With a political campaign effectively underway, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Board of Trustees (BoT) is intensifying its effort to resolve the rift between the Governor Nyesom Wike-led aggrieved group and the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar.
The Senator Adolphus Wabara-led board has lined up meetings with critical stakeholders including the Rivers State governor, who the main opposition party has so far been unable to pacify since the emergence of his Delta State counterpart, Ifeanyi Okowa, as the vice presidential candidate of the former ruling party.
The reconciliation committee set up by the board has already met with Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Sam Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) as part of the move to iron out their grouses before the full commencement of the campaign.
The committee met with Okowa in Abuja on Saturday after which Senator Wabara told reporters that they will meet with Atiku and Wike in the coming days.
He affirmed that the BoT reconciliation committee has the wherewithal to resolve the crisis in the party.
Speaking after the meeting at the Delta State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, the former Senate President said: “Yes, we came as the special reconciliation committee of the Board of Trustees to visit our vice presidential, candidate, Governor Okowa on the ongoing crisis, and also to proffer solutions to those issues.
“We were properly briefed by His Excellency the vice presidential candidate on these issues. The committee is enlightened now on the issues and we’re moving forward.
“Like I said the last time, we have been going around and we met most of the governors. In the coming days, we will also meet with the principal, the Presidential candidate, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and from there we will proceed to meet with Governor Wike.
“We have met with some other governors, we have met Governor Samuel Ortom, Governor Seyi Makinde, Governor Seyi Makinde, Governor Ahmadu Fintri, Governor Ikpeazu and Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
“We have what it takes to resolve this, and very soon we will resolve all these issues.”
In his remarks, Okowa said even though there are some issues yet to be resolved, substantial progress has been made in achieving the desired unity in the PDP.
He said stakeholders have continued to talk with themselves, expressing confidence that the crisis will finally be settled.
The Vice presidential candidate said: “We are talking amongst ourselves as governors realising that there are several leaders within our party from across the country. We’ve been talking to ourselves.
“I believe that there is still a little work to be done but a lot has been done. We are lightly reconciled. There are still issues to be dealt with. That’s why you see some of the leaders of the party, the Board of Trustees, here today.
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“We have had very useful discussions on what they could do and what we ought to continue to do as a party. But, because the PDP is a very large party, we understand that yet, there is some level of disagreement, but we will continue to stay in touch with ourselves to resolve the issues.
On whether the party will move on if it is not able to pacify the Wike group, Okowa stated: “Last Tuesday, on the 27th, we were in the southeast. Our brother, the governor of Enugu state, hosted us very well. That’s a very positive step forward. We had very useful interactions with all our leaders in the southeast and I think that is a great plus for us as a party.
“And I believe too that you’re aware, too that we were in the southwest where we were very well received by Governor Seyi Makinde and the stakeholders of the party. The few issues are still left on the table. I’m sure we’ll come to discuss it and in the next few days, we are convinced that will be largely reconciled.
“Governors and other members who are aggrieved are members of the party. I believe that my brothers would all work for the party, PDP is home and they belong to that home. They’re not going to destroy their home. So, we will allow it together. I do believe that we’ll continue to talk with ourselves and resolve the little issues that are left.”
He also spoke about the condition of the country, saying that it has never had it so bad.
The Delta governor affirmed that only the presidential candidate of the PDP has the requisite experience to rescue the country.
“Where we are at the moment is quite a difficult situation for this country. The country has never been as divided as this. The level of insecurity has not been this bad.
“Our economy is worse hit. We have never gone this bad. When you look at the issues of education, look at the state of affairs in the various states, there are obvious issues. Atiku is the only one who is best positioned to truly deal with the issues of Nigeria at the moment.
“We don’t want those who are going to come to the office to learn on the job, because we are in a critical position. So, we need a man who has the experience who also has the level of humility and calmness, who is detribalized and ready to keep Nigeria together.
“Because until we understand that we need to trust ourselves and work together as a nation, whether you are a Christian or Muslim until we get to that level of understanding, we may not be able to take Nigeria out of where it is at the moment.
“I believe that Atiku Abubakar is the answer to Nigeria. He has committed himself very clearly in his document to Nigeria “My Covenant with Nigerians.’ Others are still thinking of what they are going to do. They have not been able to commit themselves so that we can truly see the truth if they have a pathway to solving the problems of Nigeria.
“Atiku is the man that is prepared for the job. He’s not going to learn on the job and his one-man that is acceptable across the six geo-political zones of this nation. There is no other person that has the kind of credentials that he has. Atiku is the right person. Nigerians should think deeply and let us be guided that we need to work collectively to take Nigeria out of the decay that we have found ourselves in.
“It is important that Nigerians work and support the PDP to deliver the Nigeria of our choice as we move into the future.”