Sunday, 22 July 2018

PDP Gives Saraki, Dogara, Others 14-Days To Decide On Defection

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has given Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Reps Speaker Yakubu Dogara and others two-week deadline to decide if they would join the former ruling party.

The PDP and members of the Reformed-All Progressives Congress (R-APC) have been locked in intense negotiations over the last few weeks for the aggrieved members of the APC to switch camps ahead of next year’s elections.

However, President Muhammadu Buhari and the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, have also launched peace talks of their own to persuade aggrieved members to stay.

Also being wooed by the PDP are : Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (Sokoto); Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara); Governor Samuel Ortom (Benue); ex-Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, many Senators and members of the House of Representatives mostly in the Reformed-All Progressives Congress(R-APC) and other willing defectors.

According to report, Saraki has summoned an emergency meeting of his associates, loyalists and strategists to take a final decision on whether or not to defect.

The meeting, which may hold anytime this week with tomorrow said to be the target date, if all those concerned could make it to Abuja.

It was learnt that Saraki has been in Lagos and Ilorin on whistle stops over the last few days for last minute consultations with his allies.

Sources told The Nation that a committee empanelled by Saraki has recommended that defection is “appropriate and popular” among his loyalists.

Investigation revealed that the two week deadline was conveyed to Saraki in Ilorin by Governor Nyesom Wike on Wednesday during a closed door session that took place after the Fidau for Aishat Baraje, mother of a former National Chairman of PDP, Kawu Baraje.

A source said: “There is no doubt that the PDP delegation came for the Fidau and to mount pressure on Saraki to hasten action on the proposal to accommodate likely defectors from APC to PDP.

“Wike, who led the team, asked Saraki to wrap up decision on the defection within the next one week or two weeks in order to enable PDP adjust its structures ahead of primaries for various elective posts in 2019.

“Do not forget that the defection might alter the party structure at the state level and the power sharing formula. The PDP has clearly stated that it will give equal rights and a sense of belonging to all defectors.

“This deadline applies to Saraki, Dogara, Tambuwal, Kwankwaso, other governors, Senators, members of the House of Representatives, Speakers and members of the State Houses of Assembly; and other party chieftains.

“The conduct of primaries by all parties is expected to begin on August 18. Any serious defector, technically, has less than three weeks to do so in order to be able to integrate with the structure of the party.

“And the National Assembly will soon go on break to enable the lawmakers participate in the primaries.”

Source: The Nation

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