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Published On: Wed, Dec 6th, 2017

2019: Atiku begs PDP defectors to return

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  • Atiku-Abubakar

    Atiku-Abubakar

    As Makarfi says party intends to sweep all elections

By Lateef Ibrahim

Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who few days ago defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has appealed to all past leaders of the party, who have left for one reason or the other, to “return home” as he (Atiku) has done.
This, the former Vice President argued, was imperative in order to build a stronger, more united PDP that can again return the party back to government and continue to deliver the dividends of democracy. Atiku spoke when he visited the national leadership of the party at its Wadata Plaza headquarters, Wuse, Abuja on Tuesday afternoon.
Some of the PDP defectors include; former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and Hon Rotimi Amaechi among others.
Atiku was received by the Chairman, National Caretaker Committee, NCC, of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi among other leaders of the Party. The visit, which lasted for about thirty minutes, threw the entire PDP national secretariat into frenzy.
According to him, “Over the years, like any or every human organisation, it (PDP) has faced its challenges, but I want to pay tribute to those who have stayed steadfast through thick and thin to see us through to this point. “Now that we have learnt our lessons, I hope that we will be guided by the lessons we have learnt. And that is to make sure that we build an all inclusive party, where every part of this country will have a sense of belonging and sense of participation.
“To achieve all these, there must be sacrifices, understanding and compromises in the process of achieving that. And that is what I speak to members to imbibe.
“But as you know, one thing that I will never compromise is the internal democracy process in a given political party. And I hope we all must have learnt our lessons.
“I therefore want to pledge to you Mr Chairman and members of the National Working Committee that my returning home is to help continue with the work you have started, reforming, re-branding this very party which is the only party in this country.
“Let me pay tribute to past leadership of this great party; where ever they may be and to call upon them to please return home as I have done.
“It is only by their returning home that we will build a stronger, more united party that can again return to government and continue to deliver the dividends of democracy.
“I can bet you the records we have achieved so far in governance no government has yet even done 50 percent of what we have achieved in government, not to talk of equalling our performance in government”, he said .
The Chairman, NCC of the PDP, Senator Makarfi, in welcoming Atiku to the party’s headquarters, stated that he (Atiku )
has opened the flood gates and “we expect many more high profile returnees and new entrants into the PDP”.
Makarfi added , “So, PDP must be prepared for this, and be ready to reconcile and reiterate in such a way and manner that everybody will be treated and given a level playing field to purse his or her personal aspiration. That is what PDP must stand for if it has to survive”.
He dismissed claim that there was a secret deal with the Atiku for him to return to the party.
His words ,”Waziri (Atiku) is not one that goes for secret deals: This PDP will be a reformed party which will give everybody level playing fiend”.
Makarfi stated that Atiku has returned to the party in good time and urged him to continue to contribute in “this reinvention, remodeling of our party so that come 2019, we can reclaim what we can claim is ours.
Because we still remain the only true democratic party in the true sense of the the word.”
He added, “We thank you for coming before the convention so that you can contribute to what we have started going forward.
We will continue to consult you to
“You will also help us reinvent the vehicle that will take us to Aso rock in 2019, we are not just targeting Aso Rock, we are targeting the federal legislature, the states, both the executive and legislature. We are targeting the local governments.
“We want to sweep elections all across the party. As a United party we have the capacity and we have the ability to do so”.

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