The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday urged members of the breakaway faction of the party to end their self-imposed exclusion in the interest of peace.
In a statement issued in Abuja the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Olisa Metuh, urged the members, who recently suffered a setback in their attempt to get official backing from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to return to the party’s fold.
The aggrieved members had staged a walk out from the party’s Special National Convention on Aug. 31 with the backing of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The members, who include the governors of Niger, Kano, Rivers, Sokoto, Kwara, Adamawa and Jigawa states, appointed fresh officers to run the affairs of the party and later filed a case against the party`s leadership under Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
The aggrieved members had to INEC urging it not to recognise the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP, but the commission turned down the request.
Friday’s statement called on the aggrieved members ‘to come back home now’ since INEC had recognised the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led executive as the authentic national executive of the party.
The statement read in part: “The party has been kind enough to extend an olive branch to the members, they should therefore behave like a prodigal son and return to the family.
“The position of INEC affirming Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the National Chairmanship has laid to rest all issues regarding the party`s leadership.
“And rejecting the demand for recognition by the aggrieved members has finally nailed the agitation of Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, who has been parading himself as the chairman of the aggrieved members,” it said.
It advised the members to avail themselves the opportunity of the olive branch by the national leadership to engender true reconciliation and put all grievances behind.
The statement urged the aggrieved members to join hands with the national working committee of the party to move the party forward as one big united family.
“In this light, we call on all our aggrieved members to relegate all personal interests and return to the fold. This is the only way we can ward off all external aggressions and forge a common formidable political front,’’ the statement said.
It assured that the PDP, as a true national party, was large enough to accommodate all interests and persons as they remain loyal to the provisions of its Constitution.
“We must at this time close ranks and rally round President Goodluck Jonathan to deliver on his promises to Nigerians,” the statement said.
“We must also support our leaders at all levels so that collectively we will ensure that our great party delivered on its mandate,’’ it added.
This, it said, was necessary to ensure the actualisation of the ideals of the party`s founding fathers and the transformation agenda of the PDP-led Federal Government for the benefit of all.
It also noted that the party challenges in the last few months, rather than detract, had proved that it remained the pre-eminent party that would continue to win elections in the country.
The statement, therefore, urged the party leaders, elders and members across the country to continue to support President Jonathan and his transformation agenda.