By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
LAGOS — President Goodluck Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo were last night involved in high level moves to resolve the crises that have engulfed the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
All 23 PDP governors, including Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State who was suspended by the PDP following the crisis that shadowed his re-election as chairman of the NGF, were at the meeting which was holding at the banquet hall of the presidential villa at press time, yesterday. It was the first time that Governor Amaechi would be involved in a PDP caucus since his controversial suspension last May.
It was also the first time that Chief Obasanjo will openly involve himself in the affairs of the party since he resigned his position as chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT last year.
Remarkably, senior officials of the PDP were not invited to the meeting which was reflective of the insistence of the five Northern PDP governors that the present problems of the party were traceable to the Dr Bamanga Tukur-led National Working Committee, NWC, of the party.
A governor who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity prior to the meeting was hopeful of a positive development arising from the meeting between the governors, Obasanjo and Jonathan.
Vanguard learnt last night that the invitation of Mr. Amaechi follows the insistence of Northern PDP governors that the crisis in the party must be addressed and his suspension redressed.
Prior to yesterday’s meeting five PDP governors, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Rabiu Kwakwanso of Kano and Babangida Aliyu of Niger State had met some of the country’s leading elder-statesmen and briefed them on their grudges which they claimed were capable of harming the country’s democracy.
Among those they consulted were Obasanjo, and three other former heads of state, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar and Yakubu Gowon. The five governors also met with former Vice-President Alex Ekweueme.
Prior to last night’s meeting, the five governors and Governor Amaechi also met separately with President Jonathan during which they reportedly laid down their conditions for the resolution of the problems in the party.