We Are Ready To Reconcile With Obasanjo, Atiku, Others To Defeat APC In 2019 - Markafi
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said on Monday August 21 that the process of reconciling aggrieved foundation members of the party, including ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo; ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President Bukola Saraki; and other chieftains of the party, who defected to other parties, was in progress.
Punch reports that the former governor said the newly-inaugurated reconciliation and disciplinary committee had recorded progress in this regard, adding that the party was working towards ensuring that the PDP form a formidable force to defeat the APC in the 2019 general elections.
Makarfi, who spoke with journalists in Kaduna, said: “We are happy they (reconciliation and disciplinary committee) have started well. We will not be reporting their progress because their progress is our strength. People will see it when they will see it.
“Just before the convention, you will recall that we inaugurated a committee for reconciliation and discipline. "The reconciliation committee is mandated to reconcile all aggrieved members since the formation of the party, not only aggrieved members based on Makarfi-Sheriff squabbles, all aggrieved members of the PDP since the PDP was put in place.
“And also to try to bring in even those who have never been in the party before. So, their mandate is wider than the Makarfi-Sheriff political conflict.”
Saying that the party had learnt its lessons from the past and under the present political dispensation, the caretaker chairman added that the convention slated for December “is part of the cleansing process to bring credible people on board for the party and also bring sanity to some states that have defied political solution.”
He added: “I am happy to say that all the factional divisions in those states, from the report I have received, have been sitting together and accommodating each other to participate in the caretaker committee.
“That is the first stage of bringing all elements in the party together. I heard reports from Lagos and Kebbi, they are all doing fine. Other states are meeting over the weekend, based on the reports I have received. At the end of the day, we will be there, God willing.”
The chairman also reaffirmed the party’s position on the zoning of the Presidency to the North and the national chairmanship to the South, which was taken at the Port-Harcourt May 21 convention of the party. The former governor added the position of the party on the zoning formula of the party was supreme and cautioned those already campaigning for the nation’s topmost position to go by the party’s guidelines.
Makarfi said: “Anything that has to do with the party, it is from the leadership of the party that you will hear and that is why I have reaffirmed that the zoning position of the party has not changed. It was the decision of the Port-Harcourt May 21, 2017 Convention. The decision is supreme. “But let me also remind you that while the Presidency was zoned to the South in 1999, some aspirants in the North contested and went against it in their rights; but the party went with the decision it took. So, it is up to an individual to make a choice whether to abide by what the party said or go against it.
“However, at the end of the day, it is the position that the party adopted that will prevail. We won’t make choices for individuals but my advice is that individuals should respect the decision. The Presidency remains zone to the North.”
On corruption, he carpeted the ruling APC for allegedly victimising past PDP leaders, noting that the same allegation of corruption was already trailing the current government.