By Francis Etuko, Abuja.
The knotty disagreement in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) begins its final legal journey in the Sepreme Court of Nigeria today, what with attempts being made to smear the apex court, but the party continues to seek ways of finding lasting peace to the lingering crisis rocking it as the Governor Seriake Dickson-led Reconciliatory committee has presented a template for a Unity National Convention to the National Assembly caucus of the party.
Just this week, the Ali Modu Sheriff led party was at daggers drawn with the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of Senator Ahmed Makarfi over comments from Sheriff’s deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, suggesting that elements in Makarfi faction were considering compromising the apex court, but NCC’s spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, described his suggestion as cheap blackmail
At the National Assembly, template which was presented to the Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ike Ekweremadu by the Chairman of the Reconciliation Committee, Governor Seriake Dickson on Wednesday also contained a written undertaking and understanding from Senator Ahmad Markarfi and Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff.
Presenting the template to Ekweremadu on Wednesday, Governor Dickson stressed that the need to come out with a template was reached two weeks ago, where it was agreed that a political solution be sought for the party’s’ lingering problems.
He said ‘‘Arising from that meeting the reconciliation committee met to make its inputs as to what the template should be, the template is not cast in iron it is subject to debate and correction’’
‘‘If we disagree or agree we should do so in the interest of the party’’
‘‘ We are here to handover a copy of the proposal from the recommendations of the reconciliation committee, so that further adjustments and improvements can be made, we regret a situation where a lot of our members had to rush out of Abuja as a result of the closure of the Abuja airport’’
‘‘The committee is of the firm conviction that bearing in mind the state of affairs and unfortunate hemorrhage in the party and those looking up to the PDP as the only solution, we believe that all leaders of our party, even when we disagree over the template we must look at a political approach that will lead to the resolution of our problems’’
Present at the occasion was the Minority leader of the Senate and Former Governor of Akwa Ibom state, Sen Godswill Akpabio, the Minority Leader in the House, Hon Leo Ogor, former Deputy president of the Senate, Ibrahim Mantu who is the Vice Chairma of the reconciliation committee, former FCT Minister Ibrahim Abagana and another member of the PDP reconciliation Committee and member of the Present Senate, Sen. Suleiman Adokwe.
The House of Representative Minority Leader, Leo Ogor commended the Seriake Dickson committee, in his comments he said ‘‘ The taste of the pudding is in the eating, you have taken a very important step for the PDP, we have tasted what is called the change’’.
‘‘I have always maintained that there is no alternative to the PDP’’
Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio commended the Bayelsa state governor for pursuing peace within the PDP.
His words ‘‘ We have to appreciate you Governor Dickson for doing your best to pursue peace in the party, peace shall return to you’’
‘‘ This is only one of the steps towards the final resolution of the problem in the PDP, the national assembly is now the leader of the PDP, before it used to be Governors, every PDP leader across the country should come to the National Assembly for final direction from the party’’ he said.
‘‘We are proud of what the Governors are doing, we were intending to come and consult with you, we said we cannot do without talking with our Generals’’
‘‘I don’t know how we got to where we are, if there is any Jonah in the PDP let the Jonah go in Jesus name’’
Akpabio at the meeting also recalled that earlier in the day the Senate and the opposition in particular had within a matter of minutes helped approve the federal government 500 million dollars Eurobond request from the International capital market to help fund deficit in the 2016 budget.
He said ‘‘ We are determined for the sake of Nigerians to help you to succeed even if you don’t want to succeed’’.
The Deputy President of the Senate in his words commended all the party leaders for the visit.
He said ‘‘The fact that you are all present here and we are also here shows that there is hope for the PDP’’
‘‘We cannot be struggling for leadership when the people are hungry, the primary purpose of government is the welfare of the people. There is hope because Nigerians want us to show that we care for them’’.
‘‘Whatever happens I believe surely that the PDP will come back in 2019, we will look at the options. This dialogue and reconciliation must not be in vain’’
As Supreme Court steps in, PDP leaders plead: For the sake of Nigerians, we must reconcile before 2019
By Francis Etuko, Abuja.