It was a moment of “frank talk and hard truths” as the meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan, former president Olusegun Obasanjo and governors elected on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) entered the second day.
But a highpoint of Monday’s inconclusive meeting, LEADERSHIP gathered, was the move to ensure that governors Rotimi Amaechi and David Jonah Jang, who have been laying claim to the chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), step down in the interest of the party.
LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported on June 4, 2013, that both Amaechi and Jang had been put under pressure to resign and pave way for a neutral PDP governor to become the NGF chairman.
The meeting, which had been adjourned in the early hours of Tuesday, was in progress last night.
A source said the Adamawa State governor, Murtala Nyako, who had earlier declined to invite all the governors to a truce meeting immediately after the NGF crisis, was also mandated to work out modalities to ensure the resignation of both Amaechi and Jang.
The re-convened meeting, according to the source, was to harmonise the positions and a few resolutions arrived at on Monday night.
As a major step, former president Obasanjo was reported to have admonished aggrieved governors as well as other stakeholders to desist from any form of media altercation until the issues are resolved.
Curiously, the meeting which was called at the instance of Obasanjo to resolve the lingering crisis in the PDP excluded the party’s national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, heightening anxiety at the PDP national headquarters about the Adamawa-born leader’s fate in the party.
LEADERSHIP gathered, however, that Tukur was at the villa to have a two-hour meeting with the president before he left the seat of power. The president was said to have joined the former president and the PDP governors at about 11pm.
The meeting was said to have achieved “an appreciable mileage”: strong indications emerged that the push for automatic ticket for President Jonathan and second term-seeking governors had been shot down. The meeting resolved that no one should be exempted from participating at the nomination process of the party.
The meeting agreed that the party’s constitution must be followed with regards to primaries.
The source said: “We told ourselves the bitter home truth; the meeting was tough no doubt but tonight (last night), God willing, all our problems shall be resolved because we observed that some persons out of mere desire for cheap popularity have been pushing for automatic ticket for the president and governors who are coming for their second term.
“Whatever that means, we cannot rule out the fact that it has caused more damage to the party; so the leaders have agreed in principle to step it down so as to douse the tension.
“The issues started like jokes initially but, as it is now, no leader of the party is happy with what is going on in the PDP; the real cause of course is indiscipline and power chasing.
“How does one explain a situation whereby a leader of the party called PDP would romance with the opposition just because he wants power and position?
“If some of us did not stand our ground in the face of the mischief being perpetrated by the opposition, what happened in the House of Representatives where party members connived with the opposition to upturn the PDP’s decision would have played itself again.”
He said like the issue of the speaker of the House of Representatives in 2011, the crisis in the NGF started when some governors, in flagrant disobedience of the party’s position, displaced the party’s position to team up with the opposition.