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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Why we are yet to punish Atiku, Baraje, governors – PDP

The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, explained on Friday, that it had not wielded the big stick against members of the Kawu Baraje faction of the party because of its respect for those who had waded into the matter with a view to resolving it.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, who stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday, said the demands by the faction were neither serious nor responsible.
Among the demands by the faction, which broke away from the mainstream PDP, are that President Goodluck Jonathan should not contest the 2015 presidential election, that the structure of the party be returned to the governor in some states, notably Adamawa, while the Governor Chibuike Amaechi should be recalled from the suspension slammed on him by the party last May 27.
The breakaway group has in its fold former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and the seven governors of Adamawa, Kano, Sokoto, Rivers, Kwara, Niger and Jigawa States.
Since the faction emerged last August 31, PDP elders, led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other respected members of the party, had intervened.
Mr. Metuh said the party had taken critical look at the implications of cascading developments arising from the challenges posed by the actions and utterances of “our estranged brothers in our membership.”
“We have seriously taken into account steps taken as well as the gravity of utterances credited to our brothers, especially in the wake of our last reconciliation meeting,” he said.
“We therefore wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that the fact that our leaders are wisely decided on the path of caution and decorum, does not in any way suggest that we are afraid of the consequences of doing otherwise.
“We have only applied wisdom that, yes, we have the strength of a lion but better, when not applied needlessly.”
Mr. Metuh said the party’s constitution had adequately laid down procedures for the settlement of disputes, adding that it was unnecessary to make a public theatre of the challenges and the process of resolving them.
He insisted that the provisions of the constitution must be held sacrosanct by all members, especially its leaders who should show worthy examples.
Article 21 of the PDP Constitution spells the offences which can attract displinary measures. Among them is that sanctions will be visited on any member who “promotes factions or belongs to any group under the guise of the party and by whatever name called, not being one provided for in this Constitution.”
According to him, the party had the president as its leader and symbol in government and the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Tony Anenih, and former presidents, who had volunteered to ensure peaceful resolution of the challenges, adding that it owed them every respect in their determination to achieve genuine reconciliation.
The Constitution of the PDP has adequately laid down the procedure for the settlement of disputes.
“We therefore hold that it is absolutely unnecessary to make a public theatre of these challenges and the process of resolving them.
“Unwarranted utterances and actions are only capable of generating further ill-feelings.
“The provision of the constitution of our great party must therefore be held sacrosanct by all members. We the leaders, even have a greater responsibility to show worthy examples.
“Similarly, party members ought not to carry on as if hierarchy of leadership amounts to nothing.
“We have a President who is the leader and the symbol of our great party in government. We also have the Chairman of Board of Trustees as well as former Presidents who have volunteered efforts to the peaceful resolution of these family challenges.
“We owe them every respect in their determination to achieve genuine reconciliation among us.”
The PDP spokesman noted that while some of the leaders of the splinter group were notable members of the ruling party, the same could not be said of “vacuous quantities who are bereft of the core values of PDP and are unknown to the ranks of different levels of our great party, but to whom photo-opportunity has been provided to flaunt nuisance values.”
Mr Metuh expressed optimism that the crisis would be resolved. According to him, “As leaders of our great party, we have implicit faith that the present challenges facing us will be amicably resolved, hence our commitment to caution and decorum in order to avoid jeopardizing the peace process and fall prey to those who do not wish the PDP well.”
He appealed to the leaders of the “New PDP”, to sheathe their swords, saying “this macabre dance is unnecessary. This grotesque dance in the manner of an avant-garde former President Olusegun Obasanjo will surely satisfy emotions but will incredibly lead to loss of faith and throw up anti-heroes instead of heroes.”
Mr Metuh said the difference for now remain the challenges of interpretation of process, procedures and trust, stressing “It must neither be blown out proportion not be allowed to obstruct the cause and course of good governance. We must bear in mind that what makes or mars our strength is our ultimate performances as a ruling party.”
He assured that the Tukur-led PDP would emerge stronger and better regardless of the outcome of the much anticipated October 7 reconciliatory meeting by the party, reiterating that the National Working Committee of the PDP is proud of Mr. Tukur’s leadership.

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