The national leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party may not appeal to members who defected from the party as a result ofthe rancour that followed its just-concluded primaries, The PUNCH has learnt.
The party has also named a former National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, as the Director-General, Goodluck Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation.
It was also learnt that the party had foreclosed talking to those who moved to other political parties where they felt they could achieve their political aspirations.
Among those who left were a former Governor of Oyo State, Chief Bayo Alao-Akala, who is now a member of the Labour Party; a former Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Samuel Ortom (All Progressives Congress); and a former National Chairman of the party, Senator Bernabas Gemade.
Many other aggrieved members of the party, despite the plea by President Goodluck Jonathan not to leave the PDP, have also left the party as a result of the controversial primaries.
The President had on Saturday appealed to them not to leave, saying that the leadership of the party was working hard to resolve the conflicts thrown up by primaries in many states.
Despite this, the party said there was no mass exodus among its members, adding that in politics, while some were leaving a political party, others would be joining.
The National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, in answers to questions from our correspondent in Abuja on Monday, said there was nothing to fear concerning those who left the party.
He said, “There is no mass defection in the PDP. I’m assuring you of that. In politics, you win some; you lose some. That’s what we did in Oyo, Sokoto, Kwara and other states.
“We are not shocked (by the defections). When the former Governor of Adamawa State, Murtala Nyako, took our mandate to another party, God gave it back to us miraculously.
“In Kwara, when the governor and others took our mandate to the opposition, God brought Dele Belgore and others to us.
“In Sokoto, when the governor also took our mandate away, God gave us Attahiru Bafarawa. The same thing is happening in Oyo and other states where we are gaining members.”
He said there was nothing to fear, adding that the national leadership was ready to go ahead with the presidential campaign.
Oladipo also confirmed the appointment of Ali as the director-general of President Jonathan Campaign Organisation.
On who is the actual governorship candidate of the party in Ogun State, Oladipo, refused to be categorical on this. He merely said that his party would meet the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission for the submission of governorship candidates’ names by political parties.
It will be recalled that the members of the National Working Committee of the party had ordered the state chapter of the party not to conduct the governorship primary.
The directive was ignored as a faction of the party in the state went ahead to elect Alhaji Gboyega Isiaka as its governorship candidate. The action was being contested by the other faction of the party in the state.
However, Oladipo said there was nothing to be worried about on this.
He also said the issue of Anambra State, where three different primaries were held at different locations, was not an issue.
He said, “On Ogun State, INEC has set the 26th of this month as the deadline for the submission of the list of candidates for governorship and House of Assembly members.
“Our party will beat that deadline. As for Anambra, we organised primaries and the names of those who won have been sent to INEC.”
Asked about the names of those who were sent, he said he was sure that the commission would still publish them.