G-7 Governors: New PDP cancels peace meeting with Jonathan
The New PDP under the leadership of Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, on Wednesday said the October 7 meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the seven aggrieved Peoples Democratic Party governors has been called off.
The splinter group from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said it would not be able to make the Monday meeting because some of its members, including governors, would be performing the Hajj.
The faction also said it had sent a delegation to the Presidency, seeking a postponement of the reconciliatory meeting.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the faction, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, in Abuja, said the decision to seek a new date was arrived at after a caucus meeting, on Tuesday night at the nation's capital.
Eze said that it was at the meeting that the faction discovered that the date of the proposed peace meeting would clash with this year's Hajj, which he said would be attended by some of its members.
He said, 'Our National Chairman, Alhaji Baraje, and most of our other key members, including most of the G-7 Governors and the five other governors that have indicated interest to join us by next week, as well as members of the National Assembly, former governors, and business moguls, are billed to perform the Hajj, which is already in operation.
'Alhaji Baraje, the progressive governors and other stakeholders performing the Hajj have been mandated to use the opportunity offered by the Holy Pilgrimage to pray for the restoration of peace and unity in our great party, the PDP, as well as in our dear country, Nigeria.'
He assured the New PDP supporters and Nigerians in general of the group's commitment towards bringing back the glorious days of both the PDP and Nigeria.
Eze also enjoined supporters of the faction to be steadfast in their support for the struggle to enthrone genuine democracy devoid of abuse of the rule of law.
On their part, he said the leaders were committed to ensuring that their current struggle did not end as an exercise in futility but would achieve the set objectives of restoring our party to the path of honour and greatness.
'In this regard also, the party's NWC billed for October 5 is hereby called off until our national chairman comes back form the Hajj,' Eze added.
He, however, regretted the inconveniences the action might cause the President, party faithful and Nigerians, adding that in spite of this, prayer was superior to the meeting.
When asked when the meeting would now hold, Eze said, 'Hajj will end on October 17. It is after that day that we would be abe to attend. So, we appeal to the President to consider a date after October 17.
Jonathan, the aggrieved governors, some elders of the PDP and some governors loyal to the President had met at the Presidential Villa on September 15, where issues relating to the crisis in the party were discussed.
Among those who were at the September 15 meeting, which was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, were the Vice-President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo; the Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, Chief Tony Anenih; governors Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); and Rabiu Kwankwaso(Kano).
A communique issued at the end of the meeting, which was read by Aliyu, said the meeting agreed that all parties must sheathe their swords and stop provocative statements until October 7.
But none of the two parties has been able to keep to the agreement, as they have been making pronouncements considered to be inimical to the agreement reached at the meeting.