Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Ahmed Makarfi, thursday declared that new entrants and returning members would not enjoy any special privilege.
He said the decision was in order to avoid the mistakes made by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Makarfi who stated this while receiving the PDP Rescue Group at the partyâ€™s national secretariat in Abuja led by former governor of old Gongola State, Wilberforce Jutta, who pledged loyalty to the Makarfi-led leadership.
The loyalty visit to Makarfi came just as former ministers of the party also vowed to ensure that new a chairman of the PDP must emerge by merit.
The former PDP ministers said the era of impunity and exclusivity was over.
They also said they would financially support the current national leadership of the party ahead of its non-conventions.
While addressing the party leaders, Makarfi said the PDP was open to reconciliation with all interested parties but cautioned that nobody should expect any special concession.
â€œWe are open to reconciling with everybody. We are open to accepting new entrants into the party but no special privileges for anybody coming into the party. That is not an issue to be contemplated. No exclusivity. It will be inclusive without any special privilege to anybody or group of individuals.
â€œThatâ€™s how APC got it wrong. We should learn from how APC got it wrong. What we need to do is that we will create a level-playing field. And that we donâ€™t lord it over those who have slaved for the party.
â€œThe party must evolve mechanism for dedicated and loyal party men and women. Thatâ€™s how people can remain committed. But if there is none, people can question themselves why do you have to continue exhibiting such loyalty and commitment to the party.
â€œPeople can as well also be nomadic politicians and migrate to where the pasture is more green for whatever reasons. In some African countries, we didnâ€™t hear of this kind of mobility. But in Nigeria, we are nomadic politicians. We have many nomadic politicians and they should behave well. They will be welcomed but I stand by what I have said earlier.â€
The former PDP ministers, noted that the new leadership of the party that is expected to emerge from the anticipated elective convention must be by merit.
Chairman of the forum and former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki, while briefing journalists after their meeting, said their conviction is that the best candidate should emerge as candidate.
He stated that the era of impunity and lack of exclusivity in the party is over, noting that it is now open for all members of credible standing to participate.
Meanwhile, the national publicity secretary of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, has said that the PDP can reclaim states in South-west in 2019 provided they remain united.
He lamented that the loss of those states was because of the internal crisis that led the party in that region, adding that the victory secured by the APC in the states of the region were minority votes.
The opposition party spokesman however noted that the peace effort in Anambra State is already yielding fruits adding that a substantive caretaker committee for the state will emerge next week.