This is a continuation of that meeting and it was borne out of what has happened during those meetings that we called this one.The whole idea is to unite the party.
By Johnson Atoukudu:
In an effort to reconcile disgruntled party members, the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) held a meeting on Tuesday with a committee comprising notable members, including former Senate President Bukola Saraki and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel.
The committee, established by the PDP National Working Committee, engaged in discussions with the acting National Chairman, Umar Damagun, and other NWC members, including Deputy National Chairman (South) Taofeek Arapaja.
During the meeting, Damagun expressed that the objective of the gathering was to assess the outcomes of the 2023 general elections and exchange ideas on strengthening the PDP to tackle future challenges.
He said, “We have had a series of meetings with members of the national ex-officio, state chairmen, some Board of Trustees members as well as members of the National Assembly. This is a continuation of that meeting and it was borne out of what has happened during those meetings that we called this one.The whole idea is to unite the party.
“Initially the meeting was supposed to be for only the founding fathers of this party but we realised that after almost 20-something years of the existence of this party, a lot of people have also graduated to be founding fathers. From our first set of governors, who may not really be the founding fathers, we have had leaders who have contributed their own quota to be recognised as members of this great party and leaders in their own right.”
Also speaking, National Organising Secretary of the party, Umar Bature, said the purpose of the meeting “is to douse tension within the party as a result of the aftermath of the 2023 elections.”
“The PDP believes that Atiku Abubakar won the election but we are in court and without prejudice to what the court will decide, we will keep it aside. This is not a National Executive Committee but an interactive meeting with the aim to jump-start a reconciliation process.”
Providing an overview of the PDP’s performance in the 2023 general elections, Bature stated, “We have a total of 342 members in the state Houses of Assembly, 116 members in the House of Representatives, 36 members in the Senate, and 13 governors.”
“We believe strongly that the ongoing tribunal cases in Kaduna, Nasarawa, Ogun, Kaduna and Sokoto states will be in our favour.”
However, the former governors of Rivers, Enugu, and Sokoto states, Nyesom Wike, Ifeanyi Ugwuannyi, and Aminu Tambuwal respectively, who were invited to the gathering, did not attend and were not represented.
Nonetheless, Uche Secondus, the former National Chairman of the party, who was also absent, conveyed his apologies, citing his absence due to being out of the country.
In the meantime, Adolphus Wabara, the acting Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees and former Senate President, emphasized the importance of cautious communication among members, especially concerning matters related to the election petition tribunal.
The meeting was graced by the presence of Ahmed Makarfi, the former governor of Kaduna State, Maina Waziri, the former Minister of Police Affairs, Bode George, a member of the Board of Trustees, and several others.