Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, Chief Godswill Akpabio, has denied ever being threatened by the First Lady, Dame (Dr) Patience Jonathan over the call for the removal of the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur by PDP governors.
A section of the media had reported last Thursday that the First Lady had summoned some governors elected under the platform of the PDP to the presidential villa, where she cajoled them into dropping their calls for Tukur’s removal.
The media was awash with speculations that the PDP governors had arrived at a consensus that Tukur’s continued stay in office as national chairman of the ruling party was a major obstacle to genuine reconciliation and panacea for peace and were supposed to communicate this outcome to President Goodluck Jonathan.
The governors had also reportedly considered mulling the idea of an ambassadorial position for Tukur as part of a lucrative exit-package to Mr. Jonathan but in a sudden turn of events after the media report suggesting Mrs. Jonathan’s meddlesomeness in the affairs of the party, the governors back-pedaled as they not only endorsed Tukur’s continued stay in office but also passed a vote of confidence on his leadership.
But Governor Akpabio dismissed such speculations, arguing that due to the on-going consultations aimed at rebuilding the party and averting perceived slide due to the defection of five governors and 37 members of the House of Representatives, rumours and misleading information were bound to float around the public space.
According to the Akwa Ibom governor, the First Lady plays the role of an elder sister and a mother to most governors and would not delve into issuing threats against them. He added that her friendly disposition always is an attitude appreciated by most governors.
Governor Akpabio further added that Nigerians should view the current crisis rocking the ruling party as a family feud that would ultimately result in the party becoming stronger at the end of the day.
He, therefore, urged the opposition to base their arguments on issues rather than causing confusion with falsehood.