Home News Former Senate President, Saraki Under Pressure To Lead PDP As National Chairman

Former Senate President, Saraki Under Pressure To Lead PDP As National Chairman


Sunday July 2, 2023

Fresh facts have emerged that the governors and National Assembly members elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are putting pressure on a former Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, to accept to lead the party in the capacity of national chairman, THISDAY has learnt.

A Benue High Court had sacked Dr. Iyorchia Ayu as the national chairman, leaving the leadership of the main opposition party in the hands of Ambassador Illya Umar Damagun, who is in an acting capacity.

The PDP, it was learnt, is planning for a total reorganisation of the party, if the presidential election tribunal did not favour its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

A member of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) told THISDAY that: “Those mounting pressure on Saraki are visiting his Maitama, Abuja; and Ikoyi, Lagos, homes under the guise of discussing the future of the main opposition party. While some make it a single-person visit, others come as small groups.”

The source stated further that the various individuals have been expressing worry that the opposition party will die under the Tinubu presidency if not led by a person who can pull every member or group back into the fold and build a strong party.

Another member of the NWC said that with the current situation of the party, which has left the national secretariat as a graveyard with no activity, the only solution is a reorganisation with somebody like Saraki at the helm of affairs.

According to him, Saraki is a natural unifier who enjoys wide acceptability and goodwill among all groups including the G-5 Group, Atiku’s acolytes, the non-aligned members, and others, such as the members of the NWC.

Saraki, he said, did very well when in 2021 he handled the reconciliation assignment of the party that brought life back into the party when it was hemorrhaging after the 2019 loss of the presidential election.

“Saraki also enjoys the support of elder statesmen like Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Aliyu Gusau, and the rest of them. His acceptance by the youths is also a strong factor”, the NWC member said.

However, it was gathered that the former Senate President has continued to rebuff the overtures.

A source close to the former Senate president told THISDAY that he has insisted that the discussion about the next executive should not come up until after the litigation over the presidential election result has been finally resolved.

The source added that Saraki has cautioned those who spoke to him about the need to avoid opening a fresh crisis by trying to terminate the tenure of the present NWC members.

The source said that Saraki also said to have made it clear that he would rather operate from the background to help the party than to take a formal party position.

It is, however, believed that those close to the former Senate President within the party are unrelenting about getting him to lead the party.

Those mounting the pressure on him, it was learnt, are said to be planning to involve his associates in the business world in the move to get him to help rebuild the party.

When contacted, some chieftains of the PDP said that they would not be drawn into the discussion as the time was not ripe for it.

“We are in the tribunal now. I won’t be a party to this discussion. We are still in the tribunals for now,” a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, told THISDAY.


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