Godswill Akpabio, senator representing Akwa Ibom north-west, says his colleagues in the All Progressives Congress (APC) are welcome to join the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
He said APC lawmakers have been inquiring if there is accommodation for them in the PDP, adding that Nigerians are anticipating the party’s return to power in 2019.
Speaking at the PDP’s national convention in Abuja on Saturday, he said: “APC senators, the doors are open for you. We are going to welcome you and you are welcome. Without a viable democracy, there is no way you can have good governance.
“We will continue to support policies that will take Nigeria out of recession but we cannot support ones that will take Nigeria into depression.
“When gold passes through the furnace, it comes out shining. Having seen the rough days for PDP, we shall now shine like gold.
“Our brothers who were misled into thinking they are changing party, the doors are open for you. Feel free to come back. You can come back and join us, you are always welcome.
“It is time to change the change. A change that is negative must go to make room for positive change.
“What a beautiful day this is, what a beautiful moment this is for democracy in Africa. The only thing that shows there is democracy is the legislature and that is why we (lawmakers) are here in our large numbers.
“PDP stands for democracy; for the chance for people to determine who leads them. I don’t need to talk about whether PDP is ready for government. I don’t need to talk about whether we have come back. Have we not come back? Who can you say we don’t have here?
“If we did not achieve anything, I want to tell you that we have achieved experience. We did a lot while in power and our achievements are there for all to see.
“Which party set up the GSM revolution? Which party hates corruption? Which party set up ICPC, EFCC?” he asked.
Akpabio also accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of fighting political opponents in the guise of fighting corruption.
“Corruption is not a Nigerian invention but we must distinguish between fighting corruption and fighting political opponents,” he said.