The crisis within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is now taking a toll on the faction of the Party in Rivers State said to be loyal to the Junior Minister for State on Education, Nyesom Wike. The group led by Felix Obuah which recently through a controversial means secured a Court Order from a High Court in Abuja sacking the entire exco of the Party led by G.U. Ake, loyal to the state governor may now be counting their losses as the move by the President, Goodluck Jonathan to reconcile aggrieved parties is said not to go down well with them.
According to privilege source within the group which has been at the fore front of the opposition against Gov Amaechi, under a pressure group known as GDI is now confused due to feelers that Jonathan may dump Bamanga Tukur and other members of the NWC of the Party that emerged through the controversial Special Convention of the Party held last Saturday at the Eagle Square, Abuja. The convention, though colourful saw six governors and the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar staging a walk-out from the venue alongside their supporters. The move by this splinter group had thrown the other leaders of the Party into a state of confusion at the Eagle Square, an act which the President considered embarrassing to his personality and to the party.
The group alongside former acting Chairman of the Party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje and the suspended National Secretary, Olagunsoye Oyinlola as well as former Deputy Chairman, Sam Sam Jaja had gone ahead to the Shehu Musa Yaradua Centre to address a Press Conference, appoint the Chairman, his deputy and the Secretary of what they described as the new PDP.
The governors which include Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Wammakko of Sokoto, Nyako of Adamawa, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Babangida Aliyu of Niger and Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano may also have the support of former President Olusegun Obasanjo also listed out reasons for their actions which boils down to the autocratic style of Bamanga Tukur in running the affairs of the Party while the President is alleged to have supported him.
Obasanjo who was conspicuously absent from the Convention was said to have paid a visit to Jonathan the next day at the Presidential Villa to find a means of resolving the crisis which may cause further drift of the Party. An inside source revealed to AGOGO NEWS that Jonathan was ready to meet with aggrieved members and as such had bought OBJ’s idea of convening a meeting of the PDP governors and the Party’s BoT Chairman, Tony Anenih. The meeting which eventually took place also had the presence of four out of the six governors namely, Kwakwanso, Lamido, Nyako and Babangida Aliyu. Amaechi and Wammakko who were suspended by Tukur three months ago but with Wammakko recalled by Jonathan were absent from the parley.
The meeting was later shifted to Tuesday for further deliberations in which Amaechi and Wammakko were expected to attend. But the scheduled meeting could not hold and is re-scheduled for Tuesday next week to enable the two groups tinker with the options available for a peaceful resolution.
In the meantime, the group led by Atiku had gone ahead to give conditions for Peace which includes the sacking of bamanga Tukur, Uche Secondus, Kema Chikwe, Olisa Metuh and others. The Kawu Baraje group which is receiving pats on the back by federal lawmakers and other political parties is also asking for the cancellation of the results of the election which took place at the Eagle Square, the lifting of the suspension and eventual disqualification of Sam Sam Jaja from the election. The group which also asked Jonathan to drop his alleged 2015 ambition is also urging the President’s group to re-visit the Rivers crisis among other issues.
The splinter group which has approached a Federal High Court in Lagos asking INEC to de-register the Tukur-led faction and recognise the new faction as the authentic Party exco. While the Court has asked that the two factions remain until hearing of the substantive matter commences, the group said to be loyal to Jonathan is already considering the option of dropping the Chairman and his Team to pave way for another convention that would elect members of the NWC, to assuage the nerves of the aggrieved governors.
The position of the new group has also received the backing of Chief Tony Anenih who said on Tuesday in a Press statement that most of the issues raised by the group are genuine as such the Party will find a means of resolving the crisis so that they could all come back to the same umbrella.
In the light of this development, the opposition group to Amaechi led by Wike and Obuah and with the support of former governor Odili and Abiye Sekibo is said to be deeply worried as to which side the pendulum would swing. Informed source who spoke to AGOGO NEWS said the plan to concede to some of the conditions given by the new PDP has been a source of worry to Wike who in the past few months has been having a running battle with Amaechi over his ambition to succeed Amaechi in 2015. The camp in Rivers state is said to have fielded illegal delegates at the Convention as those loyal to Amaechi who are statutory delegates decided to boycott the Convention since their Master was suspended from the Party.
Meanwhile, Tukur who was said to have been expelled from the Party in 2001 alongside others was not properly re-admitted into the Party before seeking election as the Chairman of the Party in 2012. They say it falls short of the Party’s amended constitution of 2009 that may also get Tukur sacked just like his predecessor, Okwy Nwodo who was sacked under similar circumstances. If that happens, it could nullify every action taken by Tukur including the Convention that brought Secondus and others. It would also be a big minus for the Wike group and may lead to a further disintegration of the group.
Source: Harry Amusa