The Peoples Democratic Party has said that it is wooing former members of the party, including former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Kano State Governor, Alhaji Rabiu Kwakwanso, who defected to the All Progressives Congress to return to the party before the next general elections.
The PDP National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, who stated this on Friday at a press conference in Ile-Ife, said the party had begun moves to bring back the former members.
He said, “The PDP has begun moves to bring back some of our former chieftains who are now in the APC. The PDP reconciliation committee set up by the National Working Committee will meet with all former members for bringing them back before the next general elections.”
Oladipo, who urged Nigerians to support the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan, said the President had achieved a lot despite the security challenge confronting the nation.
According to him, Jonathan has recorded tremendous success in electricity supply, road construction and railway resuscitation, among other achievements.
Expressing confidence that the PDP will record landslide victory in the poll, Oladipo said, “The APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, is too old to rule Nigeria; he cannot be compared with Jonathan. Buhari is too strict and harsh for Nigerians, while Jonathan is meek, humble and dedicated to the course of democracy and good governance.
Atiku and Kwankwaso were among the four aspirants who contested the APC presidential primary Buhari.
It will be recalled that APC had made the presidential aspirants signed a bond that they would not dump the party should they lose at the primary won by Buhari.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH, said he was not aware of the development, but admitted that Oladipo was competent enough to speak on party issues.
He said, “I just came back from holiday today (Friday). I have not spoken with the secretary. Oladapo is the secretary of the party and he knows what is saying. I have not heard that before and we h ave not discussed.
“But he is a knowledgeable person; he is a professor and I believe whatever he said must be correct, but I am not aware of the development.”
However, Kwakwanso said he was not aware of the development.
The governor’s Director of Press, Halilu Baba Dantiye, said he was not sure that the PDP had met with the governor on the issue.
“We are not aware of such move. We don’t know about it,” he said.
Attempts to speak to Atiku’s media aide, Mallam Garba Shehu, failed as all calls and text messages sent to his mobile were not responded to as of the time of filing this report.
But the spokesperson for the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the party would leave the PDP to pursue the illusion.
He said, “I think that the PDP has now perfected the art of distraction. We wish them good luck in their endeavour. The APC is no longer a political party; it has become a movement.
He said, “And when you are dealing with a movement using old tactics, you are about to fail. APC today is driven by the people and the distractions of the PDP will not even scratch us.”