Akin Akande, Abuja
The breakaway faction of the People Democratic Party (PDP) has restated the conditions for restoring peace within the ruling party, insisting that the Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur must be removed.
The faction also announced the enlargement of its Mobilisation/Contact Committee with the mandate to explore other options available to the party should the dialogue with President Goodluck Jonathan fails to yield any positive result.
The group in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, said on Monday that it would not relent until PDP is restored to the right path of democracy and civilised conduct unlike the draconian style of leadership being exhibited by the Alhaji Bamanga Tukur faction of the party.
Other conditions listed by the faction include the reversal of what it described as the impunity in Rivers State, as well as upholding the result of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election that saw Governor Amaechi winning 19 to 16 votes against Governor Jang.
The group also demanded as end the impunity in Adamawa State, among others.
The faction has so far failed in its attempt to seize control of the party, with both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognising the party’s leadership led by Tukur and a High court ordering it to stop parading itself as the new PDP.
It lamented the fact that their demands had so far failed to receive the blessing of Mr. President, adding, “we see all these as attempts by the Tukur’s faction to destroy the party seeing that they have no stake in the party anymore.”
It, however, condemned the deployment of the Police to the vicinity of the Sokoto Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, with a view to scuttling the Caucus Meeting, “not knowing that the Sokoto Governor’s Lodge was used as a decoy since we’re well aware of the evil mentality of our opponents.”
The faction, led by Alhaji Abubakar Baraje, is in dialogue with The Presidency and the leadership of the ruling party but Monday’s action suggested that it has little faith that the talks would be fruitful.
Taking stock of all the efforts by members, Baraje’s faction commended itself for walking out of the August, 2013 Special Convention of PDP.
It said: “The meeting enlarged the Mobilisation/Contact Committee to include more sitting governors and ex-governors,” Monday’s statement said of its Sunday meeting.
“The Committee was mandated to explore other options available to the party should the dialogue with President Jonathan fails to yield any positive result for its future political activity as the vision and mission of the party cannot be derailed by any force or group of people no matter the ploys and plots,” the faction said.
The group also set up a Fund/Finance Committee mandated to source for extra funds to run the party.
The faction also said that the meeting reviewed all Court cases so far and counselled the legal team to ensure that our watertight cases are professionally handled and ensure success in all the cases involving the party henceforth.
Monday’s statement read in part: “The meeting reviewed all the peace meetings so far held with President Jonathan and the Tukur faction of the party and commended our governors for the maturity they have exhibited in the course of the meetings even though all the issues we raised and presented through the General Olusegun Obasanjo-led Elders Committee to President Jonathan and his people have been bluntly turned down.
“The meeting noted with sadness that instead of President Jonathan to critically examine and act on some of the issues we raised, our members in various states of the federation are being persecuted, humiliated through the unfair use of state powers, arrested and put into prison as is the case in Baylesa and Gombe States just to demonstrate its disdain for peace and plot to destroy the party.
“To further demonstrate that they don’t want peace in the party, Tukur has continued with his hidden agenda by setting up parallel chapters in states where he has nobody backing him to ensure that PDP is destroyed without any remedy,” the faction said.
“It urged its G7 governors to continue to pursue peace within the party in the hope that President Jonathan and Tukur’s faction would stop the persecution of the party faithful and allow common reason to prevail in its efforts to restore peace “to our party but should all our efforts to restore peace to the party fail, Nigerians should know those to hold responsible for the destruction of PDP come the 2015 general election,” it added.