The Peoples Democratic Party has begun desperate moves to prevent governors elected on its platform as well as its members from carrying out their threat to defect to the newly formed All Progressives Congress.
This follows indications that no fewer than 12 PDP governors as well as many of the party’s members in the national and state assemblies and its 36 state chapters were being wooed by APC chieftains.
Some of the governors had told PDP leaders last week that they would leave the fold in protest at the disdain which President Goodluck Jonathan and the party leadership had shown for them.
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the PDP had moved to stop a mass defection by embarking on a sudden reconciliation drive, to stop estranged members from defecting to the APC.
The three major political parties that merged to form the APC are the Action Congress of Nigeria, All Nigeria Peoples Party and the Congress for Progressive Change.
Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, is also involved in APC.
The panic within the ruling party was responsible for the hurried formation of the PDP Governors Forum, which came few days after the opposition governors announced the formation of the Progressive Governors Forum.
Findings by our correspondent showed that the leadership of the party was not comfortable with the coming together of the opposition parties.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, lent credence to this state of panic in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Thursday morning, when he said the opposition should not expect his party to sleep when it (opposition) was busy strategising.
“So, you expect our party to go to sleep when others are planning ahead? That is not possible,” he said.
It was on this basis that governors elected on the platform of the party met with leaders of the party from South-West PDP in Abuja on Thursday evening, asking them to sheath their swords and come together in the interest of the party.