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• Reads riot act to errant members
From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, yesterday mandated the party’s Reconciliation Committee to bring back former President Olusegun Obasanjo, his deputy, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku and other top politicians who left the party.
Makarfi gave the charge while speaking at the inauguration of the PDP Reconciliation, Disciplinary and National Convention Committees in Abuja.
The disciplinary committee is chaired by former Minister of External Affairs, Chief Tom Ikimi, while Governors Nyesom Wike and Ibrahim Dankwambo of Rivers and Gombe, respectively, will serve as co-chairmen of the Reconciliation Committee.
On the other hand, Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, heads the convention committee.
Apart from Obasanjo and Atiku, others who held offices on the PDP platform during its 16 years rule, but had left the party, are Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
Others are former governors of Rivers and Kano states, Chibuike Amaechi and Rabiu Kwankwanso, respectively, among others. Recall that 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) had defected to the APC prior to the 2015 general election.
While governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, who was then Speaker of the House of Representatives led members from the Green Chamber into the ruling party. The PDP chairman, who reiterated his commitment to genuine reconciliation in the party, urged the reconciliation committee not to restrict itself to the pre-2015 era.
He said the committee should reach out to “former high ranking government officials who came into office on the platform of the PDP.
“This includes president, vice, 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.”
Also, Makarfi urged the reconciliation committee to reach out to the founding fathers of the party under the aegis of G34 , who left the party with a view to wooing them back.
However, he said the reconciliation must not be based on conditionalities.
The PDP leader also read a riot act to errant members of the party and said the opposition party can no longer condone indiscipline within its fold.
“Acts of anti-party activities will no longer be condoned. We will sanction anybody who takes the party to court without exhausting internal crisis resolution mechanism,” he warned.
Makarfi also apologised to Nigerians in any area the PDP may have erred and assured that the party would do better when it regains power.
Speaking at the event, Ikimi described the APC as a dying party and noted that former PDP members who defected to the ruling party were on their way back.
He said: “APC is almost dead. I’m aware they were able to win in 2015 because of members of PDP who defected to the party.
“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 then with open hands and we will rebuild the party.”
The former minister assured that his committee is not “out to bring down anybody. We shall do our job scrupulously.”
Ikimi, while stressing the need to instill discipline in the party, said “the committee will work closely with reconciliation committee to ensure our members who left return.”