President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday stepped into the crisis between the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur, and some members of the National Working Committee (NWC) over the controversial congresses in the Adamawa State chapter of the party, calling for peace among the feuding national officers.
The President convened the peace meeting at the Aso Rock Villa.
Ten out of the 12 members of the NWC had on Tuesday held an emergency meeting of the committee where they annulled the recent congresses conducted in Adamawa State by the Caretaker Committee set up by the national leadership of the party last October.
They then reinstated the executive council loyal to Adamawa State Governor, Murtala Nyako.
Nyako and other PDP Governors had earlier appealed to the NWC to reconsider the sack of the party’s state executive council but Tukur refused.
Tukur, however, described the action of the party leaders reinstating the sacked EXCO as an act of betrayal.
He said all the concerned members were in attendance when the NWC empowered the caretaker committee to conduct the congresses but that they turned around later to nullify the congresses when he (Tukur) was not in attendance at the meeting.
But emerging from the meeting with Jonathan which took place in House 7 within the Presidential Villa, Tukur told journalists that the NWC members had resolved their differences, describing the members as the “first family of the PDP.”
According to him, “Like any other family, you may have some disagreements but based on principle, not any other thing. You resolve it. And we have resolved our differences.”
On his allegation of betrayal of trust over the meeting of 10 NWC members who excluded him, the party boss insisted that it had been resolved.
When pressed to explain the current status of the Adamawa State executive of the party and the congresses, Tukur declined, declaring instead that the NWC will address the issue at the appropriate time.
Before the members went to the Villa, a mild drama had played out at the Wadata Plaza headquarters of the party when Tukur snubbed some members of the NWC at the main entrance of the secretariat as he came in around 10.58 a.m.
Some members of the NWC who were apparently on their way out of the PDP secretariat to the Villa were on the ground floor of the building when the siren blaring convoy of the party chairman drove in.
His police escort stopped all movement, as Tukur walked into the building and the three NWC members (name withheld) who were descending the stairs as he (Tukur) climbed up were snubbed by the angry chairman.
He just walked past them without saying hello or acknowledging their presence.
They, also, retaliated by walking pass him without taking a second look at him or behaving as if they knew who he was.
However, a source at the villa meeting told Daily Independent that Jonathan who took time to speak with the warring parties urged them to unite and work in the interest of the party.
PDP Governors who issued the threat of sack on the NWC members were also at the meeting.
Meanwhile, a committee to harmonise the membership of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party got cracking on Wednesday, a day after it was inaugurated to solve one of the problems that prevented it from electing a successor to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
On Tuesday, the party failed to fill the vacant position exited by Obasanjo, in April last year.
The failure to elect the BoT chairman was caused by unresolved issues relating to the qualification of some people to belong to the elite body, originally created to be the moral fibre of the party, but which has since assumed a larger than life profile in which it now influences a lot of decisions within.
The harmonisation body, which is headed by former Minister of Information and National Orientation, Jerry Gana, has three weeks to submit a clean sheet of the board, after which another meeting would be held for the election.
It was learnt on Wednesday that the new BoT chairman may emerge on the basis of the party’s zoning arrangement, which could lead to the exit of some of the candidates currently jostling for it, including Tony Anenih, who was Obasanjo’s predecessor.
A source told Daily Independent that if the zoning arrangement was maintained, Anenih, who comes from the same South South zone of President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Vice Chairman of the party could be eliminated.
“He has already been appointed as the chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority. That position is as important as being given four states to manage.
“So, it would certainly be difficult for him to be doing that and also be the BoT chairman.
“Besides, he comes from the South South alongside the President and the party’s national vice chairman. It will be unfair to also give him the BoT.
“I think this was what informed his appointment. But, let’s see how it goes,” the source said.