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25 Aug 2017

Makarfi Woos Ladoja, Akala, others

The National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi , with members of his National Working Committee (NWC) stormed Ibadan Thursday on a nationwide reconciliation efforts to bring on board aggrieved party leaders and members who defected to other political parties with a view to ensuring a strong, formidable and united force ahead of the 2019 elections.
Makarfi in his words of encouragement to former Governors Rashidi Ladoja, Adebayo Alao-Akala, Mr. Seyi Makinde, Alhaji Yekini Adeojo and a second Republic Justice Minister, Chief Richard Akinjide, bemoaned the state of the nation under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said Nigerians await the PDP to salvage the shrinking ship of the nation before its final precipice under the broom party.
He assured all the returning members of level-playing field, adding that that there would be amendment to the party’s constitution during the elective convention of the party slated for December. Markafi was accompanied by former Minister of Information, Prof Jerry Gana, former Governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, former Minister of Power and Special Duties, Wole Oyelese; former Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide; former leader of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Akande-Adeola, and Senator Ayo Adeseun, former Minister of Special Duties and Sports, Prof. Taoheed Adedoja, the only PDP member in the House of Representatives from Oyo State, Segun Odebunmi, and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, were also among the dignitaries.
He said registration log would be opened soon for all members of the party, including returnees, adding that after the registration, the congresses of the party would be held.
Ladoja, however, gave reasons for his defection from PDP and listed conditions for his return, such that the whole structure of the Accord would move to PDP.
He also asked for waivers and amnesty for the prospective returnees to PDP so that there would be equality. Makinde also said he left PDP in 2015 because the national leadership of the party then did not create a level-playing field for all the gubernatorial aspirants, adding that he and his followers would return to PDP if the chairman could guarantee him that there would be internal democracy within the party.
“I have been part of the reconciliation process by Gana. We have been consulting, talking. I joined PDP in 2002. I worked for Ladoja then, he won. I singlehandedly financed the PDP in Oyo South till 2007. I left when things got worse.”
But Alao-Akala did not receive the Markafi-led national caretaker executive committee in person because he was abroad. However, his supporters led by Wale Ohu, received them on his behalf. Ladoja had said: “Something pushed us out of PDP, we did not want to leave PDP at the time we left, though we suffered. We wanted to stay on with PDP, maybe we failed to manage our success.
“If we look back, it was only the PDP that was in power when PDP governors were impeached wrongly.
The PDP governors that were impeached were Ayo Fayose in Ekiti State, Chris Ngige in Anambra State , Joshua Dariye in Plateau State and Diepreye Alamieyeseigha in Bayelsa State. So, what is the essence of being in a group when you are not getting the protection of that group?
“The state Chairman of Accord Party is there. All members of the executive of Accord Party are here, even the national executive of Accord Party is here. So, we do not take it lightly. We want to get that assurance that we will be equal in the party, that all the years we have been out will count for us.
“We should not look at it that Ladoja is coming to PDP. We should look at it that Ladoja and people, who have faith in him by going with him in Accord are coming to PDP. If the terms are right, and the terms being right is just a quality for everybody. So, I’m not asking for any special thing, it’s just I want to be considered as equal in the picture if you come.
“So, once we get those assurances, we’ll sit down in our caucus and I can assure you that within the next few days, or even the next few hours, we will come and raise our hands up that the people have come back to claim their rights in their party.”
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