By Henry Umoru
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan declared, yesterday, that the opposition political parties were already confused and scared of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, ahead of the 2015 elections.
Speaking at the 62nd National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the PDP, President Jonathan said that perceived opponents and enemies of the PDP, who concluded that the party will be divided and continue in lingering crisis have been terribly disappointed. He noted that “the key thing that makes life go on is our ability to resolve our crises.”
The President stressed that the ruling party, irrespective of its differences and disagreements which also occur in families, will always resolve its problems amicably, adding that those who thought that they will reap from political differences in the PDP have been shamed.
Jonathan, who described the emergence of All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, as a blessing to the ruling party, however, stressed that the opposition political parties were already jittery based on what he termed the intimidating credentials of PDP.
PDP must lead by example— Tukur
Meanwhile, the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur at the meeting, warned that as a ruling party, PDP must lead by example and act as a beacon of light to other political parties and Nigerians, even as he boasted that political adversaries of the party have been shamed, adding that the PDP as a party has continued to grow from strength to strength in spite of challenges being faced.
Also yesterday the PDP NEC approved and ratified the August 31, 2013 date for the Special National Convention, even as it bowed to a court injunction restraining the conduct of the South West Zonal Congress earlier slated for Saturday, August 24, 2013 and thereafter postponed the congress as part of moves to uphold the rule of law and in deference to the court ruling.
NEC directed the National Working Committee, NWC, to follow through the court process and when concluded, set a new date for the South West Zonal Congress.
The NEC was very short as it took off when the President came in at 2.42 pm and ended by 3.35pm.
Speaking further, President Jonathan said: “I want to thank all of you for finding time to attend this emergency NEC meeting. I believe some of you got this information quite late, yesterday and the meeting has to be called because of the provisions of our constitution as our chairman related.
“I was not expecting to see so many people especially our senior party members, but when I came in and looked across and saw the faces, I thank God that though people believe that PDP will have issues, that we are divided, they will all be disappointed.
“Let me sincerely appreciate our party members for what they are doing across the country. What the elders of the party are doing, the Working Committee. The Jerry Gana Committee, our governors and the members of the National Assembly for all they have been doing in flying the flag of the party.
PDP has intimidating credentials — Jonathan
“The chairman said it all that we thought that political activities will not start so early in the country, but because of the intimidating credentials of the PDP, people started meeting, parties started coming together, and new ones are being formed which is a blessing for all of us all because people are confused about how we manage PDP and they will continue to be confused.
“Our party members, I commend you and reassure that we will carry on the mandate of the party based on our manifesto so that no matter what anybody is saying, things will be on ground for them to compare what the PDP government is doing.
“A number of things that Nigeria almost forgot about like railways, we are bringing them back. I believe that by the time we move into early next year, things will become very obvious. Even those who doubt us, will not have anything to say. We promise that we are going to do that with the assistance of the party.
“In party politics, as I came in, the Vice President whispered something to me about some lapses somewhere. There maybe disagreements and in all institutions even at the family level, there must be disagreements and issues. But the key thing that makes life go on is our ability to resolve our crisis. No matter the disagreement, no matter the interests, politics they say is a game of interests. We will resolve these differences amicably to make sure that every member of the party is happy. That is the area I commend the elders of the party via the committees set up by the National Chairman for going round to see how some of these differences would be resolved at the state level. The chairman of BoT has been meeting with various groups to make sure that we speak with one voice, and we will continue to speak with one voice.
“Those who continue to think that PDP cannot come together, that PDP cannot manage success, they will be terribly disappointed. We will go to Eagles Square and take the right decision for our party.”
On his party, the National Chairman, Tukur said: There are internal organs and mechanisms for conflict resolution in our Party. I encourage our members to explore these avenues in ventilating their grievances and to, as much as possible, avoid litigations which make a mockery of our stand on peace and stability.
“My doors and indeed those of all our Party leaders are wide open to all members of our great Party. I run an open door policy that furthers the principles of triple ‘R’ i.e Reconciliation, Reformation and Rebuilding.
“We need peace and friendly concord in our Party. We cannot reach our destination in an atmosphere of bitterness and rivalry.
“I therefore call on all our party members across the country to sheath their swords and enthrone enduring peace. I want to commend the National Reconciliation Committee for the good work it is doing and encourage our members to take their grievances to the committee or other organs of the party entrusted with the task of restoring peace in the party.
“We must give the President our unalloyed support as he continues to implement the manifesto of the PDP to the benefit of all Nigerians – Our Railways are working again, Power Supply is improving and our Airports are wearing new looks, etc. More grease to your elbows – Mr. President!”
The Roll Call
At yesterday’s meeting, former President and past Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT of the party, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State; Theodore Orji of Abia; Ibrahim Shema of Katsina; Gabriel Suswam of Benue and suspended Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers, were absent.
Fifteen governors and three deputy governors were present. They were governors Isa Yuguda of Bauchi; Idris Wada of Kogi; Sule Lamido of Jigawa; Ramallan Yero of Kaduna; Aliyu Babangida of Niger; Martin Elechi of Ebonyi; Murtala Nyako of Adamawa; Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe; Sullivan Chime of Enugu; Jonah Jang of Plateau; Liyel Imoke of Cross River; Saidu Dankigari of Kebbi; Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom; Abdulfatir Ahmed of Kwara and Acting Governor of Taraba, Garba Umar. Others were deputy governors of Sokoto, Bayelsa and Kano.
Also present were Vice President Namadi Sambo; Speaker, House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal; Chief Tony Anenih, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; Ahmadu Ali; Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Haliru Bello Mohammed, Ibrahim Mantu, Jim Nwobodo, Hassan Adamu, Bode George, Musa Babayo, Senator Hope Uzodinma, Walid Jibrin, Maryam Inna Ciroma, General A.B. Mamman, Senator Mohammadu Magoro, Ebenezer Babatope, Josephine Anenih, Kema Chikwe, Jim Nwobodo, Felix Obuah, Senator Margery Okadigbo, among others.