It was a rousing welcome for one of founding members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, as he returned to the secretariat of the party on Tuesday after so many years.

He knows where the secretariat is but his defection from the party to the All Progressives Congress some years back had made him kept a straight face each time he passes the building.

His return was a boost for the opposition that is already strategising to return to the centre of governance is Nigeria.

It was just 437 days to the General Election and the PDP is happy that Atiku is back.

Welcoming Abubakar back to the PDP, the chairman of the party's Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said he had returned in good time, adding that PDP would continue to consult with him.

He urged him to continue to contribute in reinventing and remodeling of the party so that it could reclaim Aso Rock in 2019.

"We are not just targeting Aso Rock, we are targeting the federal legislature, the states, both executive and legislature. We are targeting the local governments.

"We want to sweep elections all across the party. As a united party, we have the capacity and we have the ability to do so.”

Makarfi added that the return of Abubakar had "opened the flood gates and we expect many more high-profile returnees and new entrants into the PDP.

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“So, PDP must be prepared for this, and be ready to reconcile and reiterate in such a way and manner that everybody will be treated and given a level-playing field to purse his or her personal aspiration.

“That is what PDP must stand for if it has to survive.”

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