Barring any last-minute change in plans, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwarts are expected to step up efforts, this week, at reconciling warring party leaders in the South-West, Nigerian Tribune learnt on Sunday.
The source said the first port of call of the team comprising influential party members drawn from the six geopolitical zones is the Oyo State capital, Ibadan, to further consolidate the gains of a similar effort in the past, as well as address any semblance of schism among a few party members.
According to the sources, the reconciliatory team is expected to arrive Tuesday as part of the ongoing efforts to firm up the structures of the PDP across board in the gradual buildup to the election year.
The latest initiative is different from the reconciliation steps embarked upon by the presidential candidate of the party in the 2019 general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who led other party faithful to the governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, in the state capital, Port Harcourt.
The former vice president, who hails from Adamawa State, recently paid a similar visit to the governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okonwa, but some party faithful are worried that quite a number of PDP stalwarts in Adamawa have dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“The trip of the reconciliation team has nothing to do with the efforts of Atiku. He is just going round after being away for about two years. He needs to go round. They have slated a meeting for Tuesday in Ibadan. Governor Seyi Makinde is the only one (governor) we have in the South-West. We need to rally round him,” another source said.
A reconciliation committee set up by Governor Seyi Makinde with Senator Saka Balogun as chairman, submitted its report to him last year.
A similar committee with a mandate to reconcile aggrieved party members in the six states making up the South-West and headed by a former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, submitted its report to Makinde recently.
Meanwhile, there are reports that one of the governors elected on PDP platform from the North, nursing a presidential ambition, is said to be making moves to forge an alliance with the camp of the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, preparatory to the national convention of the party in December this year.
But some forces said to be opposed to the speculated bid by Secondus to seek another term in office are reportedly against such alliance on the premise that it could shut out Rivers State from seeking any other higher elective office based on the principle of power sharing between the North and South.
In 2018, Wike facilitated the emergence of Secondus as chairman despite the frantic bid by PDP stakeholders from the SouthWest to secure the post for the zone for the first time since the party was founded in 1998.
“The calculation is that as long as the chairman of PDP is from Rivers State, the state would no longer have the opportunity to vie for any major position because if Rivers gets chairmanship, the stakeholders would not be able to contest for the presidency,” one of the sources said.
Source: Nigerian Tribune