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PDP Northern governors meet Tukur over lingering party crisis

By The Citizen
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Three governors from the north met with the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Dr. Bamanga Tukur, at his private residence in Abuja on Thursday, with the talks centering on the crisis in the party.

The governors were Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Rabiu Kwankaso (Kano); and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto).

The meeting  which was held behind closed-doors   coincided with a similar one  President Goodluck Jonathan had with Governors Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Emmanuel Udughan (Delta); and Peter Obi (Anambra).

It was gathered that the northern  governors took time to explain to Tukur that they were not happy with the way  the party was being run and that there was the need for him and his team to change their leadership style.

The three governors were among the five  from the region that  had  met  political leaders on the crisis  in the party. The other two governors are  Babangida Aliyu (Niger)  and  Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).

Meanwhile, the media aide to Tukur, Mr. Oliver Okpara,  claimed that the governors were in his boss' residence  for  reconciliation.

Okpara, in a statement issued after the meeting, said the governors also apologised to Tukur on behalf of their two colleagues who were not present.

The statement  reads in part, 'Three out of five northern governors of the PDP , namely Rabiu Kwankwaso  (Kano);  Sule Lamido (Jigawa); and Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto),  had a closed-door meeting with the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, that lasted for several hours and the governors apologised on behalf of the other governors notably,  those of Adamawa and Niger states.

'And it was resolved that they have returned to the leadership of the party and that all that happened in the past which involved grievances, accusations and counter-accusations were done because of gap in communication amidst disinformation from some quarters between them and the leadership of the party.

'Having listened to the national chairman, they are now properly informed about the happenings in the party and promised that from henceforth, they will work in harmony and unity with the leadership of the party. They also pledged their loyalty to Dr.  Tukur.

'The National Chairman,  after listening to them also promised as a father to forgive and forget all that had happened   and assured them that the leadership of the party would  work   with the governors. He  stressed  that any member of the party that feels aggrieved  should utilise all the internal mechanisms and platforms set out by the party.

'The chairman said that their visit was a confirmation of the consultations adopted by the leadership of the party to ensure total reconciliation of aggrieved members as set out by the National Reconciliation Committee headed by Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.'

But it was gathered that one of the governors said they did not go  to Tukur's residence  to beg  or  apologise.

Rather, he said, they went there to inform him that they were not  happy with happenings in the party.

The  governor, who  sounded angry while speaking  on the telephone,  said, 'How can anyone say we went there to beg or reconcile when in point blank, we told the chairman that the party is drifting under his nose?

'We also told him that this was not a party he met and whether he had come to destabilise the party or not.

'It is wrong and satanic of them to say we  were there  to beg. You know our antecedent, don't you? And someone would come and lie that we  came to beg?'

He warned  they might be forced to either issue a statement or speak to journalists on the matter at a later date after they might have read 'the lies the chairman's attack dog is feeding the public.'

It  was gathered that the meeting was held at the  instance of Tukur.

Also on Thursday, President Goodluck Jonathan   hosted  Akpabio,  Uduaghan  and Obi in his office in what  was believed to be further efforts to resolve the crisis rocking the NGF.

Akpabio and Uduaghan are members of the PDP  while Obi  is of  the All Progressives Grand Alliance.

The three  belong to the faction of the NGF led by Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau  State.

While Akpabio, who is the chairman of the PDP Governors' Forum, arrived at the Presidential Villa, Abuja a few minutes ahead of  the  closed-door  meeting, Uduaghan and Obi arrived at the same time.

After about an hour, Uduaghan left without speaking with journalists.

Akpabio and Obi however stayed back to join other top government officials  in  witnessing  the conferment of Mali's highest national honour, the Grand Cross of the National Order of Mali,  on Jonathan by the country's  interim President,  Prof. Dioncounda Traore.

They also left without talking to journalists.
It was learnt the  meeting was the fallout of  the one  former President Olusegun Obasanjo had on Monday with PDP governors,  especially as it affected  the NGF and the PDP.

Their visit came less than 24 hours after  Nyako   met with the President. Nyako belongs to the NGF faction led by Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.

It was also  learnt that eight issues were on the agenda of the meeting between Obasanjo and the governors.

The issues were the  division within the PDP leadership;  disagreement between some governors and   Tukur;  the  NGF cisis;  and crises in some state chapters of the PDP. Others were the Anambra governorship election,  Rivers State  crisis; reconciliation within the PDP ; and the alarm raised by five Northern governors on how to keep the party intact  ahead of the 2015 polls.

Meanwhile, the immediate past National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olisa Metuh, has decried the internal wrangling in the party and urged all its members to close ranks and take advantage of the  ongoing reconciliatory  efforts to forge a united front ahead of 2015 general elections. - Punch.