Race for Presidency 2019 heats up as PDP woos back decamped bigwigs

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The PDP says it is in the process of reconciling aggrieved old and new members of the party.
Its Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi said they plan to reconcile with ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo; ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; and other chieftains of the party, who defected to other parties prior to the 2015 general elections.
He said the inaugurated reconciliation and disciplinary committee had recorded progress in the reconciliation process, adding that the party was working to ensure that the PDP formed a formidable force to defeat the APC in the 2019 general elections.
Makarfi, who spoke with journalists in Kaduna, also said the reconciliation would be “hush hush” for now., “We are happy they (reconciliation and disciplinary committee) have started well. We will not be reporting their progress because their progress is our strength. People will see it when they will see it.
“We are happy the reconciliation and disciplinary committee have started well. We will not be reporting their progress because their progress is our strength. People will see it when they will see it.
“Just before the convention, you will recall that we inaugurated a committee for reconciliation and discipline. The reconciliation committee is mandated to reconcile all aggrieved members since the formation of the party, not only aggrieved members based on Makarfi-Sheriff squabbles, all aggrieved members of the PDP since the PDP was put in place. And also to try to bring in even those who have never been in the party before. So, their mandate is wider than the Makarfi-Sheriff political conflict.”
He added that the party’s planned convention in December would further provide an avenue to “cleanse” the party and “bring credible people on board for the party and also bring sanity to some states that have defied political solution.”
“I am happy to say that all the factional divisions in those states, from the report I have received, have been sitting together and accommodating each other to participate in the caretaker committee,” Makarfi continued.
“That is the first stage of bringing all elements in the party together. I heard reports from Lagos and Kebbi, they are all doing fine. Other states are meeting over the weekend, based on the reports I have received. At the end of the day, we will be there, God willing.”

Makarfi delivering his speech at the convention ground

Zoned Presidency

The chairman also reaffirmed the party’s position on the zoning of the Presidency to the North and the national chairmanship to the South, which was taken at the Port-Harcourt May 21 convention.
He added the position of the party on the zoning formula was supreme and cautioned those already campaigning for the nation’s topmost position to go by the party’s guidelines.
Makarfi said, “Anything that has to do with the party, it is from the leadership of the party that you will hear and that is why I have reaffirmed that the zoning position of the party has not changed. It was the decision of the Port-Harcourt May 21, 2017 Convention. The decision is supreme.
“But let me also remind you that while the Presidency was zoned to the South in 1999, some aspirants in the North contested and went against it in their rights; but the party went with the decision it took. So, it is up to an individual to make a choice whether to abide by what the party said or go against it.
“However, at the end of the day, it is the position that the party adopted that will prevail. We won’t make choices for individuals but my advice is that individuals should respect the decision. The Presidency remains zoned to the North.”
He didn’t conclude without throwing a jab at the APC as he said even as the ruling party criminalised the PDP and its members with corruption investigations and allegations, the APC also had the same allegation of corruption already trailing the current government.

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