Fresh facts have emerged on what transpired at the recent closed-door meeting between former President Goodluck Jonathan and therefore the Reconciliation and Strategy Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by a former President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
A source aware of the meeting told THISDAY at the weekend that Jonathan complained to the Saraki-led committee that the PDP left him within the dark, with no role assigned to him.
According to the source, Jonathan told the committee that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was trying to poach him because the PDP didn’t carry him along in its activities.
APC had clarified that it had been not wooing the previous president to become its presidential candidate in 2023.
But the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party and Yobe State Governor, Mr. Mai Buni, had led another governor of the ruling party to a personal meeting with Jonathan in his Abuja residence with none member of the PDP attending.
Ebonyi State Governor, Mr. David Umahi, who recently defected to the APC from the PDP; Governor Atiku Bagudu, of Kebbi, who is that the Chairman of the Progressives Governors’ Forum; and Governor Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State were at the meeting.
Also within the team was Mr. Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, former presidential liaison officer to the National Assembly.
According to the source aware about the meeting between Jonathan and therefore the Saraki group, the previous president said he stood back because the PDP didn’t assign him any responsibility or role and he didn’t want to be seen as imposing himself on the party.
He explained that he perceived that the APC people may need to approach him because the PDP didn’t assign him any responsibility as a former president on the platform of the party.
However, the source said: “Jonathan said that now that the PDP has sent a high-power delegation to him, led by the previous Senate president, he would make himself available to the party, be it for reconciliation, party building, and the other responsibility. He said he’s able to play any role.”
The source said Jonathan told the PDP Reconciliation and Strategy Committee that he’s a committed and constant PDP member.
“He renewed his commitment to PDP to supply the needed leadership,” the source added.
After the meeting with the previous president, the chairman of the Reconciliation and Strategy Committee, Saraki, told reporters that the committee was starting with the previous president which they were in his house to let him know what their plans are and also to listen to his own views and advice on what they have to try to and the way to try to to it also as what they have to strengthen the party and reconcile aggrieved members to cause unity and focus within the party.
According to Saraki, “It was a really useful meeting. He gave us his views and that we are very happy. He reassured all folks of his commitment to the PDP and he told us that he’s still able to offer his time, experience, and resources to strengthen the party which is extremely strong and important for us. Of course, you recognize funny issues are happening but we are leaving this place very happy.
“He is additionally able to work with the reconciliation committee to play his own role. that’s an excellent step for the party. we’ve put that behind us. All those people of the opposite party that might wish to come and disturb our leaders; Our leaders are here and that they can work for the party.”
The former Senate president who was evasive on the 2023 Presidency, however, said the previous president’s readiness to figure in furtherance of the explanation for the PDP is commendable.
“We spoke about what role former presidents like him will play and he left us feeling very happy that yes, he will wish to play that role within the PDP and helping our committee to maneuver forward,” he said.
He further added that those disturbing the previous president about quitting the main opposition party should perish the thought as he (Jonathan) remains a PDP man to the core.