A former Nigerian President and a member of opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the leaders of the party and other members to put behind the leadership tussle that had caused a division in the party and look at ways of restructuring the party.

Leaders of the party had gathered on Monday at the party's National Secretariat in Abuja for a meeting, the first major meeting since leadership tussle began in May 2016.

The former leader of the party, Jonathan, told the gathering that rebuilding the party structure, which was almost destroyed by the crisis, should be the focus of every member ahead of the 2019 elections. 

pdp leaders meeting in Abuja

Other top members of the party at the meeting were the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Senator , Ahmed Makarfi, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, former Senate President, David Mark, Chairman of PDP governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, other PDP governors and other members of caucus and Party.

It was a full house, but Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who had laid claim to the leadership of the party before he was sacked last week by the Supreme Court, was absent.

pdp leaders meeting in Abuja

The Supreme Court in a case between Senator Sheriff, the PDP and 4 others ruled that the Makarfi-led executive was the authentic executive of the party, ordering Senator Sheriff to stop parading himself as the National Chairman of the party.

Senator Sheriff has said he would discuss the judgement of the court with his lawyer, but said he had not sent a congratulatory message to Senator Makarfi.

The PDP lost the presidential election to the All Progressives Congress in 2015 general election after 16 years of being in power.

The judgment of the Supreme Court opens up a vista of opportunity for the party to regroup and rebuild the party before the 2019 general election.

pdp leaders meeting in Abuja