By Ise-Oluwa Ige, Daniel Idonor & Henry Umoru
ABUJAâ€” ACTING President Goodluck Jonathan admitted that the problems confronting the PDP could be attributed to lack of adherence to the partyâ€™s constitution by members, just as he said that challenges in the party were part of democratic setting and helped it to work in unison.Â Â
Speaking at the 50th National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the PDP, the Acting President warned party members against over heating the polity, noting that the party will always stabilize in spite of internal crisis bedeviling.
He said the party had a constitution and that members were duty bound to adhere strictly to both the constitution of the party and the country if the people must get it right.
Jonathan said: â€œWhen the National Chairman was called, he was asked to pray for us, I know we need the Chairmanâ€™s prayer first before his speech. We thank God that we are here, today, I am expected to highlight some key actions the government has taken over this period.
Customarily, I will not be able to present that now because you all know we just constituted the cabinet not too long ago. Early this morning (yesterday), I swore in two new ministers, when we meet next, I will be able to give account of the short period because as a government and as a party that is ruling, people expect us to show what PDP has done especially this year that we are going for election.
â€œSo if I am to give a report, it should be fairly comprehensive and let the party know what we have done because the erroneous impression is that the government has done nothing for the past three years. On the 25th of May, the party will be exactly three years and we have twelve months to go, it is good that we give a report card. I will join the Chairman to commend the National Assembly for passing the budget, the document that will guide us on this yearâ€™s expenditure of government.
Challenges facing the party
â€œJust as the Chairman mentioned, within these past months, especially from November last year, we had some challenges because of the health of the president, but we thank God that we are on course now and that we are moving and we will continue to pray for the recovery of Mr. President. Within this period especially the past three weeks or four weeks, we had challenges as a party because the Chairman made reference to some of the issues, but we also have to thank God no matter the challenges, we have been able to stabilize and I believe that is a part of democratic setting as sometimes, they say, necessity is the mother of invention, some of these helped PDP to work together and I always believe in PDP. People believe that PDP will split into fragments, but no matter how we disagree, at the end of the day, PDP comes out stronger and stronger.
â€œBut I will sincerely plead with party men and women that this is a very challenging period, a period that people do things that sometimes they suppose not to do, people say things that are supposed not to say. Some of these statements that are put across through communication or text messages, some of them are true, some half truths, while most of them are blatant lies. But nobody will be there to explain things to say this man said so or this man has done this.
â€œA number of statements ascribed to some of us are false, a lot of name dropping, so I will plead with our party members that because people are thinking probably more of 2011 elections, a number of issues will come up, but whenever you hear some stories, take pains to find out before you react.
I will plead very sincerely that as a party, we have a constitution that guides our activities; as a nation, we have a constitution and laws and this government emphasizes on the rule of law. We must follow our partyâ€™s constitution in the way we do things, follow the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and other laws and until a law is amended, we have no choice, but to obey the law so that our actions and inactions will be guided.
â€œI know that if we all follow our constitution, guidelines that the party will issue from time to time to guide our day to day activities and we follow the laws of our land, these frictions will not be there, but one thing I believe in is that in every human society, there is room for people to disagree on certain issues even husband and wife disagree, but the most important thing is that how we resolve our crisis and PDP has thatâ€.
The PDP constitutional amendment deals with number of delegates to elect flag-bearers of the party at various levels, just as it noted that the current provision which made the number of delegates in a senatorial congress more than those electing a governorship candidate was an anomaly.
Also yesterday the PDP NEC members passed a vote of confidence on Acting President Goodluck Jonathan and the partyâ€™s National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor.
Rising from its 50th NEC meeting at the Partyâ€™s National Secretariat, the PDP NEC members who also passed a vote of confidence on the National Assembly, urged the Ogbulafor led National Working Committee to continue with current line of organizing the Party and ensuring its growth and stability.
Reading a communiquÃ© to newsmen at the end of the meeting, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali said: â€œThe 50th meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Peoplesâ€™ Democratic Party just ended here at our National Secretariat. NEC passed a vote of confidence on the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for his heroic role in stabilizing the polity since his assumption of office as the Acting President.
â€œNEC also passed a vote of confidence and commendation to the National Assembly for their steadfastness in ensuring the stability and good governance of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the same vein, NEC also unanimously expressed a vote of confidence on the National Working Committee, led by the National Chairman, Prince Dr. Vincent Eze Ogbulafor and encouraged the National Working Committee to continue along its current line of organizing the Party and ensuring its growth and stability.
â€œNEC received a report on progress on the new National Secretariat and expressed its delight that the contractors have fully mobilized to site and work has commenced in earnest. NEC commended the Acting President for the pivotal role he has played in the realization of the projectâ€.
Court vacates order
The Presiding high court judge, Justice Abubakar Talbar, came to the fresh find, yesterday, while ruling on a fresh application brought by the ruling PDP and its leadership asking for modification or variation of the order stopping, indefinitely, itâ€™s all important NEC meeting.
But the judge ordered that the PDPâ€™s NEC meeting, when eventually convened, must not discuss or take any action on the issue of suspension of the 19 top members of the ruling PDP including former Senate President, Ken Nnamani who approached the court for its intervention.
Justice Talba said his fresh position was informed by a thorough re-examination of the subject matter of the lawsuit before him and a clinical analysis of the other side just presented before him by the ruling party on the issue.