The decision not to wield the big stick yet on members of the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led faction of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has been attributed to respect for President Goodluck Jonathan, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and other party leaders involved in the peace talks and not because of fear.
This was the position of the national publicity secretary of the Bamanga Tukur-led faction of the party, Olisa Metuh, while addressing a press conference at the party’s Wadata Plaza secretariat in Abuja on Friday.
Metuh explained that the PDP constitution prescribed sanctions for members, who attempt to create factions in the party.
Article 21(j) of the PDP constitution states that “the party shall have powers to discipline any member who promotes factions or belongs to any group under the guise of the party and by whatever name called.”
The governors of Kano, Kwara, Sokoto, Niger, Rivers, Jigawa and Adamawa states alongside former vice president Atiku Abubakar and others, staged a walk out from the August 31, 2013, special convention of the party for the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre where they announced the formation of the “New PDP”.
But the Tukur led faction noted that, “We are very much aware of sanctions as provided for in the party’s constitution, but we have so much respect for the President, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo and other leaders of our party like the Board of Trustees chairman who have been convening the peace meetings. So, we can’t go into that now.”
The party, however, warned the Baraje faction “not to mistake its resolve to toe the path of caution and decorum” for cowardice or fear.
“We therefore, wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that the fact that our leaders are wisely decided on the path of caution and decorum does not in any way suggest that we are afraid of the consequences of doing otherwise,” Metuh asserted.
He added that “We have only applied a common African wisdom that yes; we have the strength of a lion, but better, when not applied needlessly.”