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Defection: PDP gives Saraki, Dogara, Tambuwal, Kwankwaso, others two-week deadline

By Yusuf Alli on 22/07/2018

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•Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara
•Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker Yakubu Dogara

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be in a hurry to get its deal with members of the Reformed -All Progressives Congress (R-APC) done and sealed.

The two sides have been locked in intense talks and negotiations over the last few weeks for the aggrieved members of the APC to switch camps ahead of next year’s elections.

But President Muhammadu Buhari and the new national chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, have also launched peace talks of their own to persuade such APC members to reconsider their plan to dump the party.

With no defection of note happening as expected by the PDP, the party has given Senate President Bukola Saraki, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara and others a two-week deadline to make up their minds and rejoin it.

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.

The Nation gathered that the Senate President who met with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday, 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 by our correspondent 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 Hajiya Aishat Baraje, mother of a former National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Kawu Baraje.

Baraje, who was also chairman of the New PDP (nPDP), is one of the key promoters of R-APC.

A top source familiar with the development 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.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan said last night that there is no timeframe for defection.

“There is no timeframe for defection. Our constitution says those who are coming to our party can contest election within one month to the conduct of any elective post. And even that one month can still be waived,” he said when contacted by The Nation.

Excerpted from The Nation report

Source News Express

Posted 22/07/2018 10:09:44 AM

 

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