The leadership of Nigeria’s ruling party said it was not consulted before the government’s decision.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said on Wednesday that it is yet to take a stand on the state pardon granted some Nigerians by the National Council of States, NCS, on Tuesday.
The Council, at its meeting at the Presidential Villa, granted state pardon to some convicted corrupt public officers and coup plotters.
Some beneficiaries of the pardon are former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha; former Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters, Shehu Yar’Adua; former Chief of General Staff, Oladipo Diya; former Works Minister, Abdulkarim Adisa; and a former Managing Director of the Bank of the North, Mohammed Bulama.
The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, said members of the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party received the news of the pardon from the media as ordinary Nigerians, an indication that it was not carried along on the matter.
“I can tell you truthfully and honestly that the NWC has not discussed this issue,” he said at a news conference in Abuja. “As ordinary Nigerians, we have read the decision of the Federal Government and we’ve been informed about the decision of the Federal Government. For now, the party has no comment on this matter.”
Mr. Metuh dismissed speculations that the absence of eight of the party’s governors from the PDP Governors Forum’s meeting last Monday was an indication of cracks within the body.
He explained that some of the governors travelled out of the country though attendance at meetings does not determine commitment of its members.
According to him, “You are aware that the PDP governors yearned for the formation of this group where the interest of party will be projected. They asked for it. We’ve given them the PDP Governors Forum and we know that they are fully supporting it.
“Attendance in a meeting does not judge commitment. Some of our governors travelled. Yesterday morning I was on a flight back to the country with at least three governors. So there is no way you expect the governors who are not in the country to attend the meeting.
“We believe that governors are committed and they are totally united in ensuring that Nigerians are happy with the government and with the party,” he said.
The PDP spokesperson announced the plan by the NWC members to embark on reconciliation tours of the six geo-political zones in the country.
He said the tour is meant to reconcile all interest groups and party members that are aggrieved within the party.
Mr. Metuh said the tour will take the NWC members led by its Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, to Ibadan in the South West zone on March 15, Enugu in the South East (March 16), Port Harcourt (March 17), Bauchi in the North East (March 18), Makurdi in the North Central (March 20); and Kaduna in the North West (March 23).
He added that the grand finale of the reconciliation tours, which will involve the party governors, elders, zonal executive members of the party and other prominent members, will hold in Abuja on March 24.