Some politicians of southern extraction, under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party, have formed a new group, “PDP Southern Leaders Consultative Forum’’ as a force ahead of the 2019 elections.
Already, members of the movement have started meetings to discuss critical issues affecting the party, and how the southern zone would position itself in terms of power sharing ahead of future elections.
Our correspondent reports that party stalwarts from all the states in the South-West, South-East and South-South regions met in Abuja, Wednesday night, at the residence of Chief Tom Ikimi, where they deliberated on issues till the early hours of Thursday.
The venue of the meeting was where the merger of legacy parties took place. The parties later collapsed into the All Progressives Congress (APC) when Chief Ikimi was in the party.
It is not yet clear if the movement will metamorphose into a different political party.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting, yesterday, Chief Ikimi, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) said the forum had constituted a 7- man committee to be chaired by a former governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, to propose its structure.
He, however, said the meeting was not to divide the party or to form a forum against the North.
“A motion was moved for the formation of this forum and adopted,” he said.
He added that the PDP governors in the South would be fully engaged to ensure that the movement was sustained.
“I think it has reached a stage now where this party should be born again, where those of us who are from the South should see ourselves as one.
“If we do not unite and work together, our ambitions will be an illusion,’’ Ikimi said.
Speaking during the opening session, Ikimi, said the PDP constitution recognised the North and South in order to establish equality, stability and fairness in power sharing, adding that the forum’s aim was to rebuild and re-launch the party.
“This is time for unity and brotherhood. It’s time that we put our house in order. This is not a time for power sharing. This is a meeting to inaugurate a new face of the PDP.
“As we speak, the Northern leaders of the PDP are also meeting regularly to put their house in order. If we had worked together, we wouldn’t have lost the 2015 general elections,” he said.
Some of the prominent politicians from the zone who attended the meeting, which was witnessed by the Makarfi-led national caretaker committee’s secretary, Ben Obi and its spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, are former minister of state for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro; former deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha; Mulikat Abiola, Chief Raymond Dokpesi; former governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State, Jim Agbaje; Stella Onu, Iyiola Omisore, and Shuaibu Oyedokun.