PDP has enough space for returning members – Lawmaker

By Abiemwense Moru and EricJames Ochigbo
Abuja –  A House of Representatives member, Mr Daniel Ofongo, has said that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has enough space for returning members.
The lawmaker was reacting to Sunday’s defection of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the PDP after his resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He told the News Agency of Nigerians (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the move had opened the way for others who left the party to return.
Ofongo said that Atiku being a founding member of the PDP had the right to return to the party.
But, he noted that the former vice president did not help the party during its trying times after losing the 2015 presidential election.
“I want to say that God has seen us through our trying times as a party, because we have been enmeshed in internal crisis, but by the grace of God, today we are out of it after the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“We will be having our convention on Dec. 9 and 10.
“I believe Nigerians have seen PDP rule for 16 years before we lost the elections. We have learnt from our mistakes and Nigerians have equally seen how it is to experience two sides.
“By God’s special grace, in 2019, PDP will come back to power at the centre,” he said.
The lawmaker said that the former VP’s return was like a father returning home after many years of hard work, adding that his return must be welcomed by his family with joy and excitement.
On the role played by Abubakar in the defeat of PDP in 2015, he recalled that the man left the party to contest 2007 presidential election on the platform of Action Congress (AC), which he lost to the PDP.
Ofongo noted that the 2015 scenario was a self-inflicted injury by the party.
“You could see that when he left, we still won. So, Atiku’s leaving did not make PDP to lose the presidential election in 2015. The truth is that we had our own internal problems.
“You could see that five governors left the party at a time. Many National Assembly members also left after the governors due to internal problems that I cannot begin to dwell so much on.
“But as I said, we have seen our mistakes, and we have looked at all of them as things that should not be repeated if we must move forward,’’ Ofongo said.
Meanwhile, the Arewa Pathfinders, a group within the People Democratic Party (PDP), has urged the party’s National Caretaker Committee and stakeholders not to allow vested interest jeopardise Saturday’s convention.
Coordinator of the group, Mr Abdullahi Ali-Kano, made the call while briefing journalists in Abuja on Monday.
Ali-Kano said that the group was in support of the position taken by the Northern leaders to zone the national chairmanship of the party the South-West.
According to him, the northern leaders only re-echoed the position of the PDP Southern leaders’ recent meeting in Rivers.
“We wish to categorically state that we strongly align ourselves with the position of the northern elders and leaders for equity, justice, unity and cohesion of the party,” he said.
The coordinator said that the southern leaders also unanimously agreed to micro-zone the chairmanship to the South-West.
He called on delegates from the North to the convention to heed the decision to ensure justice and equity in the party.
He also called on the caretaker committee and all relevant stakeholders not to allow vested interest to override the overall interest of the party. (NAN)

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