Former Kaduna State Governor and Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has outlined plans by the party to reach out to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, members of the G-34 who founded the party and many others who have left the PDP with a view to encouraging them to return as it bids to rebuild itself to recapture power in 2019.
Senator Makarfi gave this hint while inaugurating the National Convention Planning, and the National Reconciliation and Disciplinary Committees in Abuja on Tuesday. Makarfi counselled the Reconciliation Committee to reach out to all former members who had gone to other parties and even non-members who could be convinced to join the PDP provided that they did not give any conditions.
According to him, “Reconciliation is to reconcile and bring back to the fold those who held top political offices on PDP platform, be they President, Vice President, Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Governor or Deputy Governor and G-34.
“You can even reconcile with those who have never been in the PDP and bring them back to the PDP. You must not close doors for anybody coming into the PDP, and we must create level playing ground,” he told the committee.
He announced that there were many important former leaders that left the party who have now indicated their willingness to return. He however said he would not give names in order to keep opponents guessing.
He advised that the PDP must be humble and communicate in the appropriate language to Nigerians to regain their trust and confidence, while also mocking the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) for its inability to hold a convention, noting that the only meeting its leadership held recently, some of its governors came out to threaten that they may dump the party.
The National Convention Planning Committee is headed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Governor Nyesom Wike and Ibrahim Dankwabo of Rivers and Gombe States respectively, as Co-Chairmen while former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi is Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee.
Meanwhile, Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central), has called on the national leadership of the APC to wade into the crisis in Kaduna State before it gets out of hand. He said the party must work towards entrenchment of internal democracy to avoid falling into the pitfalls that killed former ruling parties such as the PDP.
Sani, who is the Chairman, Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, in a chat with Daily Trust, in Lagos, said congress was never held in Kaduna, stressing that members of the party would not condone tyranny by an individual.
Sani and Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i have been in a seeming unending row since 2015 soon after they won their various offices under the APC.
Making reference to the recent attack on his person, Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi and some journalists, at the NUJ Centre in Kaduna, Senator Sani said the national leadership of the APC should not turn a blind eye to developments in Kaduna.
“We are desirous of seeing the party succeed in 2019; but we would not in any way fold our arms and see one person go into the rooms and write the names of delegates and send it to Abuja; that will never happen. So that’s our position,” he said.