Umar Damagum: We want Obi back in PDP

Umar Damagum Umar Damagum
Damagum came on board after Ayu was ousted

Umar Damagum, acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says the party has not commenced merger talks with other platforms. 

Damagum said this when he featured on ‘Nigeria Right Now’, a programme on AIT, which aired on May 30.

Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, recently paid visits to some chieftains of the PDP, including Atiku Abubakar. 

Asked about the visits, Damagum was evasive and coy.  


“He (Obi) hasn’t visited me. I am not a poke-noser to be going about trying to know what the visits are all about,” he said.

Asked if he would want Obi back in the PDP, the party chair said: “Not only him. Every other person that has been in this party, we want them back.”

Obi left the PDP for the LP in June 2022.


“The party like I told you, is a brand that you cannot take away. It will accommodate all of us. We are making steps in that direction,” he added. 

“The true position is that the party has not been approached (for a merger). Maybe individuals are talking about that but as of today, we have not had any discussions as a party with any group.

“PDP has structures all over the country. Look at our performance. PDP can stand alone and win this election.

“PDP is a solid party and they can come in and join us. But I don’t think for now we are contemplating changing our name for any political party that would not add value to us.”


Damagum also spoke on the crisis in the PDP and the demand for the suspension of some members over alleged anti-party activities.

The PDP chair said instead of suspending members, reconciliation should be pursued. 

“After all, most of the agitators for this suspension, go back to their states, what value have they added to the party?” he asked. 

“You don’t just sit down because you are aggrieved with somebody or your personal hatred for somebody and you want the party to act along your own thinking.”



Damagum also said President Bola Tinubu has performed “very badly” since he was inaugurated in 2023. 


“I can’t go home. You know what is happening — everyone is hungry,” he said.

“If you are looking to govern people, you must have a plan. You don’t just come and pound on people with no plan to better their lives.


“At the same time, his policies are anti-people. Before you roll out your policies, you should know the effect on the population. More than three-quarters of the Nigerian population is living from hand to mouth.

“All policies should be people-oriented. You don’t just wake up and reel out anti-people policies.”


Damagum said when PDP oversaw the nation’s affairs, it listened to the “yearnings of the people” and reversed some policies that had caused furore. 

He said the All Progressives Congress (APC) should do the same and suspend policies causing economic hardship.  

“You see, APC is campaigning for us. All these policies, all these hardships — they are nonchalant. And you know the surprising thing? Nigerians will forget very easily,” he added.

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