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|PDP Govs In Stormy Meeting With Obasanjo; Amaechi, Jang To Step Down by kenbee(f): 7:53am On Aug 14, 2013|
By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, Ben Agande & Henry Umoru
Lagos — Quarrelling governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,
confronted one another into the wee hours of yesterday, trading
accusations of backstabbing and betrayal. They, however agreed that
the problems of the party lay at the doorsteps of the National
Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
PDP governors from the two divides of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum,
NGF, met for the first time under one roof in the banquet hall of the
Presidential Villa, Abuja, with former President Olusegun Obasanjo as
President Goodluck Jonathan was not at the meeting, and at the
commencement of the meeting, was said to be in talks with senior
party officials in the residence within the villa.
File photo: Obasanjo and President Jonathan,
putting heads together at the PDP convention.
Obasanjo and the governors, it was learnt, are expected to have an
enlarged meeting with Jonathan subsequently, during which the
issues which were being discussed in the second round of the
meeting at press time yesterday, will be thrashed out as part of a final
There were suggestions that part of a final reconciliation would lead
to Governors Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and Jonah Jang of
Plateau State, who head different factions of the NGF stepping down.
Obasanjo to lead govs’ delegation to Jonathan
At the end of what was said to be the first phase of the meeting,
which ended at about 3.00 a.m. yesterday, it was agreed that
President Obasanjo will lead a delegation to President Jonathan and
First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to stress the need for less
meddlesomeness of the First Lady in the affairs of the states, and
particularly in Rivers State.
The governors, Vanguard learnt, did not spare Obasanjo as they
accused him of drifting away from the party and by such, allowing the
party to drift into its present state of rudderlessness.
Governor Amaechi, who was suspended from the party was also at the
meeting, Vanguard learnt. It was the first time that the governor was
involved in a caucus of the party since his suspension, which followed
his election as chairman of the NGF last May. Also present at the
meeting was Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, who was
supported by the party for the NGF chairmanship but trailed Amaechi
by 16 to 19 votes in the contest.
Following the end of what sources described as the first phase of the
meeting early Tuesday morning, the governors resolved to take a
break to continue last night during which issues articulated at the
earlier meeting would be properly addressed.
Speaking hopefully on the progress towards reconciliation, the
chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, PDP-GF, Governor Godswill
Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State said the meeting had sent jitters to the
opposition in the country. He spoke to State House correspondents,
yesterday, afternoon when he came to brief President Jonathan.
Govs trade blames
Sources at the meeting told Vanguard that once the meeting got
under way with President Obasanjo as chairman, he urged all the
governors to express their feelings, and one by one, the governors
charged at what they described as the drift in the party. One source
said the governors charged and raised their voices at one another and
also pointed at the highhandedness of the party under Tukur.
The problems in Rivers State were also brought up and the governors
expressed concern at the situation where the First Lady and
appointees of the president had been empowered to disorganize
political harmony in the state. Obasanjo, according to one source,
calmly brought the governors under control as he guided them to
pour out their feelings.
Some governors at the meeting also hotly countered Amaechi and his
supporters over his insistence on contesting for the NGF chair as they
described it as an affront to the party. The governors were said to
have likened Amaechi’s insistence on contesting to what they
described as the insistence of Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal to contest for
speaker of the House of Representatives despite its being zoned to
another part of the country.
In raising their resentment of the party under its present leadership,
some of the governors quarreled with the habit of the National
Working Committee, NWC dissolving the state structures without
consultation with the governors.
The governors were also said to have raised their opposition to the
proposal of automatic ticket as recently mooted for the president and
governors by some party elders including the Board of Trustees, BoT
chairman, Chief Tony Anenih.
At the end of the meeting, Obasanjo was said to have summarized the
issues affecting the party as the NGF; issues with Tukur and the
alleged meddlesomeness of the First Lady.
It was thus resolved that a delegation of the governors or President
Obasanjo should visit the first family to impress it on the First Lady to
moderate her political involvement in the polity and focus on
mobilization of women. The delegation is also expected to urge the
first family to discourage the practice of political lackeys flocking to
them for political patronage.
What the delegation will tell Jonathan
“The situation whereby aspirants are flocking to her (Patience
Jonathan) to seek her consent and blessing is unacceptable to most of
the governors and we want her to stop trying to impose lackeys as
the next governors in the states,” one governor told Vanguard,
Following Obasanjo’s summarization of the issues, the meeting was
suspended to continue last night during which the issues raised would
be frontally tackled.
Preparatory to last night’s meeting, six governors supportive of
Amaechi met at the Kano State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja where they
exchanged notes before proceeding to the Villa for the continuation
of the meeting.
Addressing State House correspondents after meeting with President
Jonathan, yesterday, Governor Akpabio said the progress being made
by the party in reconciling all aggrieved stakeholders in the party was
commendable and had sent jitters down the spine of the opposition
He said: “All the steps being taken at the moment are steps in the
right direction to ensure cohesion and bring back all the party faithful.
Particularly, the body of governors will come together to work as one
for the interest of Nigeria and the interest of the PDP.
“I do know that all the governors of the PDP are working towards the
success of the party. I am not aware of any five aggrieved governors
but one thing I can assure you is that there are jitters in the camp of
the opposition with the meetings of PDP governors and the national
convention that is coming up because as soon as the PDP puts its
house in order, you know the result. The result is that Nigerians will
follow because that is a truly national party in Nigeria. That is the only
party without cleavages of ethnicity or tribalism and that is the only
party without a godfather.”
|Re: PDP Govs In Stormy Meeting With Obasanjo; Amaechi, Jang To Step Down by Dreal1247: 9:42am On Aug 14, 2013|
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