- Fresh convention on the cards
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
In furtherance of the new peace efforts embarked upon by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee (NCC) and the faction led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff have resolved to meet with former President Goodluck Jonathan and the governors elected on its platform to intimate them of the reconciliation plans.
The meeting with the former president and governors is scheduled to take place between Wednesday and Thursday and will be followed by consultative engagements with other key organs of the party including the Board of Trustees (BoT) and the party’s National Caucus.
THISDAY gathered that the meeting, which is at the instance of Senators Makarfi and Sheriff, is meant to brief the party’s key stakeholders on their new understanding, to solicit their support and input on the best way to achieve a lasting peace in the party.
Discussions on a fresh convention to elect a national leadership for the party will also be on the cards at the meeting.
It was learnt that the two party leaders agreed to meet with ex-President Jonathan, in recognition of his position as the leader of the party.
While confirming the latest progress in peace negotiations, the Secretary of the PDP Caretaker Committee, Senator Ben Obi, said issues relating to the formation of a joint peace and reconciliation committee would form part of the discussions at the meeting.
Obi, who spoke to THISDAY yesterday, said the caretaker committee believes strongly that the ongoing peace moves would lead to a lasting settlement of the dispute in the party.
“The measures that we did not take after our defeat at the elections last year, over one year ago, is what we are going through now. Some of the people did not even understand the vision of the founding fathers of the party, that was the problem.
“How was the party formed? What is the aim and goal of the party? These are the issues that the drivers of the party must understand.
“So we have reached a stage now whereby I think that we are beginning to have some understanding. Only recently, we were able to reach a point where Senators Makarfi and Sheriff met and decided that they must jointly issue a statement.
“Now the next stage is to move on in that stead. This week, we will be briefing stakeholders of the party and we will be coming up with members that will constitute a joint reconciliation committee.
“Don’t forget that you have various peace committees led by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson and Prof. Jerry Gana, all set up by the party to help search for peace and to reconcile the aggrieved parties.
“So by the time we explain the progress being made and how the two leaders agreed to issue a joint statement and other issues, I am sure that we will have a clearer picture of what to do next to further the peace efforts,” he said.
The two principal actors in the PDP dispute – Makarfi and Sheriff – came close to laying to rest their disagreement when they issued a joint statement in Abuja two weeks ago, saying that they had reached an agreement to set in motion a joint reconciliatory process.
They said they had agreed to sheathe their swords and would pursue the cause of lasting peace in the party.