A former Minister of Works, Sen. Adeseye Ogunlewe, on Friday described the gale of defections into Peoples Democratic Part, PDP, in recent days as a measure of the growing confidence in the party.
Ogunlewe spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, three state governors and scores of legislators drawn from national and state levels are among those who have recently dumped the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, for the PDP.
Ogunlewe said the party must, however, not to be carried away by the development, but leverage on it and work harder for electoral victory, come 2019.
“The defection means God has answered our prayers in PDP. It means the confidence in us in growing.
“However, we should not lose sight of our focus, which is to win in the next election.
“We should work harder and harder to realise our goal,” the PDP chieftain said.
He urged the party to ensure that only credible candidates get its tickets to vie for political offices in the 2019 elections.
Ogunlewe said that the dream of the main opposition party to dislodge the APC would only be realised if it presented credible candidates.
The former minister warned the party against imposition of candidates, saying it could undermine the chances of the party in the elections.
He counselled that the party should strengthen internal democracy to allow popular selection of credible flag bearers for the general elections.
“As our great party, the PDP, prepares to dislodge the APC in 2019, I want to advice we should do things right.
“We should ensure that we present credible candidates for the presidency and all other political offices to enable us defeat the APC.
“Nigerians know leaders who can transform the country when they see one, so, the PDP should offer leaders with right pedigree and capacity.
“It is also important that we strengthen internal democracy, give all aspirants a level playing field. It is through free and fair primaries that we can have credible candidates we need to win the general elections,” Ogunlewe said.
He said that politics had gone scientific, urging the PDP to carry out proper research to enrich its manifesto for the election.
The former minister urged the main opposition to design workable plans and programmes that would transform the country.
Ogunlewe called for unity in the Lagos chapter of the party, in order to win the state in 2019.
He urged members to close ranks and work in unison, while also calling for prayers to address some of the challenges the chapter was facing.