Saraki committee, PDP ex-governors brainstorm ahead of 2023

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the former Senate President Bukola Saraki-National Reconciliation and Strategy Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met with former governors elected under the party to strategize on the way forward.

The meeting took place at the Legacy House presidential campaign headquarters in Maitama, Abuja.

The ex-governors who attended include Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Peter Obi (Anambra), Ahmed Makarfi and Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), and Boni Haruna (Adamawa).

Others are Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ibrahim Idris and Wada Idris (Kogi), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi), Ayo Fayose (Ekiti) and Emeka Ihedioha (Imo).

The meeting came at the heel of a similar one the committee held with former President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday in continuation of its efforts to reconcile party members to reposition it in time for the 2023 elections.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Saraki revealed that some of the former state chief executives had complained that there were not being carried along in the affairs or the party.

He said they a committee would be raised to regularly brief them henceforth.

The former Senate president also revealed that the former governors have resolved to work with the party towards the 2023 election.

He said: “The Party set up our Committee, National Reconciliation Committee. Part of our terms of references is to consult with key stakeholders.

“Yesterday, we met with one of our former presidents. Today we are consulting with our former governors who are key stakeholders and leaders in their states.

“There is no way we can talk about consultations and unity of the party without consulting them. We have been here for two to three hours, very useful and productive meeting.

“They have all shown their commitment towards the party to go and strengthen our party in their states and the national level to ensure that the party is well prepared towards the next elections ahead of us in 2023 and also to bring about the areas of grievances which is normal in any party, as leaders to help us unify and bring people together where there are problems and issues.”

The former Kwara State governor was upbeat that the participants would bring their experience and resources back to the main opposition party.

He added: “I am very happy. Very encouraged because a lot of them have a lot of experiences and resources but felt that they are not as involved in some of the issues but are ready to now work actively. And we’ve promised as a committee to keep them briefed, get them involved in some of the work.

“A lot of them have relationships and friends, both within and outside the party, that people look to with respect. 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 will be 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 are working at full blast, I think it will help the fortunes of the party.”

As some people are decamping, Saraki hinted that many unexpected names would return to the PDP, saying:, “We’re doing most of 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..

“This is a good side. Look at the turnout today, about two-thirds of the former governors, it has never happened before. It is a good sign and they have committed to always be present.

“So, therefore, it’s a good sign and prospects for the party.”

On the grievances of the former governors, Saraki maintained: “That is why it is taking us longer. They have opened their minds and were telling 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.

“We have gotten their assurance that they are not going anywhere instead they are going to bring in more people.”

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