The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has opened discussion with notable political leaders from the northern part of the country on the need for them to return to the former ruling party.
The discussion was aimed at convincing them that they could be the party’s presidential candidate come 2019.
The party recently announced that it had zoned its presidential ticket to the northern part of the country.
The party believes that it lost the last general election because it fielded former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Jonathan, who hails from Bayelsa State, was defeated by President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.
Buhari, a former Head of State, is from Katsina State.
Investigations showed that some members of the National Working Committee of the party had been having meetings with notable politicians who defected from the PDP to the APC.
Among those being wooed are the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; a former Governor of Kano State, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso and many others.
Apart from Saraki and Kwankwaso, it was also gathered that the PDP was looking at the direction of a former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido; Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogora as its possible presidential candidate in 2019.
Saraki and Dogara were elected into their current positions with the help of members of the PDP in the Senate and the House.
Both men, who were former members of the PDP, have also decided to pay members of their former party back with headship of committees considered to be juicy and strategic at the Senate and in the House respectively.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, confirmed the secret meetings the leadership of the party had been having with its former members.
Metuh, who also confirmed that he was partaking in such meetings, said it would be premature to mention those who were contacted to return to their former party.
But he said the party was only considering those he said have electoral values and had yet to constantly condemn the party and everything it stood for in the past.
Metuh said, “Yes, I can confirm that we have opened discussions with our former members who left us due to misunderstandings and were aggrieved. We are already having meetings with them and I can assure you that the discussions are going to yield positive results.
“But for the fact that some of these gentlemen are holding sensitive positions in the APC and in government, we won’t be able to mention their names.
“They are not happy with the Federal Government and some of its policies and they have decided to team up with us come 2019.”
He said the PDP was sure that if it could bring back majority of its members who left the party for the APC, it would win the Presidential election in 2019.
While shopping for its presidential candidate from the north, our correspondent gathered that the party might have settled for the Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu as its vice presidential candidate.
Ekweremadu is the party’s highest ranking political office holder.
This, it was gathered, was the major reason why he was being considered for the position.
Also, his zone, the South-East and the South-South, are the major base of the PDP.