by Rachel Ogbu
There are indications that the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Amaechi, and some governors in the Peoples Democratic Party may have initiated the peace move to reach out to President Goodluck Jonathan after the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Chief Goodswill Akpabio, reportedly threatened to flush out traitors from the ruling party.
Investigative reports reveal that the Amaechi group feared the ongoing power struggle with President Jonathan and the PDP National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur might result in their alienation from the party. With both leaders taking over the Board of Trustees and the National Working Committee, NWC of the party, there were strong indications that President Jonathan and Tukur will soon control the National Executive Committee, NEC.
An anonymous member of the PDP NWC, who is apparently a senior member apparently told reporters the reason Amaechi and the other governors were reaching out to the President and other leaders of the party was really because they dreaded the possibility of losing the struggle for the control of the party’s NEC.
“No truce has been reached yet because we feel that they are retreating to re-strategise. We do not want to be caught unawares.
“The truth is that most state chapters are not with the group. If the party’s NEC is held today, they will lose.
“The option of going to the APC is out of it because the new party is loaded already. If they go there, they will not command the kind of respect they command in the PDP.”
When asked about the development, Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak said, “I am not aware of that but if they want peace and have made an approach, it is good.
“Everybody must be subject to party discipline and party supremacy; even Mr. President submits himself to party discipline and party supremacy.
“If the President submits himself to party discipline and party supremacy, the governors of PDP must do the same, the senators of PDP must do the same, every member of PDP should do the same for sake of peace.”
The Punch reports:
Saturday PUNCH gathered that the governor and his group initiated the peace move after the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Chief Goodswill Akpabio, threatened to flush out traitors from the ruling party.
Investigations showed that The PUNCH had reported on Thursday that Jonathan, in a bid to divide the ranks of the PDP governors, had invited six of them to the party’s caucus meeting on Wednesday night.
Those invited are Ibrahim Shema (Katsina); Isa Yuguda (Bauchi); Gabriel Suswan (Benue); Theodore Orji (Abia); Godswill Akpabio (Cross River) and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta).
It was gathered that some PDP governors, who had earlier identified with the Rivers State governor, had already shifted allegiance to Jonathan.
The President is also said to be in control of all state chapters of the party in the South-South, except Rivers.
Besides the southern chapters, with the support of the governors of Benue and Plateau states, Jonathan is in firm control of other state chapters.
It was also learnt that Vice-President Namadi Sambo had mobilised the Kaduna State chapter to support his boss.
Investigations revealed that the Amaechi group members reasoned that if they were pushed out of the PDP, they might not be readily accepted in the newly formed All Progressives Congress.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said, “There is no crisis between the party and any of its governors. We are on the same page. The formation of PDP Governors’ Forum has nothing to do with the NGF.
“The PDPGF is meant to project the image of the party and has nothing to do with the NGF. We are the largest party in Nigeria, with the highest number of governors. Nothing stops us from asking our governors to come together and form their own forum to project the image and performances of the party.
“But I can tell you that there is no conflict between us as a party and any of our governors.”
Attempts to reach the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, to speak on the issue failed to yield any result
The state PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. George Ukwuoma-Nwogba, who earlier said he would speak on the matter, later changed his mind and declined to make any remark.