Olusola Fabiyi, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party said in Abuja on Thursday that it was expecting those it described as “high-profile “ defectors to join its fold within the next three weeks.
The Chairman of the party’s Special Non-Elective National Convention, who is also the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, stated this in a chat with journalists.
He said the party was preparing to welcome the expected defectors from other political parties.
But he did not reveal the identities of the defectors and their political parties.
He spoke while inspecting the Eagles Square, venue of the convention, saying necessary arrangement had been made in order to have a successful convention.
He said, “We just came to see what is on the ground, I believe that our people will be safe because we have everything under control, we are not expecting hitches at all.
“We are doing very well as a party and as a committee. In this kind of planning you will have some challenges here and there but there are solutions being proffered to everyone of them and we are confident that we are on the right track and it shall be well on Saturday.
“I believe that a lot of people who thought that the party was going to implode will realise that we are back and ready to offer what it takes to better the lives of Nigerians.”
“Many of our members that left earlier due to one form of disagreement or the other will return to their party because the National Caretaker Committee has constituted a Reconciliation Committee as well as a Contact and Mobilisation Committee to reach out to them.
“From the way things are going presently in this country, I believe Nigerians will realise that PDP is the only alternative that can bring Nigeria out of her present economic challenges. We are expecting high profile defectors in the next three weeks or so.”
However, the All Progressives Congress said it was not bothered by the PDP’s claim.
Spokesperson for the ruling party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said, “Three weeks is not forever; we will wait for it to come. We are confident that we will not lose any our valuable members to the former ruling party.”
He added that the PDP was just making an unsubstantiated claim.
Also speaking at the venue, the National Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, assured members of the party that the issues relating to the South-West zone of the party had been resolved.
Makarfi said, “Yesterday (Wednesday), we had a meeting with the leaders from the zone to resolve the issues.
“As a party, we will continue to work hard not to lose anybody, but we will work harder to bring in more members to the party.”
Meanwhile, there was a mild drama at the PDP national secretariat on Thursday when the committee set up to screen the seven governorship aspirants for the Anambra State governorship election openly expressed displeasure about what it called acts of indiscipline by some of the aspirants.
The Chairman of the Screening Committee, who is also a former Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, spoke on behalf of the committee.
He said it was unfortunate that some of the aspirants did not show up at the venue of the screening, even 90 minutes after 9.am when the event was scheduled to take off.
Aspirants who were screened on Thursday included Prince Okechukwu Emeka, Dr. Alex Obiogbolu, Mrs. Linda Ikpeazu, Oseloka Obaze, Chief Ifeanyi Uba, Senator Stella Oduah and Akolisa Ufodike.