Four former Senate Presidents: David Mark, Annie Pius Anyim, Adolphus Wabara, and Iyorchia Ayu; four former Governors, Sule Lamido, Ahmed Makarfi, Dr. Ibrahim H Dankwambo,
Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, are among Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders trying to douse the spiralling tension in the troubled opposition party, which has pitched the party Chairman, Uche Secondus, against 10 of the 19 other members of the National Working Committee (NWC). Seven have already resigned.
Secondus’ latest push-back in which he accused a strong man of been behind the crisis is believed to be referring to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, his former ally.
However, the Concerned Elders Forum of the party which met at Apo Legislators Quarters in Abuja said: “In view of recent developments at the National Secretariat of our great Party, we have resolved to issue this press statement urging all Party Organs, Party Officers and party members to remain calm, faithful and orderly, as we proceed with urgent consultations and initiatives to resolve the contending issues. We wish to firmly reassure aggrieved stakeholders that we intend to be thorough, objective, creative and balanced in our efforts to find lasting solutions to the fundamental matters arising.
“Towards this end, we have initiated moves to urgently meet with our Governors, the Board of Trustees, the National Working Committee and other critical stakeholders. Since we all share the legitimate desires of our loyal members to offer a credible, effective and productive alternative, we have no doubt that we shall soon find positive, appropriate, pragmatic and lasting solutions to the problems facing the party. We shall emerge from this crisis stronger, better and more united. This is only a temporary challenge.
“We assure all Nigerians that the Peoples Democratic Party is resolute in providing qualitative leadership, sound programs, effective implementation strategies and hope generating solutions to our national problems.
“On behalf of the elders and founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party, we wish to use this medium to thank all party nembers and supporters across Nigeria and in diaspora for their commitment, loyalty and strong support.”
Others in the forum are: Prof. Jerry Gana, Senator E. Abaribe, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, Senator Helen Esuene, Hajiya Zainab Maina, Rt. Hon. Austin Okpara, Senator Biodun Olujimi, Senator Zainab Kure, Senator Agboola Hosea, Senator Odion Ugbesia, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe, and Hajiya Hadiza Adodo.
Meanwhile, former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has called on PDP leaders to unite for the sake of the party’s interest and the country.
Reacting to the current frictions in the PDP, Atiku said the party cannot afford to be divided at this critical point in time when Nigerians are desperately yearning for change in the face of their miserable living conditions.
According to Atiku, an opposition that is looked up to as an alternative cannot afford to be fighting itself and lend its hands to the ruling party for its own destruction.
He urged the party’s faithful to understand that the price of having a fragmented PDP is too high to pay, but above all, a betrayal to the memories of the founding fathers of the party.
The former Vice President dismissed insinuations that he was fueling the crisis in the party.
He explained that he was lately involved in reconciliation efforts within the party across the country and has backed reconciliation processes aimed at diffusing tensions in the party. He called for calm and for combatants to sheath their swords and give the reconciliation mechanisms of the party a chance.
He noted that the interest of the PDP far supercedes that of any individual, insisting that the party will overcome its current travails for as long as all hands are on deck. “The PDP is greater than our individual ambitions. We have to consolidate the party first before we talk about our ambitions. We have to be careful not to play into the hands of the ruling party. We can’t afford a one-party system in Nigeria that denies our people a viable alternative for true change in 2023”, the former Vice President said.
The former PDP presidential candidate warned that lack of unity and internal cohesion could help the ruling party more than the PDP, and that “those who want Nigerians to continue with the current hardship in the land will be eager to fuel the crisis in the PDP for their political advantage.”
He added that PDP leaders should put personal differences aside and work for the good of the party, adding that “divided soldiers cannot fight a war and win.”
To ensure that the PDP does not repeat the mistakes of the past, Atiku Abubakar said that all contending issues in the party must be resolved through constitutional means