Ladoja, Akala to Return to PDP as Makarfi Cautions against Impunity

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

Indications emerged wednesday that two former Governors of Oyo State, Alhaji Rasheed Ladoja and Chief Alao Akala, might be on their way back to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as their loyalists stormed the party’s national secretariat in Abuja yesterday to attend a stakeholders’ meeting.

THISDAY gathered from some of the supporters that although the two influential politicians did not want to make their intention open yet, they have decided to send them as foot-soldiers.

While Ladoja had defected to the Accord Party, Akala joined the Labour Party temporarily before moving over to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

At the stakeholders’ meeting, Senator Femi Lanlehin represented Ladoja while Tajudeen Kareem stood in for Akala.
Addressing a delegation of former PDP presiding officers in the House of Representatives, the Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee (NCC), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said the rebranding PDP cannot afford cutting of corners or acts that may lead to another round of litigations.

He said the mode of the party now is to do all it can to attract more members to its folds and to strengthen its structures nationwide.

“We’ve gotten judiciary victory, we need to consolidate and translate it into political victory. Political victory means expanding the scope of the party, reconciling all reconcilable and attracting members into the party that will enable us regain political power at the centre by overwhelming majority.” he said.

Makarfi who also spoke at a meeting with party stakeholders from Oyo State, enjoined the party men to embrace the re-building efforts.

He, however, warned that everyone in the PDP must be ready to abide by the guidelines and do away with the idea of cutting corners so as to avoid disruptive litigations.

“I will stick to the party guideline and constitution in doing whatever we do. We must stop cutting corners. We live in a high litigious society. When we cut corners thinking that nobody will see you, a lot of people has seen you at a time you least expect, somebody will drag you to court again.

“Therefore, what is worth doing is worth doing well. We must consult on fundamental issues, use consensus as much as possible and move forward.” he said.

In his remarks, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, said they are proud of the progress made by the caretaker committee to rebuild and reposition the affairs of PDP after the Supreme Court judgment.

Speaking at another meeting with PDP stakeholders from Osun State, Makarfi appealed to the leaders of the party to imbibe the spirit of cooperation and openness.

He advised all those whose only preoccupation is seeking power and position to moderate such ambition as it was capable of derailing the recovering party.

“What I don’t want is for one party to dominate. We want a healthy competitive democracy where people will freely choose their leaders.

“We must have a large heart, but having a large heart doesn’t mean that we will not be conscious of the role played by each of us.

“Some of us that have been occupied by power acqusition, whether they are in the party or they are contemplating to come to the party, they are more glued to the acquisition of political power. That can derail the party… let’s build a strong and virile political party,” he stated.

The party chairman assured members of objectivity and transparency in the running the affairs of the party so that nobody, whether old or new member would feel excluded.

“Let there be a level playing field for people to freely to chose who they want to present as party’s candidates. That is the surest way to get to power come 2019. That is what internal democracy is all about.

“While opening our doors wide to all and sundry, the party must be conscious that the structure must not be compromise in such as way and manner that it diminishes the enthusiasm,” he said.