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PDP crisis: Rebel governors give Jonathan conditions for peace

By News Express on 03/09/2013

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For peace to reign in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the rebellious governors have given President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the party conditions for a truce.

It was exclusively gathered that most of the Northern governors, particularly those that walked out of the last Saturday’s convention, had during their meeting with the President at the Villa on Sunday night given two conditions: first is the removal of the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and secondly, that President Jonathan must honour the 2011 agreement he reached with them.

Some of the governors, particularly Governor Babangida Aliyu, who is the Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum (NSGF), have been vociferous in their insistence that the President honours the one-term agreement. President Jonathan had in the build-up to the 2011 election reportedly reached an agreement with the governors to spend only one term in office.

The purported agreement forbids the president from seeking a re-election in 2015. The source said: “At the meeting, the governors expressed their frustration in the PDP under the leadership of Bamanga Tukur. They insisted that peace cannot return to the party without the removal of Tukur.

“The governors gave graphic details of the constitutional breaches under Tukur’s leadership. They cited the Adamawa State chapter crisis and the suspension of Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Aliyu Wamakko, among others. Also, governors belonging to the New PDP led by Kawu Baraje asked the President to honour the one-term agreement he reached with the governors. It was a tough argument but the governors clearly presented their positions.

“But from the look of things, the resolution of the crisis is difficult as the governors are not ready to shift grounds. It is more like they have made up their minds to quit PDP.”

It was learnt that the President, Chief Tony Anenih and other PDP governors present at the meeting appealed for calm, promising to look into their grievances.

The meeting between President Jonathan and the 16 governors however ended in the early hours of yesterday without a clear resolution of the crisis rocking the party.

Another meeting has been scheduled for today to continue further talks towards finding a solution to the crisis of the party, which led to the departure of seven governors to join former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar to form a parallel party known as the new PDP.

However, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, Chief Tony Anenih, in a communiqué read at the end of the meeting said discussions at Sunday’s meeting were smooth and encouraging.

Anenih said that all the aggrieved governors are expected to attend today’s meeting. “This evening (Sunday), Mr. President, the leadership of the party and the PDP governors met today to discuss the incident that occurred during the PDP special convention on August 31, 2013, whereby some state delegations walked out of the convention ground to announce a faction of the party.

“The meeting was smooth and encouraging and the discussions will continue on Tuesday with all the aggrieved governors in attendance,” Anenih said.

Governors who attended last Sunday’s meeting include Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Idris Wada (Kogi), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta).

Also in attendance were Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Mukhtar Yero (Kaduna), Garba Umar (Taraba Acting Governor), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) and Jonah Jang (Plateau).

Also, the Presidency has admonished former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar to be grateful to the PDP rather than leading the factional group of the party. Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, who stated this yesterday, said that the PDP would come out stronger from the present crisis.

Gulak said he was surprised by the action of the former vice president. His words: “I was surprised because Atiku is supposed to know more than any other person that there is no party like PDP.

He left PDP and went to ACN and he came back to PDP, because he discovered that outside PDP there is no party. So, he had to come back and he was even given the waiver to contest the primaries election in 2011.” “Atiku should be grateful to PDP. Atiku is indebted to PDP and the best way to continue to pay the debt is to protect PDP,” Gulak said.

Speaking with State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Gulak explained that the crisis in the PDP would not be the end of the party. According to him, the PDP as a family would not allow any of its members to break away, stressing that the crisis would be resolved.

“It is all politics and politics is about interest, and we are harmonising, we are talking, we are dialoguing, because the PDP as a family will not allow any of its members to go away, and even the members that want to go away, we will make bold to tell them that out there is no party as good as PDP,” Gulak said. He maintained that the crisis would not lead to the end of the party.

“It can never be the end of PDP, it has been there from 1998, it is only PDP that still maintained its name and identity. The other people you are talking about, started as AD, transformed to AC, transformed to ACN, you know they have lost their identity.

It is only PDP that has consistently maintained its identity and its name so there is no party that can beat PDP,” he said. While speaking on the demand by some governors for the removal of the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur, Gulak said there is a process for the removal of the chairman.

“You cannot remove the national chairman like that. He was elected and you will remember that of all the offices, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, observed that only the position of the national chairman and the financial secretary was properly done and that is why we had do to the special national convention to properly elect the other officers.

“There are processes, there are provisions of the institution, there are electoral acts, we should not act outside the laws; we must act between the extant laws of the land. Because the PDP is a law abiding party we must entrench internal democracy. “I want to plead with all PDP leaders and members, especially the senior stakeholders to continue dialoguing. You don’t win war at the battlefront; you win war on the table.

We want to plead with all members of this political party to keep on dialoguing, discussing, because the opposition out there wants the party to split and there are moles, they sent moles in the cloak of PDP, we have discovered them,” Gulak said.

•Credit: National Mirror. •Photo shows one of the rebel ringleaders, Gov. Babangida Aliyu.

Source News Express

Posted 03/09/2013 11:42:05 AM


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