The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, has enjoined Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido, to appeal to the five PDP governors who defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress to reconsider their action.
Mu’azu said that Lamido should do so ahead of a visit to the five governors by a committee to be constituted by the National Working Committee of the party to reconcile all aggrieved PDP members.
Lamido was a prominent member of the seven aggrieved PDP governors who were the linchpin of the now defunct New PDP.
The Jigawa governor and his Niger State counterpart, Babangida Aliyu, however, developed cold feet when the five other aggrieved governors announced their decision to join the APC. The five are Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Abdulfatai Ahmed (Kwara), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), and Rabiu Kwakwanso (Kano).
But when Lamido visited his office in Abuja on Wednesday, Mu’azu said, “I want you to help us talk to the G-5 ahead of our meeting with them. Appeal to their sense of patriotism. We will visit them. You are a key figure in the then G-7,which is now G-5.”
Mu’azu, who was responding to a comment by Lamido that those who defected did so in anger, said that members of the PDP NWC would look at all issues that made the party’s membership to be declining.
He appealed to PDP members to remain steadfast and committed, adding that these were the only ways to tackle the problems facing the party.
Mu’azu said, “PDP made most of the people and we expect that whatever be the case, we should remain within and correct the needful for us to move forward.
“With my colleagues in the NWC, I want to assure you that we will look at everything that led to our party to be reducing in number and in size and we will address them.
“Whatever injustice that had been done, we are going to correct them (and) we will be bold enough to say sorry to those that had been wronged.”
He added after due consultation with the party’s major stakeholders that a high level reconciliation committee would be put in place.
The former Bauchi state governor appealed to Lamido to be part of the committee.
According to him, the committee will visit all aggrieved members of the party to say sorry to them with a “view to bringing them back.”
He said, “I am sure that nobody will like to leave his home; not even a fool will leave a home such as the PDP.
“The PDP is best home and the best family to be in. Those of them that have gone, I wish to appeal to them to please come back home.
“I appeal to them to have a sense of patriotism for our party. The party has offered them a lot. Let them reflect and come back because our doors are open.’’
He stressed that the PDP under his leadership would continue to strengthen and deepen internal democracy to ensure that anyone with its ticket won elections.
Earlier, Lamido had told Mu’azu and others present at the meeting how the PDP was formed. He said that many of those who now abused governors and other top members of the party could not raise their voices in 1998 when the military was in charge.
Lamido, who was in company with Jigawa State PDP chieftains, added that the G-7 governors and others that led the defunct New PDP were traumatised in the last seven months.
Pointing out that he had nothing against the former National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the Jigawa State governor said it was unfortunate that the Tukur-led NWC sacked members of the party without justification.
It will be recalled that Amaechi, Wamakko, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, Dr. Sam Jaja and Ambassador Ibrahim Kazaure were suspended by the NWC led by Tukur.
Wamakko’s suspension was later lifted but Amaechi was recommended for expulsion by the PDP Disciplinary Committee headed by Dr. Umaru Dikko.
But Lamido said it was wrong for the party to have taken such a decision.
He said, “We were traumatised in the last seven months. When we see things going wrong, we feel sad.
“Our leaders failed to understand and appraise the situation of things. We complained about things. I have nothing against Tukur, he is my elder and a brother. The entire system was about being destroyed in the last six months.
“In 1998 when we were fighting to enthrone democracy in this country, those making noise today could not talk then. They were irrelevant.
“Those in charge of our party were busy sacking people; they denied governors seats during convention and people were shut out.
“They did it in Rivers. I’m not boasting and I know the history of the party and I know what we went through in 1998.
“People, my brother governors, were in pain that the party they helped to build was doing wrong things to them.
“A former Head of State and President (Chief Olusegun Obasanjo) complained and they were not worried . Impunity became the order of the day. People were leaving and they were not worried.”
While congratulating the new chairman of the party, Lamido assured him of his support and that of other governors.
Reacting, Amaechi wished the PDP well in its plan but said it was “too late to cry when the head had already gone off.”
He said that “as a politician with character”, he would never speak from both sides of his mouth.
“I wish them (PDP) good luck, but I know that the governor is a politician with character. I have told you before that the moment the arrow leaves the bow, there is no going back,” the governor said through the Chief of Staff, Government House, Chief Tony Okocha.
“Instead of telling them (PDP) that it an impossible mission, we will rather wish them good luck,” he added.