Tuesday, January 7, 2014

PDP BoT to intervene in Jonathan, Obasanjo rift


obasanjo and jonathan
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.”

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