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2023: Saraki, PDP leaders parley Jonathan

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reconciliation and strategy committee, yesterday, met with former President Goodluck Jonathan. It was rumoured that the former president was being wooed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the 2023 presidential election on its platform, though Jonathan had denied plan for him to leave PDP, but silent on his presidential ambition.

The six-member committee, led by former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, met with Jonathan at his Maitama, Abuja office. Members of the committee, set up in 2019 to resolve the internal crisis within the PDP, arrived at Jonathan’s office at 1:30p.m. and went into a closed door session. The meeting lasted for about one and half hours. A source at the meeting stated that the former president expressed his grievances against the party. Jonathan had not attended any PDP functions since he left office, although it was not known if any invitation had been extended to him. Saraki, who briefed journalists after the meeting, said Jonathan is now ready to work for PDP.

“He gave us his views and we are very happy. He reassured all of us of his commitment to the PDP and he told us that he is still ready to offer his time, experience and resources to strengthen the party and that is very strong and important for us. “Of course, you know there are funny issues going on, but we are leaving this place very happy,” Saraki said.

He warned “all those people of the other party that would like to come and disturb our leaders” to stop, adding, “our leaders are here and they are ready to work for the party.” The former Senate President, however, could not react to the question whether Jonathan is nursing presidential ambitious in 2023, but said the former president is ready “to avail the PDP his experience, time and resources to return it to power, particularly at the centre.” According to him, the committee is starting with the former president “to let him know what our plans are and also to hear his own views and advice on what we need to do and how to do it as well as how we need to strengthen the party and reconcile aggrieved members in order to bring about unity and focus in our party.

“We spoke about what role former Presidents like him will play and he left us feeling very happy that yes, he will like to play that role in the PDP and helping our committee to move forward.” The reconciliation committee comprises former Senate President Anyim Pius Anyim; former Governors Ibrahim Dankwambo, Ibrahim Shema and Liyel Imoke while former House of Representatives leader, Mrs. Mulikat Adeola-Akande is the secretary.


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