PDP leaders meet today over crisis

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The Presidency has invited some key members the Peoples Board Trustees, National Working Committee and Elders Caucus to a meeting aimed at resolving the raging crisis in the party.

A B0T member and a former Deputy National Chairman the PDP, Olabode George, who made this known to The PUNCH on Tuesday, said the meeting would hold in Abuja on Wednesday.

It was gathered that two leaders were invited from each the six geo-political zones to attend the meeting.

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A top member of the party from the South-West, however, told one of our correspondents that the meeting was summoned by the BoT Chairman, Tony Anenih.

George   said, “I have no idea how we were picked for the meeting. If a person has a serious ailment, he will require a serious surgery and that is what we want to do. The party must hold a closed-door meeting. We cannot deceive ourselves and we must be factual to ourselves. It is at that meeting that we will reason together.

“The meeting is critical because time is going. If we leave issues until after May 29, nobody will show up for any meeting. It is not a matter of a witch-hunt . The important thing is to reposition the party. If there are strong arguments to sustain and retain anybody, we will accept.

“But they cannot say we should not meet. This will be the first meeting since the elections. Mu’azu is the one that should have convened the meeting but he is not around. We are just hearing all sorts of things.”

But a top PDP chief alleged that invitations were sent only to the BoT board members   backing the calls for the resignation of the National Chairman of the party,   Adamu Mu’azu.

He said, “I learnt that Chief Anenih secretly called an emergency meeting of some selected BoT members. I don’t know why it was   George and Adeojo that were chosen from the South-West. I hope they are not planning to destroy our party.

“If they want to remove Mu’azu, is this the way to go about it? I know that those that were invited are desperate to have our national chairman out of the way. But I can assure you that their decisions will not be binding on us as members of the BoT.”

The PUNCH learnt that the meeting would review the party’s defeat at the general elections and deliberate on how to reposition it ahead of future elections.

Meanwhile, Mu’azu has appealed to aggrieved members of the party to sheathe their swords and work towards the party’s revival.

He urged party stakeholders   to put behind them the disappointment of defeat, rest all misunderstandings and put the survival and stability of the party ahead of all other considerations.

Mu’azu, in a statement   on Tuesday,   also barred his aides   from speaking to journalists on any party issue.

He said although the party’s   loss was painful, members should key into the intervention by President Goodluck Jonathan and not allow the situation to further divide the party.

The statement read, “The national leadership of the PDP has noted the various reactions that trailed the unfortunate loss of our great party in the last general elections.

“In the last few weeks, the media has been fishing on these reactions a section even blowing it out of proportion to a level that has become a threat to our oneness as a family.

“As the national chairman and a key stakeholder in this party in the last 16 years, I quite understand and appreciate the concern, pain and frustrations of our members regarding our defeat.

“I am also deeply worried about the division the development has generated within the PDP family, especially regarding whether or not the national leadership should be dissolved as a direct consequence of our collective challenge.

“In the course of events, there have been reactions and counter-reactions among party members; mistakes have been made, some of them avoidable, but this is the time to put all of them behind us and move ahead as our party and its interest remain paramount and overriding.”

Mu’azu accused the media of contributing “ immensely to the misunderstanding we are facing in our fold.”

Mu’azu also extended an olive branch to his most ardent critic and   Ekiti State Ayo Fayose, whom he praised for strengthening the PDP his victory in the once All Progressives Congress-led state.

He said, “Having been a state on the platform of this party for eight years and having the grace of being a committed member for the past 16 years, I very much appreciate the reactions of some of our members like Governor   Fayose, whose victory in Ekiti in June last year helped to strengthen our party, particularly in the South-West region.

“Nevertheless, in the larger interest of our party, we all must resolve to bury the hatchet, pick our pieces and move on to rebuild our party and return to our winning ways.”

He enjoined the party faithful to cooperate the leadership which had set the machinery in motion by the constitution and inauguration of the Post-Election Assessment Committee headed by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

Mu’azu also used the opportunity to dispel insinuations that he fled the country. He explained that he left the country to seek medical attention   on the advice of his doctors.

He said, “My absence from the country lately has led to some apprehensions within the party resulting in various public interpretations, but the fact is, following the rigorous campaigns and its attendant toll on my health, I had to yield to the advice of my doctor to take a two weeks bed rest for proper checks and recuperation.

“I am happy to inform all our members that I have been responding to care and will soon return to the country.”