Angry PDP governors to Jonathan: forget 2015

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Peace talks resume today

Atiku/Governors faction urges court to stop Tukur

The civil war in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is likely to escalate, with aggrieved governors giving four conditions for peace.

They tabled the conditions at a meeting on Sunday night with President Goodluck Jonathan, 16 governors, and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of a faction of the party, Chief Tony Anenih.

The conditions are that:

•factional National Chairman Bamanga Tukur should be sacked;

•President Jonathan should do one term only and forget re-election in 2015;

•the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) and Rivers State crises should be resolved; and

•”harassment” of governors by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should be stopped.

Attempts were made to narrow the conditions to two but no progress was made, The Nation learnt.

The two factions only succeeded in setting agenda for resumption of talks today.

But the National Secretary of the Atiku-Governors faction of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said yesterday that despite the intervention by Jonathan, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and other party leaders, members of the New PDP would not abandon their struggle.

Oyinlola, who issued a statement in Abuja, said the faction would not disappoint members in the mission to make the PDP work again in the interest of Nigeria and its people.

Sources said that Sunday’s meeting was a no-holds-barred type, with Jonathan feeling overwhelmed.

It was gathered that the seven governors, who were represented by four of their colleagues, complained lack of internal democracy in the party and “repression” by the Presidency.

“The governors demanded the removal of the factional National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to have genuine reconciliation in the party, a source said, adding: “They also asked the President to stick to the agreement he purportedly had with party leaders to spend one term in office. They urged Jonathan to come out openly on his rumoured re-election bid in 2015.

They listed the crises in the NGF and Rivers State and promotion of parallel party structure in some PDP states as their grouses.

Another source at the session said Kwankwaso spoke first, complaining against the use of EFCC by the Presidency to witch-hunt governors who have mere political disagreements with the President.

Said the source: “Kwankwaso cited the arrest and prosecution of a son of the Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido, by the EFCC. He insisted that the prosecution of Lamido’s son was triggered by the Presidency when it was obvious that the victim was on a medical trip to Egypt.

“Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed, whose brother was recently grilled by one of the anti-graft agencies over alleged N60million contract, was quoted as saying ‘I have been facing EFCC probe because I served in the executive of Senator Bukola Saraki. There is an atmosphere of fear in Kwara over activities of the EFCC’.

Governors Jonah Jang, Godswill Akpabio, and Gabriel Suswam reportedly pleaded for understanding.

Jang was said to have attributed the challenges being faced by the party to what he called “deception”.

The source quoted Jang as saying: “People should not be using deception in politics. The same people who said I should go and contest for the NGF chairmanship as a consensus candidate later moved against me. As adults, we should not engage in politics of deception.

“On EFCC investigation, this should not be an issue because it applies to everyone. For three years, I was placed under investigation by the commission.”

Suswam spoke in a similar manner, saying EFCC was not the problem because “I am also being investigated”.

Akpabio was quoted as saying: “I do not see anything bad in EFCC investigation. My sister, who was on a medical trip, was sent back from Germany because she is a relation of a political office holder.

“I think we should all give peace a chance because nobody will be in office for life.”

A worried factional Chairman of the Board of Trustees of PDP, Chief Tony Anenih, pleaded with the aggrieved governors to give peace a chance, it was learnt.

Jonathan, according to the sources, described the party’s challenges as “resolvable”.

Another source quoted Jonathan as follows: “All the problems analysed are within human capacity, we will address them.

“Those within my powers, I will address them personally and those for the party, I will get the party to address them

“But we should all remember that PDP is a party in all localities in Nigeria and because of that we will not allow anything that will undermine the PDP.”

There were attempts to build a consensus on some of the problems, but two were “nasty” – in the view of a source. These are removal of Tukur and dumping of second term ambition by Jonathan.

Oyinlola said despite intervention, the struggle would go on.

Oyinlola’s statement reads in part: “Alhaji Baraje and other leaders of the party appreciate the overwhelming outpouring of support and encouragement from genuine members and leaders of the party across the country.

“We assure them that we will not disappoint them in the mission to make the PDP work again in the interest of Nigeria and its people.

“We also appreciate the efforts of leaders of the party, particularly President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo who, we note, have scheduled a meeting of the party elders for this week.

“We respect the elders and will be guided by them even as we stress that we will not abandon the ideals of justice and fairness that gave birth to the new party leadership under Alhaji Baraje.

“We equally call on all party members across the country to remain peaceful and law abiding as the PDP rescue process is being pursued with vigour.

“We owe the coming generation of Nigerians a duty of ensuring that impunity and dictatorship do not take any root in our democracy and, indeed, in our nation.”

The new party commiserated with families, associates and friends of the Adamawa State delegates who died in Saturday’s road crash.

About Post Author

Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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