Five PDP governors step up anti-Jonathan, Tukur campaign
Four of the G-5 Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors, yesterday, took their save democracy campaign to Second Republic Vice-President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme.
Governors Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto) met Dr. Ekwueme for about 45 minutes in his suite at the NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja.
The fifth member of the group, Gov. Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, was said to be away in Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj (Umrah).
Yesterday’s deliberation took place behind closed door with the governors seeking the Second Republic Vice President’s intervention in resolving some of the crises confronting the nation and the ruling PDP.
The issues include the political crisis in Rivers State, the division in the Nigeria Governors Forum, degeneration of internal democracy in PDP; the need to reorganise PDP if it does not want to lose future elections; and the alleged intolerance of dissenting views by the Presidency.
A highly-placed source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The 45-minute audience was part of the ongoing consultations with critical stakeholders by the five governors.
“The choice of Ekwueme by the governors was strategic because he had presided over the only acceptable reconciliation committee in PDP. He is also respected for his quality advice.
“By meeting with Ekwueme, the governors told the ex-VP that they were trying to demonstrate that their intervention was not sectional contrary to insinuations in some quarters.
“They told the statesman that the crisis in Rivers State portends a great danger for the nation’s democracy. They pleaded with Ekwueme to meet with other statesmen of like minds to hold a meeting with the President and persuade him to accept some of the peace terms they had presented.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “They expressed concern that the vision of the founding fathers of PDP, including Ekwueme, to have a truly democratic and detribalised party was being derailed.
“They insisted that the PDP must be reorganised if it does not want to lose power in 2015. They alleged that the party is losing touch with Nigerians.”
Ekwueme was said to have assured his guests that he and other leaders already visited by the governors would look at the issues raised by them.
“I have noted the issues you have raised, I can assure you that all the leaders you have consulted will address these matters,” he was quoted as saying.
On the achievements of the shuttles by the governors so far, the source added: “They have succeeded in pointing out to elders that the nation’s democracy is under threat.
“As stakeholders, the five governors have privileged information that most Nigerians are not aware of. I think a stitch in time saves nine.”
It was also gathered yesterday that the five governors may meet former military Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, after the Eid-el Fitri festival.
Another source, who is part of the ongoing consultations by the governors, said: “I think they will meet Gowon after Sallah next week.”
The governors had first gone to Port Harcourt last month on a solidarity visit to the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on his travails with the PDP, the Presidency and the State Police Command before going to Abeokuta on Saturday, July 20 to seek the intervention of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Incidentally, President Goodluck Jonathan, with whom they are not on the best of terms was also in Abeokuta that day partly to see Chief Obasanjo but the governors deliberately avoided contact with him by diverting their convoy elsewhere in town until the President departed Obasanjo’s residence.
Thereafter, the governors met with former Nigerian leaders-General Ibrahim Babangida and General Abdulsalami Abubakar in Minna; President Jonathan in Abuja penultimate Saturday and later with Second Republic President Shehu Shagari in Sokoto.