The executives of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Plateau State on Monday received members who once defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC, back into the party.
Among the 61 names of returnees on a three-paged list was that of the factional chairman of the APC in the state, Amos Gombi.
Mr. Gombi had claimed to be the authentic state chairman of the APC against Latep Dabang, who was elected chairman.
However, the long list did not include former governor, Joshua Dariye, former deputy governor, Pauline Tallen, Jimmy Cheto, Fidelis Tapgun and John Alkali, who all have been yearning to return to the party after leaving the PDP in 2011.
Mr. Dariye and his supporters left the PDP for the Labour Party.
Mr. Dariye and Ms. Tallen, both contesting senatorial seats in their respective senatorial zones, were present at the reception.
During his address, the state acting PDP chairman, Raymond Dabo, explained to the gathering that apart from the returnees mentioned at the event, others had already been received and given waivers at the national level.
It is not clear whether Mr. Dariye was among those cleared by the party at the national level.
He charged the returnees to abide by the party’s constitution and regulations to move the party forward.
Mr. Dabo said the event marked the end of “opposition party” in Plateau State.
“After December 2014, there would be no opposition party in our state,” he said. “Latep Dabang will be alone in APC.”
Responding on behalf of other returnees, Pam Gyang, who ran as deputy governorship candidate to Pauline Tallen under the Labour Party in the 2011 elections, said their coming back into the PDP fold was a homecoming and pledged to remain in the party.
“There is nowhere like home,” he said. “PDP is a home for us. Most of us are founding fathers of PDP. Some of us have sacrificed greatly for the party.”
Governor Jonah Jang was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Education, Paul Wai, who assured the returnees of equal opportunities in the party.
None of the 17 governorship aspirants attended the event.