Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tuesday disclosed its readiness to have back in its fold its former members like former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Atiku Abubakar, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and other important politicians who left the party as a result of one grievances or the other.
The return of the men, the party believe, will help restore the party to power in 2019.
Recall that at the height of the crisis in PDP, prominent members of the party, in the person of Atiku and Saraki alongside five PDP governors, namely Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano); Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto); Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, chairman, National Caretaker Committee of the party, disclosed the plan of the party to bring back these prominent members, during the inauguration of the three committees, namely, convention, disciplinary and reconciliation in Abuja yesterday.
At the well attended event which held at the huge event hall of Chida Hotel, Abuja, former External Affairs Minister, Chief Tom Ikimi was named as the head of the disciplinary committee; Governors of Rivers and Gombe states, Nyesom Wike and Ibrahim Dankwambo, will serve as co-chairmen of the reconciliation committee respectively while Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, is heading the convention committee.
Addressing the gathering, Makarfi did not only charge the reconciliation committee to extend their assignment to the founding members of the party, but, also to reach out to the founding fathers of the party under the aegis of “Group of 34” and ensure that they bring back members who held high positions in the past but are no longer in the party.
The chairman tasked the committee to reach out to “former high ranking government officials who came into office under the aegis of the PDP.
“This includes president, vice president, governors and former senate president, speaker of House of Representatives and all other former top ranking members in the party.
Everybody that was in PDP at one time or the other should be reconciled with. It is not limited to pre-2015” he said.
However, Tom Ikimi told the party leadership that the problems is not as difficult as it seems as he disclosed that former PDP members who defected to the APC are on their way back already.
Ikimi, who was a former chairman of the APC merger committee, added that “APC is now dying and is almost dead. I am aware that they were able to win in 2015 because of members of PDP who defected there.
“I have it on good authority that key members who left PDP and joined APC are now returning to the party. I like us to receive them with open hands and we will rebuild the party.”
Former deputy Senate President, Sen Ibrahim Mantu, advised the party to ensure that they get the convention right “to elect people that will lead us right. We will make sure we get the best to lead us” he said.