The forum wants an out of court settlement.
The Peoples Democratic Party Governors Forum, PDPGF, has commenced moves to squash the suspension slammed on the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, by the national leadership of the ruling party.
However, the forum would only do so if Mr. Amaechi, whose re-election as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, is still being contested by some of his colleagues, withdraws the suit he instituted against the party challenging his suspension.
The PDPGF chairman and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, told journalists in Abuja on Friday that it is exploring out of court options to effect the lifting of the suspension on the Rivers Governor.
The national leadership of PDP suspended Mr. Amaechi last month over the crisis in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers. However, his suspension was interpreted as a punishment for defying the party and re-contesting the NGF top seat against Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State who was preferred by the party.
Mr. Akpabio said the PDPGF is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that all outstanding issues are not only resolved, but also bring back all its members, including the Rivers State Governor to its fold.
“The reconciliation among the governors is already ongoing. If you noticed yesterday (PDP NEC meeting), we have almost all the governors of the PDP there. You saw almost every governor was there; even the recently recalled governor of Sokoto state attended the meeting.
Almost all the PDP governors were there. If there was any PDP governor that wasn’t there yesterday, he was probably on official duty for the Federal Government and for the nation,” he said.
“I know that the Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam is a member of the NIPP Committee, running around, looking for investors in the power sector and I think they travelled to Hong Kong. So, he wasn’t there and I think his deputy was there too. So, you can see that peace is gradually returning to the fold of the entire PDP and I assure that all issues will be resolved.”
“A pressman asked me the other day that, yes, you have recalled the governor of Sokoto State through the national working committee, what about the governor of Rivers State and I pointed out that the governor of Sokoto State didn’t go to court and that the other matter, regarding my brother, the governor of Rivers State is in court and was therefore subjudice.
“But we are exploring all means to ensure out of Court settlement and to bring back everybody to the fold. It is important to note that we are very determined, the PDPGF to bring back our brothers together,” he added.
Mr. Akpabio said his party does not want to lose a single governor, “instead, we want to increase in the number, because when I came in as a governor in 2007, we had almost 29 governors in the PDP, but through various courts judgment and internal wrangling, the number depleted until we are now about 23.”
The Akwa Ibom State governor said the PDPGF would ensure that the number of governors on the platform of the party is increased in 2015, adding that it would work assiduously to win the elections in Osun and Ekiti States next year.
“I can tell you we are lucky that we have elections coming up in November in Anambra State, we have two elections coming up in Osun and Ekiti States next year and the PDP is ready to work together, put its house in order and go out there and face the electorate and you know very well that outside internal wrangling, Nigerians believe in the PDP,” he said.
Mr. Akpabio expressed satisfaction with the outcome of last Thursday’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, adding that the party has been strengthened by the meeting.
“As for me, I was very elated and very happy that yesterday the stakeholders, we have members of the party who are more concerned about the stability of the party, and about the future of Nigeria than their personal interest and what that means is that PDP will always be in a position to resolve issues internally without externalising it and I was very impressed.
“So, I am very happy that yesterday’s. NEC meeting signifies the coming together of the entirety of the PDP and then we wax stronger and continue in what we were elected to do- providing transformation and in my state providing uncommon transformation”.