Jonathan, Amaechi Face-off: Presidency Mulls Out-of-court Settlement

By The Rainbow

To firm up the temporary reprieve that came the way of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its National Executive Committee (NEC) on Thursday, the presidency has initiated moves to pacify aggrieved leaders of the ruling party.

The first beneficiary of the move may be the governor of Rivers State, Mr Rotimi Amaechi: there were strong indications that  the PDP may strike an out-of-court settlement deal with him.

Amaechi is challenging his suspension from the PDP last month following irreconcilable differences with the party's leadership.

Expectedly, he did not attend the 61st meeting of the PDP NEC on Thursday.

Political adviser to the president Ali Ahmed Gulak told LEADERSHIP WEEKEND yesterday that 'no sacrifice is too much for a leader in sustaining democracy'.

'Whether we agree or otherwise, democracy under President Jonathan has grown far more appreciable and transparent; we all need ourselves as leaders of PDP as we march ahead. If in the course of marching ahead [there may be]  differences in our thoughts, but all we need do is nothing but appreciate our differences and harmonise,' Gulak said. 'Honestly, President Jonathan is available for discussions and consultations on how the PDP will move forward beyond whatever crisis; political solutions are not disallowed and are permissible in resolving political circumstances; we will continue to encourage ourselves and appeal in strong manners as far as bringing our disillusioned members back to the PDP; we will bring all back in no distance time.'

Gulak spoke moments after governors Emmanuel Uduaghan and Godswill Akpabio of Delta and Akwa Ibom states respectively gave indications of further moves towards reconciling PDP governors

Akpabio and Uduaghan spoke after a meeting of the PDP Convention Planning Committee.

Uduaghan said: 'We had our emergency NEC meeting yesterday (Thursday) which was very successful and we have a national convention which is coming up on 20th July to regularise elections that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued with at the party level. The party is still very much intact and very strong for that matter.

'Some of these governors that people are saying are not pleased with the party — virtually all the governors were there yesterday. Maybe one or two were not there because they travelled.

'As a PDP Governors' Forum, within ourselves, we are doing a lot of reconciliation. You would have noticed that even the coming back of Wamakko had a lot of input from us.

We had to appeal to the leadership of the party that the suspension should be reversed and the party graciously agreed to reverse it. So, whatever is left, we are handling it at that level.'

Akpabio, who is the chairman of the PDP Governors' Forum hinted that PDP might explore an out-of-court deal in resolving the problem between Amaechi and the party.    'We are exploring all means to ensure an out-of-court settlement and to bring everybody back to the fold,' he said.

PDP will take Nigeria to greater height - Tukur

Meanwhile, the national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has said the outcome of the NEC meeting of the party showed that it is a 'strong and peaceful political association united in its resolve to take the country to a greater height'.

In a statement signed by his special assistant on media, Prince Oliver Okpala, which was made available to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND yesterday, Tukur noted that the successful hosting of the NEC meeting has proved that the PDP is a political institution that has come to stay in Nigeria.

He said the meeting also prepared the ground for taking the PDP to the next level under the three cardinals of 'rehabilitation, rebuilding and reconciliation'.

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