, you hardly satisfy even 15 percent of those who work for you.
“Those people running and those already cross-carpeting, they will come back on an empty stomach because they will touch the primary members of their party, before they get to you, they know you are coming because you are hungry, before it will get to you the food will be gone.”
While stressing that the PDP remains a formidable party, president Jonathan insinuated that even in those areas that “If you look at the result, the difference is just 2.5 million votes and if you look at the areas where it is perceived that PDP scored so low, PDP couldn’t have gotten those kinds of scores but the elections are over, the country first.”
“It is not as if Jonathan alone made the sacrifice it’s all of us. I made the pronouncement but some of us are paying the price. Some people pay more price than I do. I know how some of you are already being persecuted and the kind of situation facing you. The key thing is that we must continue to unite, as a party we must continue to work hard so that as we go into subsequent elections 2019, 2023 and so on and so forth, PDP will continue to come up strong. Even in the interest of the nation, we need PDP,” he said.