- Nigeria's main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is doing everything possible to revive the party
- Efforts are on to woo former big wigs of the party to return to its fold
- The party is already preparing for the elections in 2019
The leadership of the PDP on Tuesday, August 8 kick-started its plans moves to woo former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, back to its fold.
Others targeted by the former ruling party include Senators Rabiu Kwankwaso, Aliyu Wamakko, Abdullahi Adamu, Danjuma Goje, Governor Aminu Tambuwal and many others who were members of the PDP but defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) before the 2015 elections.
According to The Nation, the PDP appointed Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe) as chairman and deputy chairman of a reconciliation committee set up to woo the high profile politicians back to its fold.
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The national chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, tasked the governors on the need to win the targeted individuals back to the party during their inauguration in Abuja on Tuesday, August 8.
The party also appointed a former minister of foreign affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi, as chairman of a newly inaugurated disciplinary committee.
A former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara, was named deputy.
Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, was named chairman of National Convention Committee, while former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido, will act as deputy chairman.
Makarfi charged the reconciliation committee to extend its assignment to the founding members of the PDP, stressing that the dragnet should be extended beyond those that left the party in 2015.
His words: “Everybody that was in PDP at one time or the other should be reconciled with. It is not limited to pre-2015.”
Makarfi also mandated the committee to reach out to other individuals who have never been in the PDP with a view to bringing them into the party without any conditions attached.
“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,” he added.
Meanwhile, a recent media report indicates that there is division among two major northern youth groups over who to endorse as a northern candidate in 2019.
According to the report, the 2019 purported presidential ambitions of incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, have created a gulf between the groups.
The division reportedly started after AYCF leader, Alhaji Yerima Shettima granted an interview, asking Buhari and Atiku and other northern political leaders above 60 years of age to perish the thought of seeking elective offices in 2019.
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