Written by Chuks Okocha
As part of efforts to reconcile members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and reshape the party ahead of the 2023 general elections, the party’s Committee for Reconciliation and Strategy, led by former Senate President Dr. Bukol Saraki, met yesterday with former President Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja.
The meeting came amid speculation that the ruling Congress of All Progressives (APC) plans to forge the former president.
THIS MATCH reported that the former president last weekend dismissed insinuations that he should have left the PDP for the APC.
Saraki told reporters after the meeting that Jonathan assured the board that he was ready to offer the PDP his experience and resources if asked to do so.
In an obvious reference to the ruling APC, Saraki said that the former president was committed to the PDP bouncing on the national account, emphasizing that he is not ready to go to another party.
He expressed happiness over the reversal of events, following reports that the ruling party was courting Jonathan.
Saraki said: “We are members of the National Committee for Reconciliation and Strategy established by the party and part of our task is to meet with our former president Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.
“We start with our former president and we are here to let him know what our plans are, and also to hear his 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 damaged members to achieve unity and focus in our party. “
He further stated: “It was a very useful meeting. He told us his views and we are very happy. He assured us all of his commitment to the PDP and 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. Sure, you know funny problems happen, but we leave here very happy. “
He added that Jonathan also expressed readiness to work with the reconciliation committee.
“It’s a great step for the party. We have left that behind – all those people from the other party who would like to come and disturb our leaders. “Our leaders are here and they are ready to work for the party,” he said.
He praised the former president’s readiness to work on improving the PDP’s reasons.
He said: “We talked about what role former presidents like him will play and he left us feeling very happy that he would like to play that role in the PDP and help our committee move forward.”
Saraki added that those who hinder the former president from leaving the main opposition party should fail because he (Jonathan) is still a PDP man.
The board is also scheduled to meet with PDP senators yesterday.
As part of the rest for 2023, the party’s Steering Committee (BoT), led by Senator Walid Jubrin, is expected to meet in Abuja today.
The agenda of both meetings for the reconstruction of the party on the eve of the 2023 general elections has been collected.
The PDP last year appointed Saraki to head a committee whose other members are former Senate President Senator Anyim Pius Anyim; former Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke; former Governor of Gombe State, Alhaji Ibrahim Dankwambo; former governor of Katsina State, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema and former head of the House of Representatives, Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande.
The Saraki Committee has a double mandate to reconcile injured members who have left the party and to draw new members into the party.