As 2019 general elections approach, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has begun fresh moves to lure its former members, including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Bukola Saraki, Senate President, and a host of others back into its fold as part of moves to make the party stronger for the big electoral contest.
Also on the radar of the PDP are the duo of Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former Kano State governor and Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, who defected to the ruling party in the build up to the 2015 elections.
The party, Vanguard gathered, is currently leading a coalition talks with the nation’s top politicians and sundry groups on the need to form a broad-based alliance with the sole mission of unseating the administration of All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2019.
In its bid to realise this ambition, the party is willing to accommodate the interest of those who would be willing to join and contest elective positions on its platform.
Chief Obasanjo’s relationship with government recently hit a new low when he accused the federal government of plotting to frame him up in order to incarcerate him; an allegation that prompted his former party to rise in his defence by issuing a stern warning to the Buhari’s Presidency to learn to be accommodating of divergent views.
With Kwankwaso, Saraki and Dogara all enduring a not-too-rosy relationship with the executive arm of government, the PDP has detailed its reconciliation committee, chaired by Governor Seriake Dickson, to make the most of the moment by reaching out to these leaders as quickly as possible.
Also on hand to lend support to Dickson is the Contact and Mobilization Committee, led by former governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke.
Confirming this development yesterday, PDP image maker, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, in an exclusive chat with Vanguard, said the PDP was reaching out to as many Nigerians as possible who are disgruntled with the manner of leadership that President Buhari has provided them in the past three years.
While noting that the task to unseat incumbent administration was one that would be done, the publicity scribe added that all genuine advocates of goodness must collectively come together to salvage what would be left of governance and democracy in the land come 2019.
“The party is reaching out to Nigerians and we are more than willing to yet again speak with former President Obasanjo and all those who have seen through the lies of the APC and its inability to offer the nation purposeful governance.
“Don’t also forget that we are leading coalition talks as many political groupings and associations have resolved that Nigerians deserve a more focused, competent and proactive government. It is a pan-Nigeria cause that will ultimately grant all of us the salvation that we crave,” he stated.
Although Kwankwaso and Saraki have both been linked with nursing Presidential ambitions, the PDP would have no trouble assimilating them with ease, as the party has continuously insisted that it would provide a level playing field for all contestants, regardless of their status in the society and the number of years spent in the opposition.
Our correspondent gathered that the recent press statement issued by the PDP National Organizing Secretary, Colonel Austin Akobundu (rtd.) describing the race to the sole Presidential ticket as an open contest, was an assurance of some sort to the likes of Saraki and Kwankwaso that they are free to pursue their aspirations on the platform of the PDP upon their return.
Should Obasanjo rejoin the party, he would be expected to play a key part in the determination of the PDP to regain power, after losing out for the first time in 2015 following the return to democratic governance in 1999