Encouraged by the gale of defections to its fold, the North-West zone of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says it will “capture’’ that geopolitical zone in the 2019 general elections.
Mr Joseph Gumbari, Secretary, North-West zone of the party, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Jos that the defections from the ruling APC to the PDP had strengthened the later to regain the zone it lost in the 2015 polls.
“Sokoto is already in the kitty; Kano is within grasp while Kaduna and Jigawa are `practically’ back to the fold.
“Zamfara people are feeling neglected. They have continued to express their disappointment and have vowed to show their anger during the polls in 2019.
“We are also taking the battle to President Muhammadu Buhari’s home in Katsina State where we are not doing badly. We got more than 60,000 votes during the senatorial bye-elections in his constituency last week which is a good showing.
“There is some cause for celebration, but we are not taking anything for granted. We are still working for the return of more people that made us thick before they derailed in 2015,’’ Gumbari, a former member of the National Assembly, said.
NAN reports that the PDP, which won only one senate seat, out of the 21 seats in the zone’s seven states, now has close to 10, following a gale of defections to its fold last month.
The gains were recorded in Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Sokoto.
Aside the Sokoto Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, the party also received the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Prof. Afiz Abubakar, in addition to some members of the National and State Houses of Assembly.
It also received many commissioners, special advisers and special assistants to some governors.
Basking in the euphoria of the defections, Gumbari said that his party was poised to stage a comeback in the zone famed to have the largest number of voters in the country.
He claimed that more defectors would soon be received, saying that the party’s doors were open to people ready to join its train.
Gumbari said that the PDP would ensure a level playing ground to all its members, but advised the defectors to place national interest above individual considerations.
He also advised politicians seeking elective offices to play the game by the rule, saying that winning an election should not be seen as a “do or die’’ affair.
The PDP scribe advised Nigerians to acquire their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs), so as to have a say in who governs them, and cautioned voters against selling their votes to anyone.
“People must vote their conscience and resist the temptation to sell their votes for peanuts,’’ he counselled.