Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-East zone have lamented the departure of key members from the party in recent years, blaming it for the party’s dwindling fortunes in the region.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that the leaders made this known at a zonal meeting of the party in Enugu on Monday.
The leaders called for reconciliation and rebuilding of the party ahead of the 2027 general elections.
The meeting was attended by party bigwigs in the zone, including Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, former governors Achike Udenwa, Emeka Ihedioha, Sam Egwu, and state party chairmen.
In his remarks, Mr Mbah, who is the leader of the PDP in the South-East, said that the party had lost many of its key members to other parties, including the Labour Party, All Progressives Congress, and New Nigeria Peoples Party.
He said that this had weakened the party and made it difficult for it to win elections in the region.
“Today, when you look at other parties, whether it is Labour Party, All Progressives Congress or the New Nigeria Peoples Party, and so on, you are actually talking about PDP members,” Mr Mbah said.
He urged party leaders and faithful in the region to rise to the task of recovering its lost ground and rebuilding the party to its pre-eminent position in the years past.
The Enugu State Governor did not disclose names, however, his statement can be said to refer to some of the top political figures who abandoned the PDP before the last general election. They include the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, and the Minister of Works, David Umahi, who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after securing a second term as Ebonyi State Governor under PDP.
Mr Mbah has now called for reconciliation with aggrieved members who had defected to other parties.
“It means we have to first of all consolidate our support base as a party, and now reach out to our brothers and sisters, who may have felt aggrieved for one reason or the other and left the party to see how we can bring them back,” he said.
The South-East National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Ali Odefa, also called on party faithful and leaders in the region to brace for the challenge that would engender the resurgence of the party in the zone and beyond.
He said that the fortunes of the party in the last year had dwindled so badly and that the onus was on all of them to see whatever efforts they could put in to make sure that they redeem the past glory of the party.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party and former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, assured that the party would bounce back in the region, given Mr Mbah’s leadership quality.
He said that nothing would happen to the PDP, adding that “All these people will come back because this is their home.”
“So, I do not want us to be discouraged. Let us continue to have hope and belief in PDP,” he said.
The meeting also discussed other strategies for rebuilding the party in the South-East, including financial, administrative, and operational reforms.