2023: PDP Promises Kalu Senate President If He ‘Returns Home’

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has promised current Chief Whip of the 9th Senate, Senator Orji Kalu the position of senate president if he defects to his former political family, THE WHISTLER learnt on Friday.

Kalu, who defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress and was rewarded with the position of the Chief Whip of the Senate, is being courted by the PDP which has urged him to return “home” while the APC has also urged him to ignore the latest PDP overtures.

On Thursday, a delegation of the newly elected PDP leaders visited the former Abia State governor, led by its National Secretary-elect, Mr Samuel Anyanwu.

This was after another closed-door meeting with the National Leader of the APC, Mr Bola Tinubu, who’s eyeing the presidential ticket on the platform of the ruling party.

Tinubu’s visit was predicated on the feelings that due to Kalu’s move to return to the PDP, he should remain in the APC with a promise that he is central to his interest for 2023 and that Kalu will be well rewarded.

The source said Anyanwu’s visit was to counter Tinubu’s visit and that the PDP saw the greenlight as the discussion with Tinubu did not yield anything knew.

Anyanwu said his delegation’s visit was part of efforts by the PDP to bring their members back and reposition the party.

“We are talking about bringing people back to the party because the more the merrier.

“This is a place he started, so you have to leave where you are and go back to where you started,’’ Anyanwu stressed.

Kalu, an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and a reliable member of the APC left the PDP in November 2016.

The latest drive by the PDP, the source said, will see the return of Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River, Mr Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State alongside Kalu to herald “mass return of former highly placed PDP members especially ranking members.”

In the case of Ayade, just like Umahi, they were promised the APC presidential ticket but recent political development has cast doubt on the prospect of getting the ticket.

Consequently, Umahi on his part is making moves to return to the PDP, a position a chieftain of the PDP in Abia State, Dr Isaac Nkole, validated on Thursday when he said “Gov Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State is allegedly making contacts to return to the PDP having discovered he was deceived into joining APC”.

He also said the Senate Chief Whip has been reaching out to key stakeholders in PDP both in the state and the national levels, begging them to allow him to return to the party.

Explaining, the source said discussion with Anyanwu went well that was why the new PDP executive s did not hide what was discussed with Kalu but revealed all to the public, adding that, “At the appointed time, Kalu and others will return home.

“Ayade too will come as Umahi and others because politics is negotiation. As you must have heard, Umahi is eager because the promises that led them to exit the PDP is no longer guaranteed.”

As the 2023 general elections approach, Nigerian politicians are stepping up their bids for the best prize. And defection has continued to be part of the game as they align and realign to achieve their political aim.

The PDP’s latest onslaught to get back members that defected is predicate on the new initiative to seize back power it lost in 2015.

That defeat which was achieved largely by half a dozen governors that defected ushered in the ruling APC, which is currently beset with crisis.

Yet, despite the crisis, the APC continues to receive defectors from the PDP just like the PDP continues to receive defectors from the APC.

Should Kalu, Umahi, Ayade and few others being targeted by the PDP defect, it will be a big coup that will bolster the party preparatory to the general election.

THE WHISTLER contacted Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP Spokesman, for comment but did not succeed.

But a source close to the incoming National Secretary said once the new executive is inaugurated in few days’ time, the template for getting back their lost members will be in use in full force.

“It’s just a matter of time before big defections happen again,” he said.

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