ABUJA — Five governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who have been consulting on the state of the party and the nation, yesterday, dismissed speculations that they were after President Goodluck Jonathan’s job, insisting they were on a mission to salvage Nigeria.
The five governors spoke through Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, who has been having a running battle with the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, over control of party structures in Yola.
The governors insisted yesterday that they were propelled by greater national interest to go round the country and discuss the best ways to arrest the drift in the leading party and Nigeria, rather than seek personal gains, as insinuated by the Presidency.
They were reacting to allegation by Political Adviser to President Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, that they were heating up the polity unnecessarily in a bid to get at Jonathan. Gulak also upbraided two of the governors for being ungrateful to the PDP after clearing the way for them to contest and win election on its platform.
No hidden agenda
But Special Adviser to Nyako on Media and Public Affairs, Alhaji Ahmad Sajoh, told Vanguard in an exclusive interview that Gulak missed the point by accusing them of hatching a hidden agenda.
Sajoh said: “It is a pity for the Political Adviser to the President to portray the governors as selfish people with hidden agenda, when they are actually trying to draw the President’s attention to the drift in the party and the nation he is leading. We believe strongly that what we are doing by consulting widely with eminent Nigerian leaders and stakeholders with a view to drawing attention to the problems facing the nation and finding a holistic solution to the challenges does not qualify us as selfish people in any way.
“We have no ulterior motive other than drawing the attention of the President and the party to what is going wrong to enable them adjust in the overall interest of our great country. We are doing that conscious of the fact that if Nigeria slips beyond redemption, it would affect all of us.
It is wrong for any right-thinking Nigerian to misconstrue the patriotic action of the five governors and label them as self-seeking because they are simply sounding the alarm that there is danger lurking around and that we need to do something urgent to arrest the drift.
“The five governors have brought to the attention of all Nigerians that all is not going well within the ruling PDP and that efforts should be made by all well-meaning Nigerians to ensure that the situation is remedied without further delay.”
Reminded that the governors did not seek or obtain the support of either the President or the PDP before embarking on the ‘peace mission’, the governor’s spokesman said that there was nothing wrong with the governors’ move and that they did not need such permission as leaders in their own right to seek peace.
He said: “The governors’ membership of the PDP does not deprive them of their right to come together and discuss their common interest or consult the elders of the country on matters of national interest.”