The immediate past Senate President and Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bukola Saraki, has assured of the commitment of former PDP governors, saying none of them will leave the party.
Saraki, who disclosed this to journalist shortly after a reconciliation meeting with the former governors at Legacy House, Abuja, on Wednesday, said the ex-governors have promised to strengthen the party in their respective states ahead of 2023 general elections.
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“We got assurance from them that they are not going anywhere. Instead, we are going to bring more people to the party,” he said.
“Look at it now, the turnout of the former governors at this meeting is two-third. It has never happened before. It’s a good sign and a good prospect for the party. They [former governors] were very frank on their grievances and that is what took us a long time.
“They told us what the issues are and we have taken note of those issues but they are not issues that are insurmountable.
“I am very happy, very encouraged because a lot of them have a lot of experiences and resources, but felt that they’re not as involved in some of the issues. And we’ve promised as a committee to keep them briefed, get them involved.
“I want to see them be more active because their silence sometimes might be misinterpreted, but they’ve promised me and the committee that they’ll become more active workers of the party.
“You’ll hear more of their voices that they are available for comments on national issues. You can look at the calibre of some of them here. If they’re working at full blast, I think it will help the fortunes of the party.”
Hunting for members
On the party’s fate, as some former governors have left, Saraki said: “We’re doing most of the reaching out first to those who are in, making them very active and very involved.
“Of course, there are some who are in other parties. We don’t start telling you who is coming until when they are arriving. Just be watching,” he said.
Commenting on the response from leaders who have grievances, he said: “They have opened their minds and told us what the issues are but they are not issues that are insurmountable.
“That is why we are encouraged that we need to play our own role in getting such people of experience involved.
“They still have their supporters. We must get them involved. They are committed to the party. They are not going anywhere.
Speaking also, a former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, said a claim by the APC that PDP has not been a viable opposition is false.
He vowed that the PDP will kick the ruling party out of government come 2023.
“We are going to work together and Insha Allah, by 2023, we will throw them out,” he said.
Some of the former governors in attendance are Peter Obi (Anambra), Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina) Boni Haruna (Adamawa), Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ramalan Yero (Kaduna) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger).
Others are Ibrahim Idris (Kogi), Wada Idris, (Kogi) Liyel Imhoke (Cross River), Emeka Ihedioha (Imo) and Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti).
The committee had met with ex-president Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday.