Dino Melaye, a former Nigerian lawmaker, has talked about his support for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He claimed that he was blind when he criticsed the PDP.
Melaye said this when he appeared on Trust TV’s Daily Politics on Wednesday.
In the buildup to the 2015 election, Melaye, who is currently spokesman of Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign, had joined forces with the then opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) to demarket the PDP, leading to its 16-year dominance of power at the centre.
The former senator anchored some of the campaign rallies of the APC, where he attacked PDP and former President Goodluck Jonathan.
One of his campaign slogans back then was, “When I say Jonathan, you say Otuoke; when I say Otuoke, you say by road.”
Otuoke in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State is the hometown of Jonathan.
In his Trust TV interview, Melaye said, “Once I was blind, now I can see. As at the time I criticized the PDP, I was a member of the PDP at the time and I criticized the PDP. When I also became a member of the APC, and APC was going haywire, I also criticized the APC.”
He added that his criticism was not about the party but the wrongs that were being carried out as of then.
“So it is not about political party, at a time I criticized those things that were wrong with the PDP.
The PDP campaign Spokesperson also said comparing PDP to the APC could only be likened to drawing an analogy between light and darkness.
“No political party is 100 percent clean but to compare the PDP and the APC is like comparing light and darkness. Where PDP is the light, PDP at that time committed what I call miscellaneous offences, they committed minor offences but what the APC is doing today is completely destroying the fabric of our country and the problem I had with the PDP then has nothing to do with threats to the unity of this country or even to the existence of this country but what the APC has done today has not only created disunity but is also threatening the very existence of Nigeria.”
Melaye also dismissed insinuations that the PDP has been unable to call Governor Nyesom Wike’s bluff because the party needs his financial contribution in the 2023 elections.
The Rivers State governor has been in crisis with the PDP and its presidential standard bearer, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar sisine Wike lost the party’s vice-presidential slot to governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
Melaye denied the existence of any “serious crisis” in the PDP, noting that Atiku and Wike were not at loggerheads. He said it is an internal party disagreement that would be domestically resolved.
He said, “It is absolutely not true that the PDP is in serious crisis. There’s no serious crisis at all. And it’s not also true that Wike and my principal (Alhaji Atiku Abubakar) are at loggerheads. It’s not correct, because it takes two people to be in crisis.
“And I want to tell you this, there are disagreements within the PDP. Democracy is noisy, democracy is about agreement and disagreements. There’s nothing peculiar with what’s happening in the PDP. It’s a normal disagreement within a family. It’s a domestic issue that will be domestically tackled. The PDP is bigger than any individual.”
Regarding the insinuations that Atiku is threading carefully with Wike because he needs his financial assistance for the elections, Malaye laughed and said those making those claims are on “cheap drugs.”
Melaye said, “You must have been listening to some individuals who are on cheap drugs. To say that Atiku Abubakar who’s a serial contestant, who has contested for the presidency for this country perfectly well, who has funded his elections through him and his friends and cronies, and you tell me that he’s not prepared? Did he not go through a primary? Did he rely on a governor in the last two elections?
“We just finished Osun election. Governor Wike was not present at the campaigns. And neither did he fund that election. And we won that election. So we don’t want you to begin to attribute a whole political party to an individual. You don’t even say that about a conglomerate like Atiku Abubakar.
“This is a very successful businessman who has his contacts in every part of this country. Even if Atiku Abubakar doesn’t have the money, talakwas (the poor) will raise the money, because they want Atiku Abubakar to be the president of this country. But I’m even telling you, that by the grace of the almighty God, the PDP will execute our elections successfully.”