Wednesday, July 25, 2018

PDP to hold further talks with Saraki, Dogara, others



Apparently basking in the euphoria of the gale of defections which hit the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday, the Contact and Integration Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is set to meet with Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Senator Shehu Sanni, Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed of Kwara state and a host of others next week.

Findings by Vanguard reveal that the leadership of the PDP, not prepared to take chances has decided to go the whole hog, using the opportunity provided by the two months recess embarked upon by the federal legislators on Tuesday. The party, this medium gathered, is optimistic of the willingness of the politicians to return to its fold, given the protracted relationship they have endured in the All Progressives Congress in since 2015.

A former Minister in the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan told our correspondent in confidence that the PDP, having done “an excellent homework,” is prepared to welcome some big names into its fold after next week meeting with those he described as “neither in the APC or in PDP at the moment.”

“The talks have been on for several months now. I can say without fear of contradiction that we started this journey immediately we got the historic Supreme Court Judgement on July 12, 2017 which affirmed the leadership of the former chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of our party, Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi. But recent events have convinced us the more on the need for continuous engagements with these critical stakeholders.

“As early as next week, representatives of the party will meet with Saraki, Dogara, the Kwara governor and all those that left the APC but yet to identify with any party. Our mission is not to destabilise the ruling party as I read earlier today (Wednesday) but to rescue Nigeria. Today, the nation is sinking but we can’t allow what is happening now to proceed beyond May 29, 2019,” he said.

On whether former President Olusegun Obasanjo has agreed to return to the party following the visit of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), the ex-Minister noted that what was of importance is the willingness of Obasanjo to work with like-minds to liberate the nation from the “iron grip of the APC.” He described the grand coalition which pitched the African Democratic Congress (Obasanjo’s preferred platform), the PDP and 37 other parties, as a positive sign of working relationship between the former first citizen and the PDP.

“What Nigeria is facing today is beyond party nomenclature. You will agree with me that the tension in the land today is troubling for everyone. Just a few days ago, travellers including a Professor were murdered on their way to Abuja. Baba (Obasanjo) is a man who is not afraid to speak his mind and we are happy, he wrote a public statement not long ago wherein, he called the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to issues of urgent national importance.

“ADC and PDP are part of the Coalition of United Political Parties, CUPP, and if you ask me, I will say that is a sign of a working relationship. It can only get better,” he said.

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