The political drama in the Peoples Democratic Party ended on Thursday in Abuja with President Goodluck Jonathan and the party’s National Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, proving that they were, indeed in control of power.
Jonathan and Tukur, deploying the awesome influence of their offices, silenced some governors of the party, who had vowed to ensure that the National chairman was booted out of office during the 61st National National Executive Committee meeting.
While Jonathan boasted that the PDP must win at least 23 states during the 2015 general elections, a more confident Tukur had a message for all the PDP members, especially governors: You must respect the President.
Prior to the NEC meeting at the Wadata Plaza national headquarters of the PDP in Abuja, some governors in the Rotimi Amaechi-led faction of the Nigeria Governors’Forum had vowed that Tukur must not retain his job as national chairman.
They had accused him of being responsible for the crises rocking the party. The crises which made Jonathan to set up a presidential committee formed the major plank of Thursday’s NEC meeting.
• Jonathan on 2015
During the meeting, the President recalled that there was a time the PDP was in control of more than 23 states, but regretted that the party had lost some of them.
Challenging members to ensure that the number of states in control of the party did not go below the present 23 , he said he was happy about the formation of the PDP Governors’ Forum.
He said the forum was put in place to put a stop to the decline in the party’s fortune and to galvanise the interests of the party before its members went for any meeting, like that of the NGF.
“One thing I have to appreciate the party and especially the PDP governors is the formation of the PDPGF. It has really helped to stabilise the polity,” Jonathan noted.
He added, “Governor Godswill Akpabio, (who) spoke first said it all; that at the beginning, there was no need for PDPGF but now that we have reduced in number to 23, definitely, this should be the least.
“We cannot shrink below this level. We must build up. So, looking at the number of PDP governors, it becomes very clear that they need to have their own thing because we have realised that governors of other political parties used to meet before coming for NGF meetings.
“But PDP being the elephant among them did not really bother much. But over the period, we have realised that there is the need for them to also meet because politics is politics. Politics is a game of interest.”
The President also advised against defying the Independent National Electoral Commission’s ban on any form of politicking for now.