The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) is in talks with some of its former governors and other chieftains who defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC).
The secret talks are part of the strategies to rebrand and reposition of the party ahead of the 2019 polls.
Some of the negotiations took place abroad to avoid the prying eyes of security agencies on the realignment of political forces.
Among those being targeted by PDP are ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar; Senate President Bukola Saraki; ex-governors Rabiu Kwankwaso, Danjuma Goje, Aliyu Wammako, Governor Aminu Tambuwal, several APC Senators, members of the House of Representatives and others.
Sources in the know of the talks, however, said that none of the leaders or members of the National Assembly has yet agreed to the overtures.
It was gathered that the PDP leadership is desperate to have the ex-governors and defectors back in the fold and has resorted to tracking the movement of the targeted APC leaders abroad for further talks.
The party is said to be focusing on the North-East, North-West and North-Central even as it does not want to lose its grip on the South-South and South-East.
It is also said to be weighing the option of conceding the party’s presidential ticket to the North-East in 2019.
“We are determined to bring back our top leaders who defected to APC. We want to heal wounds, we are already reaching out to some of these ex-governors and leaders,” a member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) said.
“So far, none of them has made any commitment. Some of them have become disenchanted with PDP to the extent that they don’t want to hear the name of this party again.
“Others are demanding reforms in PDP before they can even contemplate thinking about their return to our party.
“We are leaving all options open and we are reaching out to top leaders, ex-governors and the grassroots. We will return PDP to its original ideals.”
It was learnt that the absence of ex-President Ibrahim Babangida; ex-Minister of Finance, Mallam Adamu Ciroma; ex-Vice President Namadi Sambo and influential party leaders from the North at the party’s National Conference on Thursday jolted the NWC and left them with the impression that North is not about to forgive the party yet.
Another source said: “I think the challenge facing PDP now is that Southern elements have hijacked the structure of the party and no one is happy about it.
“Certainly, they must restructure the party to create a sense of belonging for all. So far, what we see is the same South-South and South-East elements trying to play on the intelligence of the North again.
“Let them come up with terms which will guarantee fairness and Justice for all. For instance, why will PDP not respect its zoning formula on party offices?
“Why can’t an acting National Chairman emerge from the North-East to which it was originally zoned?
“If PDP is seeking equity, it must do so with clean hands.”
Already, a fresh crisis is brewing in the party over the choice of its next National Chairman in March.
Investigation revealed that ex-Governor Ayo Fayose is spearheading the zoning of the office to the South-West.
Fayose’s argument is that of all the six geo-political zones only the Southwest is yet to produce PDP National Chairman.
Former national chairmen of PDP were: Chief Solomon Lar(North-Central); Barnabas Gemade( North Central); Audu Ogbeh( North-Central); Ahmadu Ali ( North-Central); Vincent Ogbulafor ( South East); Abubakar Kawu Baraje( North-Central); and Okwesileze Nwodo(North-East); Mohammed Bello Haliru( North-West); Bamanga Tukur(North-East) and Adamu Muazu( North-East).
A party leader said: “The governor also believes that the South-East and the South-South have had more than their share of the office of the National chairman.
“But some party leaders are still pushing for the retention of Prince Uche Secondus as the party’s National Chairman to assuage the South-South which lost the presidency in March.
“Again, we have some NWC members who have done no other job since 1999 other than holding party offices. Yet, these people have fueled the successive crises in the party.
“This same NWC accounted for PDP’s defeat at the polls. Why must we retain them in March 2016? These are the issues for consideration by leaders of the party in our repositioning process.”