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21 Aug 2017

We’re working to bring OBJ, Atiku, Saraki, Kwankwaso back to PDP – Makarfi Reveals

The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said on Monday that the process of reconciling aggrieved foundation members of the party, including ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, his erstwhile vice, Atiku Abubakar, Senate President Bukola Saraki and other chieftains of the party who defected to the All Progressives Congress, was already in progress.

The former governor noted that the work of the newly inaugurated reconciliation and discipline committee have recorded progress in this regard, adding that all the efforts were towards ensuring that the party form a formidable force to defeat the APC in the 2019 general elections.

Makarfi, who stated this while speaking to journalists in Kaduna on how to reposition the party, added that aside from wooing the foundation members of the party, the reconciliation committee was also mandated to extend its dragnet to other noted politicians in the APC and other party who are desirous to join the PDP.

The two-term Senator, who refused to comment further on the matter, said “we (reconciliation and disciplinary committee) are happy they 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 committee for reconciliation and discipline. The reconciliation committee is mandated to reconcile all aggrieved members since formation of the party, not only aggrieved members based on Makarfi/Sherrif squabbles. All aggrieved members of 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/Sherrif political conflict.”

Besides, he warned those who are bent on undermining the party through anti-party activities to desist, otherwise the wrath of PDP constitution would soon descend on them.

Saying that the party have leant it’s lessons from the past and under the present political dispensation, the Caretaker Chairman added that convention slated for December “is part of the cleansing process to bring credible people on board for the party and also bring sanity to some states that have defied political solution.”

He said, “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 care taker committee.

“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’s willing.”

Meanwhile, 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 of the party.

While shedding light on the issue of electing credible national officers for the party, Makarfi explained that even as the presidency was zone to the north, the party was yet to decide which part of the north would get the slot (Northwest, north central or northeast).

He also the party had not yet zone the position of the national chairmanship to any part of the south, be it southwest, southeast or south-south.

The former governor added the position of the party on the zoning formula of the party was supreme and cautioned those already campaigning for the nation’s topmost position come 2019.

Though he argued that it was their constitutional rights to do so, but that they should respect the position of the party on the matter.

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 have 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 zone 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 individual but my advice is that individual should respect the decision. I have not talked to anybody to know the rationale behind that but I will not alter the decision that the party has taken.

“The Presidency remain zone to the North and I know for sure that the position of the governors, the National Assembly, the BoT as well as the state chairmen of the party.”

On corruption, the Chairman carpeted the governing APC for allegedly victimizing its past leaders (PDP), noting that the same allegation of corruption was already trailing the current government, adding that “the recent reports of a government agency, National Bureau for Statistics attested to the fact.”

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