Distances BoT from plan to change party name
As PDP governors throw weight behind Ihedioha’s imminent return to Supreme Court
Sets up committee to review 2019 elections
By Dirisu Yakubu
Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Walid Jibrin has said the lingering feud between Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) is largely a fallout of dispute over the ownership of oil wells by the two Niger Delta states.
Senator Jibrin who disclosed this yesterday at the 88th National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the party in Abuja, however, said he had the assurance of both governors that the feud would soon be laid to rest.
He said: “About two weeks ago, I called the Rivers State governor and I talked to him about what is happening between him and Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State. I was so happy with the way Governor Wike responded. He asked me, chairman, are you an oil merchant? I said no, I will never be. He then said, do you have an oil well? The matter is about oil well and the case is before the court. But he politely talked to me that he would contact me later.
“The governor of Bayelsa State also responded by saying he’s going to contact me later. I am waiting for him to contact me.”
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Senator Jibrin also expressed dissatisfaction with the gale of defections away from the PDP in recent times, saying “there is an uncertainty in my mind and I don’t know whether you people will share it. It is the decamping (defection) of our members who worked with the then governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha to the new All Progressives Congress, APC government in the state-about nine of them. There is also the moving away from our party by the chairman of PDP in Kano State to APC.”
That said, the BoT boss chided an unnamed chieftain of the PDP whom he alleged, recently mooted the idea of changing the party’s name ahead of future elections.
“I am also disappointed with the comments I read in the newspapers allegedly by a chieftain of our party of a plan to change the name of PDP again. Please, count the BoT out of any effort to change the name of this party. We shall never allow it.”
On his part, newly appointed chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal pledged to unite all aggrieved members of the party and reposition it ahead of future polls.
He also promised the readiness of the governors to embark on a membership drive to strengthen the party across every state of the federation.
“I assure you my brothers and indeed the party that by the grace of God, we shall work together to continue to strengthen our party and deepen democracy in Nigeria.
“Let me thank our party members especially those at the grassroots level for your support, cooperation and encouragement when last week, we went through a very harrowing and challenging experience at the tribunal and in particular, at the Supreme Court.
“Your support through the press statements, through interventions and the rallies held across the country helped in ensuring that what was masterminded by sometimes losers hell-bent on making Nigeria a one-party state was stopped and I assure you that your support will not be in vain.
“We assure you as your governors that we shall continue to work together in unity and with the National Working Committee, NWC, in ensuring that the programmes of the party especially in our respective states in line with our manifestoes are implemented. And we shall also continue to support the party in its drive for membership and development,” he said.
According to him, members of the forum “will soon begin to institutionalize peer review mechanism where we shall be comparing notes as governors of the PDP with a common agenda, a common programme in ensuring that we have all of that implemented across our states.”
That said, Governor Tambuwal further pledged on behalf of the PDP Governors Forum to rally behind the resolve of former Imo state governor, Emeka Ihedioha to return to the Supreme Court for a review and possible reversal of the judgment which nullified his election two weeks ago.
“I can assure you that we are supporting Emeka Ihedioha to approach the Supreme Court again to review its judgment and we believe justice will be served,” he added.
Meanwhile, the NEC rose from a meeting, Monday to demand amongst others, a rejection of what it called a plot to turn Nigeria to a one-party state.
It also constituted a committee to review the performance of the PDP in the 2019 elections even as it tasked its members in the National Assembly to initiate moves for the review of electoral laws and guidelines.
And in sync with the position of the BoT, the 88th NEC kicked against moves to change the name of the party, vowing to stick with the PDP.