By Emmanuel Aziken
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has denied reports that its national leadership has commenced secret plans with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan for a post Yarâ€˜Adua administration.
The party in a statement yesterday traced the insinuations to yet unnamed sections of the polity which it claimed were bent on fanning embers of disunity and rancour within the party.
The partyâ€™s reaction articulated through its national publicity secretary, Prof. Rufai Alkali followed news reports at the weekend about an alleged secret meeting between the partyâ€™s national chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor and Vice-President Jonathan.
The party asserted that it had regularly dealt with Vice-President Jonathan in crucial issues affecting the party as it went on to cite a number of national duties in which Dr. Jonathan was presently engaged in on behalf of the party.
Rebuffing the claims of a collaboration between the national leadership and Dr. Jonathan for a post Yarâ€˜Adua era, the party said:
â€œWe wish to state categorically that this report is baseless, uninformed and mischievous as the PDP leadership is not aware of, neither is it involved in any so-called succession plan in whatever form or guise,â€™â€™ the party said.
â€œFor the avoidance of doubt, the National Working Committee indeed consults the Vice President who is a distinguished party leader and indefatigable statesman in his own right on a regular basis. We also wish to state the obvious fact that the Vice President has been serving the party meritoriously in various capacities.
â€œFor instance, he led the campaign that returned Governor Segun Oni to Government House, Ado Ekiti last year. He is also the Chairman of the Fund Raising/Building Committee of the new national secretariat of our party. Currently, he is spearheading our campaign to win the governorship elections in Anambra State scheduled for February next year.
â€œAll these positions he occupies, both in the leadership of the country and the party, require a regular interface with the party leadership for constant consultations. A meeting with the Vice President, especially when some of the party assignments he is currently handling are still ongoing is therefore not unusual.
â€œInformation available to us shows that this clandestine report is part of a larger plot to cause disaffection and disharmony within the rank and file of the PDP.â€
â€œWe wish to assure those involved in this unwholesome activity that such surreptitious moves will continue to fail as the party and the entire nation is determined to resolutely stand by President Yarâ€™Adua as we continue to pray for his quick recovery and safe return from Saudi Arabia.â€