- APC sets up reconciliation committee to prevent party bigwigs from defecting to other parties
- A source states that an online poll by a news medium also prompted the party to take serious steps to prevent such defections
- The PDP assures its former members who may wish to return to the party that there is enough room for them
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is frantically working to stop the rumoured plans by Senate president Bukola Saraki, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, and their loyalists from decamping to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Daily Independent, citing a source, reports that the rumoured defection of the party bigwigs necessitated the setting up of the APC reconciliation committee by President Buhari headed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a national leader of the party and former governor of Lagos state.
The source said: “The president and the party feel there is an urgent need to move in and pacify the aggrieved members from leaving the party either for the PDP or the various coalitions springing up in the country.”
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He said a recent poll by an online news medium where many respondents voted that both Saraki and Kwankwaso are on their way out of the APC also prompted the party to take serious steps to prevent such defections.
"Already the opposition is latching on to the face-off between Kwankwaso and Ganduje in Kano and daily they are telling the senator that he should dump the APC and return to the PDP. They keep telling him the APC is an ungrateful party that didn’t appreciate the massive votes he delivered in the 2015 election. We know all these and even though Kwankwaso himself has denied plans to join the PDP, we do not want to take things for granted,” the source stated.
“On the part of the Senate president, we are also aware that a lot of people are trying to drag him away from the APC. First, is his original party, the PDP. They have been on his neck since his ordeal began following his emergence in 2015. They later intensified their efforts after the Supreme Court judgment that settled the two years crisis within their party and they became emboldened that Saraki will join them after their national convention in December.
“While we believe the Senate president who has repeatedly said he will not dump the APC, we are, however, surprised reading the comment of one of his men, that is Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, who recently said they are ready to join the PDP once the people of the state give them the go-ahead.
“To us in the APC, we believe it is a clear signal that all the rumours about Saraki and his supporters rejoining the PDP may be real after all. Also, if you consider the protest by the youths and leaders of Kwara PDP that Saraki may hijack the party’s structures if he returns, then you will know that the plot is real and that is why the president and the party leadership decided to act fast by setting up the reconciliation committee. We believe all will be fine at the end of the day."
Meanwhile, opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has assured its returning members that there is adequate room for them in the party, Nigerian Tribune reports.
NAIJ.com gathered that the assurance was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by the national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan. The assurance was given by the National Working Committee (NWC).
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