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President Moves To Divide G-7 Govs

By The Citizen

The secrecy surrounding the individual meetings between President Goodluck Jonathan and some G-7 governors in the last two weeks appears to have raised curiosity: it is suspected that the presidency has been working to break the ranks of the aggrieved governors and, by extension, the new PDP.

Before the last truce parley between President Jonathan and three of the G-7 governors, he held a separate meeting with the Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.

The president had earlier played host to the Niger State governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu, a week before his meeting with the Kano governor at the presidential villa.

An impeccable source disclosed that the meetings have been generating suspicion in the ranks of the new PDP.

But the national publicity secretary of the new PDP, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has dismissed insinuations that President Jonathan's meetings with the governors were capable of infusing dissent among the new PDP leadership.

The factional deputy national chairman of the group, Sam Sam Jaja, affirmed that the new PDP was united.

The source said: 'The fight for internal democracy that we waged against Tukur and the president is not a personal one; we all have our personal relationships with either Tukur or the president; but a situation where some people, because they have access to the villa, will go in to meet with the president and table their personal matters will only whittle down our fight.

'Today, you have seen that our operational office has been sealed up by the same people who say they are pursuing peace; this is happening because most of the governors have been discussing different and personal matters with the president each time they have audience with him.

'This is not to say that some of the governors are not committed to the fight but, from all indications, a few of them have been singing new tunes and we don't find it pleasant at all. For now, only two or three of the governors can be said to have stood resolute in defence of the initial code we set for ourselves. '

He further disclosed that the initial agreement before the August 31 walkout at the PDP national convention was that the new PDP would join the APC.

'Our initial plan was to join the APC so that we could join forces with other like minds to remove these anti-democratic forces from the corridors of power.

'We agreed to team up with the APC but later events and developments showed that some persons were not comfortable with the leadership of the APC; this, to some of us, was not good enough because the only way to achieve the aim of the struggle is to re-create a new Nigeria by voting out PDP, and the only way to do this would have been to decamp to the APC'.

But Eze blamed the Tukur-led PDP. 'Those are the prayers of the Tukur PDP and they will fail; we are more united than before and the issue of the next platform option is not what could be rushed; we need to await the arrival of all our governors and other leaders who are currently on Hajj.

'As soon as they return, Nigerians will be given the opportunity to know our next line of thinking regarding what steps we would take,' he said.

Also, Jaja said: 'It is totally false that the G-7 governors and the new PDP are disunited; you should know that such mischievous speculations are not unexpected. But those who wish we had a crack shall be totally disappointed. '

Besides, the source within the Alhaji Kawu Baraje-led faction hinted that the position of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) regarding the refusal of recognition to the faction had created a situation of 'indecision' in the group.

INEC had, last week, written to the new PDP that it was not inclined to withdrawing the recognition the commission had already given to the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the PDP.

The development, the source said, had placed three options before the new PDP: joining the APC, abandoning the struggle midway, and joining the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM). But he cited the last option as 'too dangerous to gamble with'.