Ladoja, Akala set to rejoin PDP
FORMER Oyo state governors, Rasheed Ladoja and Alao Akala are apparently on their ways back to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), developments at the national secretariat of the party on Wednesday in Abuja have indicated.
Stakeholders of the state chapter of the party had been summoned to meet with the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) over how to resolve the lingering problem in the branch.
Even though both former governors failed to put up personal appearances, they however sent in powerful representatives who delivered their messages to the meeting.
Senator Femi Laleyin spoke on behalf of the Ladoja group while Chief Wale Ohu led the Akala group.
Welcoming the stakeholders, the Chairman of the NCC, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, described the former governors’ representatives as “emissaries of those on their way” back to the PDP.
He regretted that even though PDP was the dominant political party in Oyo state, internal wrangling had caused it to lose the last gubernatorial election in the state.
Makarfi told the delegates that if they had worked together and won the election, there would have been something for everybody.
He therefore urged them to “draw a line” and work together to enable the PDP to recapture the state.
Makarfi said the feuding groups must be determined to resolve their differences politically as court processes could never bring peace.
The party boss stressed the need for all interests to find accommodation in the PDP, saying that nobody should be left out.
He added that the national leadership would work towards creating a fair process for candidates to emerge for all elective positions in the party.
He said: “We are not going to exclude anybody. What we want in PDP is to bring back all those who left PDP and even get new members. It’s not an exclusive club, it’s an inclusive club. It’s an inclusive political party.”
“Power comes from God. We will create a level playing field and people will test their popularity in an open and transparent primaries for all elective offices.”
Makarfi meets Oyo, ex-Reps’ delegates
The NCC also received PDP former members of the House of Representatives led by former Speaker, Dimeji Bankole.
Speaking while receiving them at the PDP headquarters in Abuja, Makarfi noted that the judicial victory recorded by the party at the Supreme Court was not enough to move it forward.
He admonished ambitious members to work towards building the party in order to have a viable platform to realize their ambitions.
He said political victory must be added to judicial victory, meaning that the party must reconcile all “reconcilable” former members and expand its membership.
He stated: “We’ve gotten judicial victory. We need to consolidate and translate it into political victory.”
“Political victory means expanding the scope of the party, reconciling with the reconcilable and attracting members into the party that will enable us regain political power at the centre by overwhelming majority.”
“What I don’t want is for one party to dominate. We want a healthy competitive democracy where people will freely choose their leaders.”
“We must have a large heart, but having a large heart doesn’t mean that we will not be conscious of the role played by each and every one of us.”
“Some of us that have been occupied by power acquisition, whether they are in the party or they are contemplating to come to the party, they are more glued to the acquisition of political power. That can derail the party.”
Makarfi added: “Let’s build a strong and virile political party. Let there be a level playing field for people to freely to choose who they want to present as party’s candidates.”
“That is the surest way to get to power come 2019. That is what internal democracy is all about.”
In his remark, former Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives, Austin Opara, observed that Nigeria had not been more divided as it is today under the All Progressive Congress (APC).
He noted that Nigerians now had their hopes in the PDP returning to power.
Meanwhile, the PDP NCC has, in its fresh bid to resolve the crisis rocking the Osun State Chapter of the party, on Wednesday set up an eight man committee to reconcile the two warring factions in the state.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja after a reconciliation meeting of the stakeholders of the party in the state, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Wole Oke, said that four persons each would be selected from the two sides for the reconciliation process.
The Committee, Hon Oke said would do a harmonization within a short period and report back to the NCC for final approval.
Oke stated that the NCC Chairman, Senator Makarfi appealed to the warring factions to forget their differences in the interest of the party and expressed optimism that with the latest intervention, the crisis would be over.