Tukur seeks consensus among ruling party members.
The Chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the seven states whose governors belong to a new PDP faction, shunned a press conference organized in Abuja on Monday by the state chairmen of the party and that of Abuja to declare their support for President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Chairman of the party, Bamanga Tukur.
The 36 state chairmen of the PDP and that of Abuja, under the aegis of Conference of PDP State Chairmen, called the conference to make known their position on the festering crisis in the ruling party.
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, seven governors, and other senior members of the party had on August 31 announced the formation of a breakaway faction of the party, which they christened “new PDP.”
Only 20 of the state PDP chairmen were present at Monday’s briefing while 17 were absent.
Those absent were the PDP chairmen in Kano, Kwara, Sokoto, Niger, and Jigawa.
Other chairmen absent were those of Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Bayelsa, Kebbi, Borno, Bauchi, Delta, Edo,
However, chairmen of the PDP in Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina, Oyo, Cross River, Adamawa, Yobe, Ekiti, Benue, Kogi, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Nasarawa, Ondo, Lagos, Gombe, Ogun, Osun, FCT and Plateau.
The factional chairman of the party in Adamawa State, Joel Madaki who is loyal to Mr. Tukur, an indigene of the state, was in attendance. Also factional chairman of the party in Rivers State, Felix Obuah, represented the state PDP.
At the conference, the chairmen pledged their loyalty to Messrs Jonathan and Tukur, adding that they would remain opposed to attempts to stampede the party, especially when external influence was involved.
“We do not believe in any approach that would stampede the smooth running of our great party especially so when external influence is being insinuated,” Mr. Agbo, who is also the Chairman of the Benue PDP, said.
Reading from a communiqué the chairmen endorsed after their meeting on Sunday, Mr. Agbo said, “We wish to implore our teeming members and supporters to remain steadfast as there is no need to panic, because the transformation programme of the PDP-led administration will surely take us to 2015 and beyond.”
He faulted members of the party for expressing personal grievances without following due process saying “we appreciate the genuine efforts being put together by our party elders at dousing tension within the party, and we urge them not to relent.”
Mr. Agbo claimed that the position of the group enjoyed the support of all its 37 members, including those absent at the conference; adding that there were constant correspondences among them on the positions.
Asked if the chairmen of the seven aggrieved state chapters of the party supported the positions contained in communiqué, Mr. Agbo said “it is when they say they are not in agreement with us; that is when you will have issues with us”.
He boasted that he could put any of the absentee chairmen on speaker phone to confirm his claim.
Mr. Agbo also explained that the chairmen of the some of the states in the South East left Abuja after the conference because they had issues to attend to.
While on a solidarity visit to Mr. Tukur, the Benue State PDP chairman called for early resolutions of the problem within the party, adding that the blood pressure of the state chairmen had risen since the crisis began.
Responding, Mr. Tukur said it was only under the PDP that the unity of Nigeria could be assured.
“Only PDP can guaranty the unity of Nigeria. It is only the PDP that can guaranty the integration of sub-region,” he stated.
The national chairman thanked the state chairmen for standing up for what he called “equity and justice within the party.”
He argued that in every satiation the minority would have their say while the majority would always have their way, insisting that members must be willing to submit to superior reason.
“There may be difficulty within the party but they are not beyond solution. It is when we have an environment of consensus that we would be able to move forward and deliver quality dividends to Nigerians,” he said.
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