BY TERFA AYAGA:
National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Prince Vincent Ogbulafor yesterday acknowledged the planned return of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar to the party, saying he would be warmly received to PDP as one of the founding fathers.
However, the Adamawa State chapter of the party stated that though it was yet to be formally informed it will not work against the move. State secretary of PDP, Phineas P Elisha said the return of the former vice president will boost the chances of the party in 2011.
The developments are coming ahead of today’s meeting by loyalists and associates of Abubakar in Abuja to conclude arrangements on the plans. Media consultant to the ex-VP, Garba Shehu who confirmed the meeting however did not state the venue and the number and caliber of people expected at the meeting.
Daily Champion learnt that today’s meeting will focus on how to engage the leadership of PDP at all level in the new plan. It will also agree on the date the return will take place in Yola, the Adamawa State capital.
Speaking on the issue, Ogbulafor told Daily Champion that there was nothing wrong in Atiku deciding to rejoin the PDP. He said though he has not been briefed on the plans, he maintained that the man would always be received back to the party.
He said: “If he is interested in coming back to the party he is welcome,” saying the former VP will be expected to follow the constitution of the party if truly he is interested in rejoining the party..
Endorsing the move, the PDP secretary in Adamawa, Elisha who spoke to Daily Champion on telephone, said the party in the state may not oppose the move. He said the issue for now exists in the realm of rumour since Atiku was yet to formally inform the PDP state executive committee of his plans.
Elisha however admitted that that Atiku had made some moves in recent times that suggested that he was interested in reuniting with his political allies in the state. For instance he recalled that the former vice president, during the funeral ceremony of the Late Lamido Adamawa, Dr. Aliyu Mustafa, paid a courtesy call on Governor Murtala Nyako where they hugged and spoke in a friendly manner.
He continued that he was also aware that the two leaders later met in Abuja with top officials of the party as a continuation of the earlier meeting in Yola, but quickly explained that the outcome of the meeting was not made known to him.
He said the party was also anxious to receive information about the week long meeting the PDP stakeholders had in Abuja before the visit of Nyako to Germany .
The PDP secretary also said since the governor is away to Germany, the party has no clear answers on that development, but “this is what we are also hearing”
This is the second time Atiku would be associated with news of plot to return to the PDP fold which he left in 2006 when his face off with his former boss, Olusegun Obasanjo led to his joining some politicians to form Action Congress (AC). He contested the 2007 presidential election under the platform.
Last year, he reportedly visited Obasanjo as part of plans to return to PDP. The meeting raised huge dust in the polity. The move to rejoin the party later failed. He quickly switched his focus on aligning with some leaders of opposition parties to form a mega party. He joined forces with former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, Olu Falae, Attahiru Bafarawa, among others to form the National Democratic Movement (NDM).
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