I should do more to reconcile PDP members – Jonathan

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said he needed to do more to reconcile aggrieved members of the party and bring the two factions in it together.

He said though he had been doing it silently without the media knowing, he nevertheless promised to be more committed to get the warring factions to sheath their swords.

The former President said this after members of the Board of Trustees of the former ruling party had a meeting with him at his residence in Abuja on Wednesday night.

It was the first time he would be openly meeting with any organ of the party since he was defeated during the 2015 general election.

The crisis in the party has polarised it, and split it into two factions with Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff leading a faction and Sen. Ahmed Makarfi leading another.

Also, while Makarfi has announced August 17 as the date for the national convention of the party, Sheriff has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission not to monitor the convention.

The former President said he was aware of the split in party.

He said he had been receiving briefings on the state of the party from its members since he left office.

Jonathan commended the Chairman of the BoT, Sen. Walid Jibrin, for allegedly leading the Board on the right party.

He told the BoT members, “I have been talking to individuals (members of the party) but not in a way that is exposed to the media but I believe I should do more.

“Unfortunately we have been challenged, but I don’t think you should not be discouraged. Challenges are part of life; even in families there are challenges.

“There are challenges even in the church more than what may be happening at political level. So you should not be discouraged, and I believe, collectively, we can solve it.

“This should not be beyond us but I believe the collectively, we can resolve it. Any sincere PDP members should know that PDP is bigger than an individual. And many members have sacrificed their interest for the party.”

The former President, in a solemn voice, regretted the conflicting court orders that has continued to increase the crisis in the party.

He appealed to members to sheath their swords for the interest of the party, saying that Nigerians need strong opposition party, and urged members of the party to unite for quick resolution of the crisis.

Earlier, Jibrin had told the former President that the BoT members’ visit was in recognition of Jonathan’s position as a former president and to also interact with him and explain the state of the party to him.

He said that the party was undergoing a lot of difficulties and challenges, disclosing that there are about 15 court cases seeking to stop the PDP national convention.

He said, “We abide by provisions of the party, article 10 of the constitution, which provides for internal resolution of crisis. This provision is abandoned with various court cases.

“There is court judgement in Port Harcourt, and there are court judgements and orders in Abuja.

“We have realised that we need reconciliation. Some many committees have been set up for reconciliation. ‎The BoT decided to form a special committee to pursue reconciliation. Some members of the party is concerned.

“That is why we appeal to former president that he be party to the reconciliation; it is your intervention that is very important for a way forward for the party.

“We have great respect for you despite the fact that you have not been appearing in our activities.

“We have embarked on programme of visitations to our founding fathers; we have visited the National Assembly. We are satsifed with level of cooperation between PDP and other members in the National Assembly.

“They have played the opposition very well and have embarked on policy of issues not on personalities,” Walid told Jonathan.

‎‎He added that despite all that is happening, “PDP is alive,” praying that “anybody who wants to destroy PDP will not succeed.”

Also speaking at th occasion, a former National Deputy Chairman of the party, Chief Bode George, said he was optimistic that the outcome of the meeting would bring to an end to the leadership crisis.

George, who is one of the aspirants for the office of the national chairman, said, “We are at a point where we cannot afford to allow the party to go under. And this is the most appropriate time as BoT to come to him to say we want you to intervene. It was a very warm meeting and very encouraging.

“The meeting was perfect. I feel completely elated. When we were in power for 16 years all these crisis would have been resolved by the Villa.

“Now there is no villa, it looks like a community where there is no headship. Suddenly the spirit of discussion and camaraderie that evolves gave me this personal happiness.”

A former Minister of Education, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, said he was happy with the outcome of the meeting.

Among members of the Board who were at the meeting were
Abba Gana, Hajia Inna Ciroma and Shuab Oyedokun END.

PUNCH NG


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