By Wole Mosodami & Umar Yusuf
MINNA — The five Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors of Adamawa, Sokoto, Jigawa, Niger and Sokoto currently consulting with former heads of state with aims to save the party and polity have threatened to bury the party if their consultations end in failure.
At the end of the latest consultation, yesterday, the five governors were hailed by former president, General Ibrahim Babangida as real patriots, who have taken it upon themselves to address real threats to the polity.
Four of the five governors — Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Rabiu Kwankwaso of Kano met with Babangida and another former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, during which they relayed their fears and apprehensions on the polity.
Nyako was the only one of the five northern governors, who commenced the consultations with the country’s elder-statesmen, that was absent at the consultation with Babangida and Abubakar. His absence, the other governors said, was due to a previously scheduled commitment with officials across the border in Cameroon.
Nyako, nevertheless, said yesterday that ongoing consultations by the governors were meant to help save the PDP from complete collapse, but in the event of their failure they would help bury the party.
The Adamawa State governor said he had given the nod for his supporters to decamp to the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, though he said he would remain in the PDP.
We’ ll continue to make our efforts to save the party
Justifying the consultations with Obasanjo and other elder-statesmen, Nyako, who spoke to Vanguard through his Director of Press and Publications, Sajoh Ahmed said:
“We have held consultations with former head of state and former BoT chairman of the PDP, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, on the need for him and other major stakeholders to save the party from dying.
“We are not stopping with Obasanjo as one of the most respected Nigerians of our time; we will proceed to the likes of Generals Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and other eminent Nigerians just to mention but a few.
“We will continue to make our efforts to save the party. But if our efforts do not work, we have no alternative than to fold our arms, and see PDP die and help in burying it.”
Current trend in PDP worrisome
According to the governor, unless serious minded Nigerians intervene in time, the PDP would die a natural death.
Nyako described the current trend of events in the ruling party as worrisome, adding that the squabbles within the ruling party pose threats to the survival of democracy in the country.
Nyako pledged that he would remain in the party, but that his supporters would move to the ANPP any moment from now.
Meeting with IBB, Abdulsalami
The meeting with Babangida and Abubakar which took place in the Presidential Lodge in Minna started at about 12.30 p.m lasted till 2.10 p.m.
Addressing journalists shortly after the meeting with the two former military leaders, host governor, Dr. Aliyu, said they met to discuss some of the problems facing the party and the nation.
He said: “We are still consulting with our elders and our leaders at least to look at some of the problems and find solutions to the problems some of us perceive we are facing.”
These problems, according to him, include the deadlock in the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, and other political issues that have lately bedevilled the polity.
Asked what they came up with after the meeting, Aliyu said: “No, we are still consulting. It is an on-going consultation. You don’t resolve immediately and this is why we are still consulting.”
On Rivers State crisis
On the Rivers crisis, Aliyu said the issue was discussed with the two former heads of state and it was agreed that the issue should be taken up at an enlarged meeting of the Governors’ Forum.
He said: “Obviously, we discussed Rivers State crisis. There is no issue discussed in Nigeria now that Rivers crisis will not come up but it is a larger issue for the Governors’ Forum and we are discussing how to resolve things amicably.”
He explained that the absence of Governor Nyako was not deliberate, pointing out that he had an appointment with officials from Cameroun on electricity and that he stayed behind to discuss with the high-powered delegation from that country.
On where the train of consultation is moving to, Aliyu simply said: “Not yet decided. We will consult as a group to see where we are going to.”
The two former military leaders left the venue of the meeting immediately after the briefing while the four governors went back into the lodge to round up.
The three visiting governors subsequently drove out of the presidential lodge at about 3.15 p.m.
IBB describes the 5 govs as real patriots
General Babangida has, meanwhile, commended the steps being taken by the governors and some of their colleagues in resolving the ongoing crises in the country.
Speaking with journalists after consulting with the governors, yesterday, the former military president described the governors as “real patriots.”
Babangida said: “I just want to commend the governors and some of their colleagues. I am very impressed because they see the problems of this country as their problems and they have taken the right steps to make sure that they consult widely in trying to find solutions to some of the nagging problems. It shows they are real patriots and I am very happy with them.”