Warring PDP Factions Meet, Tempers Fly as Tukur, Patience Penned as Reasons for Division

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Finally all the warring parties within the fold of the PDP for the first time appeared under one roof to iron out their differences and plot a course of success, this confrontation took in the wee hours of yesterday with Olusegun Obasanjo as mediator, accusations of backstabbing and betrayal were traded freely. After all has been said and done, it was agreed that the problem originated from the door step of the National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.

Although, it was gathered that President Goodluck Jonathan was not at the meeting, because he was said to be in talks with senior party officials in the residence within the villa.

Obasanjo and the governors, it was gathered, are expected to have an enlarged meeting with Jonathan subsequently, during which the issues which were being discussed will be thrashed out as part of a final reconciliation.

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.

When the meeting 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, reporters 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. 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.

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 after the meeting, 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.

Sources at the meeting told reporters that once the meeting got under way with former 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. Where despite trading blames among themselves, they all 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.

Some of the governors also said “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,” Following Obasanjo’s summarization of the issues, the meeting was suspended to continue last night during which the issues raised would be frontally tackled.

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