Nigeria: PDP Break-Up – Obasanjo Calls Elders Meeting
– Daily Trust 2 September 2013 (Photo: AH)
Abuja, Abeokuta, Sokoto, Minna and Ilorin — Leaders of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday held series of meetings, aimed at breaking the impasse that caused the split of the party into two, but no headway was announced by late last night.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who earlier in the day met with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, summoned all PDP governors, including the seven who on Saturday broke off to form the ‘New PDP.’
They began discussions at about 9.30pm at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, but by 10.30pm, journalists were driven away by security officials who said the event was not meant for media coverage.
Hours before the 16 attending governors arrived at the Villa, Obasanjo waded into the crisis, asking the warring sides to tarry a while as the party’s elders tried to broker a truce.
Obasanjo, who flew in to Abuja for talks with Jonathan, issued a statement on his return to Abeokuta in which he called on parties in the PDP dispute to “maintain the status quo” while efforts were made to broker a truce.
On Saturday, while the PDP national convention was going on in Abuja, Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Abdulfatah Ahmed(Kwara), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), along with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, announced setting up a factional executive for the PDP.
They accused party chairman Bamanga Tukur of violating the party’s rules, with the support of President Jonathan. They also named Alhaji Abubakar Baraje as new chairman of their faction and former Osun State Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola as secretary.
In his statement yesterday, Obasanjo said, “The situation in our ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) after the convention on Saturday and the parallel convention same day has given great concern to all well-meaning members of the party and particularly to the elders of the party.
“While some select elders are making efforts to get the situation resolved as soon as possible, it is imperative to emphasise that the move will bring back peace and return the party to its vigorous and dynamic election-winning party that it has always been.
“I want to passionately appeal to both sides for now to sheath their swords, maintain the status quo, with earliest conveyance of the elders’ meeting before the end of this week. Members are equally enjoined to remain calm until the elders’ complete their peace-making meeting.”
Following the talks with Obasanjo, Jonathan called another meeting with PDP governors, which was still going on by 11pm last night, with four of the ‘New PDP’ governors also in attendance. They are Niger, Kano, Kwara and Adamawa governors.
Also in attendance were Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Idris Wada (Kogi), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Muktar Ramalan Yero (Kaduna), Garba Umar (Taraba Acting Governor), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) and Jonah Jang (Plateau).
National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim and senior lawyer Joe Gazama were also attending.