The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party has blamed President Goodluck Jonathan’s defeat in the hands of Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) in the March 28 presidential elections to his tacit endorsement of the hate campaigns targeted at the APC candidate by the president’s team.
It also accused close associates of Jonathan, who handled his campaign, of shutting out the party leadership from the campaign.
National Publicity Secretary of the party, Chief Olisa Metuh, said this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.
The PDP spokesman pointed out that the erroneous belief by the Jonathan campaign team that it could denigrate a respected statesman, who has a cult followership in the North, instead of dwelling on issues, cost the party critical votes in parts of the North.
Metuh equally said the campaign for the sacking of the NWC, which was being orchestrated by some of those responsible for the party’s woes, was immoral and illogical.
He said: “For those of us in the North, where the type of campaign that we generated made it impossible for our leaders in the North to garner support for our candidates because of the hate campaign that was generated, we are not answerable for it.
“While I am not holding any excuse for them, we cannot be held accountable for issues that were generated that worked against our candidate in the North. This is clear, all Nigerians knew what happened”.
Responding to allegations that members of the NWC award themselves N30m each, Metuh said, “We state clearly that we have not been given any money; rather this NWC generated billions of naira from the sale of forms from where we funded our candidates for the governorship and state assembly elections in all the states of the federation in addition to funds released to key leaders, including NWC and BoT members, to prosecute the campaigns in their various areas.
“The NWC is willing and ready to make this account public in line with the Freedom of Information law”.
Metuh explained that several attempts had been made to present the NWC in bad light following the party’s defeat at the polls, recalling that in the attempt to discredit the NWC, “these elements” pushed out series of misleading information to the unsuspecting public – among them the mismanagement of the presidential campaign funds, which led to the poor performance in the polls.
He said this had formed the basis for the calls for the NWC members to resign.
Metuh added, “When this wicked and baseless allegation was debunked by the NWC, which publicly clarified that it was not involved in the handling of the campaign and its funding, and that such were exclusively managed by the Presidential Campaign Organisation appointed by the President, these divisive elements in their desperation, came up with another allegation, claiming that the leadership embezzled funds belonging to the party”.
The publicity secretary, however, said the crisis that greeted the use of campaign funds is over following a meeting of all parties concerned on Sunday.
He said the meeting, which was chaired by President Jonathan, succeeded in finding an amicable solution to the problem.
“We are happy to announce that the leader of our party, President Jonathan, the PDP governors and other key stakeholders of our party including governors and legislators-elect are deeply concerned about this development and have intervened to ensure the desired stability in our party”, he said.
Mr. Metuh said with the crisis over, the party is now poised to reclaim the Presidency in 2019 and that there are no more talks of any resignation of NWC members.
“There is no crisis in the national leadership of the PDP. The National Working Committee under the Chairmanship of Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu is duly elected and is fully in control of the administration of the party until the expiration of its tenure in March 2016 in line with the provisions of the constitution of our great party.
“We are not only in office, we are in power”, he said.
Mr. Metuh further called on all PDP members across the country to close ranks and work together with their leaders at all levels and make themselves partners in progress in rebuilding the party.
“What we need now is to eschew all personal and private agenda and join forces to reinvent our party for the task ahead”, he said.