The Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party is to intervene in the crises within the party, especially the rift between President Goodluck Jonathan and a former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo , The PUNCH has learnt.
The feud between the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and some governors elected on the platform of the party, will also be a part of the agenda of the January 15 BoT meeting.
A National Executive Committee meeting of the ruling party will take place a day after in Abuja.
A member of the BoT, Alhaji Shuaib Oyedokun, who confirmed the development to one of our correspondents in a telephone interview on Monday, said the BoT was worried by the crises in the party and hence its decision to intervene.
Oyedokun said, “We are meeting on Wednesday next week. We will look into the issue (the Jonathan/Obasanjo rift) critically and maturely and find a peaceful solution in the interest of the party.
“The BoT, even in its advisory capacity, has the authority to call any leader or organ of the party to order.”
Obasanjo had in a letter to Jonathan dated December 2, 2013, accused him of condoning corruption, failing to tackle insecurity and other acts capable of destabilising the country.
But Jonathan, in his reply, flayed Obasanjo, saying he was trying to incite the public against his administration.
He also alleged that the five PDP governors,who defected to the opposition All Progressives Party were instigated to do so by the former president.
The defected governors are Alhaji Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano) and Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara).
Governors Aliyu Babangida of Niger State and Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, who were both part of the initial group of seven governors opposing Jonathan, are still in the PDP. But they are believed to be opposed to the continued leadership of the PDP by Tukur.
The Presidency had through the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Mr. Ahmed Gulak, told The PUNCH on Sunday that Jonathan was favourably disposed to mending fences with Obasanjo.
Gulak had said, “There is nothing wrong with it(reconciliation). In fact, it is a good development because our party, the PDP, is always open to reconciliation.”
Before he spoke, there had been speculations that some elders of the party had approached the two feuding Nigerian leaders on the need for them to reconcile.
Oyedokun, who described the BoT as “the conscience of the party”, told The PUNCH that there had been underground moves to resolve the crises within the party. He assured members that the PDP would emerge from the problems stronger.
“There have been a lot of underground moves to reposition the party. The party will emerge stronger,” he said.
Alhough he advised the defected governors to have a rethink, he maintained that the leadership of the PDP would not pressurise them to do so.
“The issue of defection is another thing. We are studying the situation but it is in the best interest of those who have left our party to come back. We have no reason to coerce them to return; when they see reasons, they will come back,” Oyedokun said.
Another member of the BoT, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, also told The PUNCH on Monday that the party would not force the defected governors to return to the PDP.
He said, “The party won’t break up as a result of the crises. For the defecting governors, I have always wished them the best of luck.
“At the end of the day, Nigerians will know those who are serving their interest.
“Babatope, who noted that defection was not new in the political history of the country, maintained that the PDP would win in 2015.
He said, “We have seen this type of thing before. President Jonathan is not ruffled; not embarrassed. But he is very cool, calm and collected.
“The PDP has a duty to Nigeria and Nigerians. The PDP will be successful in 2015. The party will overcome its present problems. Water will always find its level, and the PDP will always come out victorious.”