Intense lobbying has begun in anticipation of the National Executive Committee meeting of the Peoples’ Democratic Party with the Presidency reaching out to the 23 governors and state chairmen of the party.
This is even as sources say that the party leadership has postponed the meeting until the tussle over the chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum was sorted out and also to avoid rancour at the meeting.
It is believed that the outcome of the ongoing efforts to elect a new chairman of the NGF would influence the date of the NEC meeting.
Last Friday, the party had released a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh saying it was ready to hold the meeting.
The party said that its NEC would discuss the setting up of standing committees, but was however silent on the date of the meeting.
The lack of a healthy working relationship between some governors and the party has been responsible for the inability of the meeting to be held.
It was also gathered on Tuesday that a consultation between the Presidency and the governors as well as state chairmen of the PDP which was aimed at ensuring a rancour-free meeting also contributed to the delay.
According to an insider, “This is normal in politics; you consult before, during, and after meetings. However, the delay will amount to a waste of efforts if when it is eventually convened we end up having a rancorous session.
“We have to be on the same page; we can’t afford to have governors and chairmen speaking one language and the leader of the party who is our President speaking another.
“This is very important because if you look around, the only people who stand to benefit from any serious crisis in our party are members of the opposition. We can’t afford to let that happen.”
Our correspondent gathered that the Presidency and the leadership of the party were monitoring the situation at the governors’ forum.
A chieftain of the PDP, who preferred not to be mentioned, confided in our correspondent that the party might not hold the NEC meeting in the nearest future, if it perceived that the result of NGF chairmanship election would not go its way.
He said, “To the PDP leadership and the Presidency, the NGF election is a matter of life and death. If Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi returns as the chairman, it means the Presidency and the party have lost control of the forum.
“With Amaechi as the chairman of the NGF, anti-Presidency forces may move for the dissolution of the NWC, which is close to President Jonathan.”
However, Metuh said the party was more united now than before.
Claiming that the party was not reaching out to governors and other members of NEC, he said members of the PDP were now more determined to fortify the party and ensure that it delivers on its current mandate.
Metuh said, “I want to confirm to you that we are not reaching out to anybody; we have one mind; we have one purpose and we are working for the progress of the party.
“There is nobody to be reached; we have only one NEC and we will have the meeting and we will come out with the best decisions.”