Following its defeat at the March 28 Presidential election and ahead of the 2019 Presidential election, the National leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP disclosed yesterday that it has concluded arrangements to meet its founding fathers next year and beg them for forgiveness as part of moves to reposition the party.
Though the party never came up with founding fathers to reach out, but a source disclosed that there were moves to woo former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar; ex- minister of Finance, Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, others to plead with them even if some of them may not want to play very active roles, but would continue to play such fatherly roles as it were in the past.
Rising from its meeting yesterday in Abuja, the PDP Board of Trustees, BoT while commenting on President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti- corruption war aimed at putting the country in its rightful position among comity of nation’s, however cautioned the President against what the party termed, selective justice, adding that those alleged to be corrupt do not only exist in the PDP, but in all facets of life including the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, the private sector, among others.
Addressing Journalists after the meeting, BoT Secretary, Senator Walid Jibrin who asked the President to beam its searchlight on those who were formally of the PDP and now major players in the APC, said, “we in the PDP do not support corruption, whoever erred in corruption in Nigeria should be dealt with, but we don’t want selective justice. Anybody that goes wrong, it is not only in PDP that you have corrupt people, and this Dasukigate, is one aspect that this party will not go against. We will not go against it provided that all the people that are alleged to have done bad are brought to book. We are with anybody that will rid Nigeria of corruption, we do not support corruption but as much as we agree that we should deal with corrupt people, it should be fair. Let us put our search not only in PDP, but among all Nigerians, not only among the parties, even in the private sector you have corrupt people.”
Senator Walid Jubrin disclosed that a larger meeting of BoT would be convened January 14, 2016 where a a substantive chairman of the board would take over from former minister of Defence, Alhaji Haliru Bello, who presently occupies the office in an acting capacity.
He said, “As the conscience of the party, we are trying to dialogue with the aggrieved people, we are ready to dialogue with the founding fathers of this party, immediately after our meeting on the 14th of January and having come with a new chairman, we are going round this nation, we are going first to discuss with our founding fathers, all those who are within and those who have left this party and try to lure them and bring them back to the party because we have all the opportunities now to win again all the elections up to 2019.
“And so we will not play with any member of the party, and we want all party members to be cooperative with all organs of the party, we are a special organ of the party, we are the conscience of this party. If we do not come out and do something now, God will not even forgive us, we must come out and tell the truth and look at the matters as they are; whoever, erred, we must bring him to book, we must advise well, our is advisory but we are given specific functions to do when there is situation of this nature we must come to it. We want to be fair to all, so that on the 14th January we will gather and do the right thing and will fear nobody, whoever erred, it is our duty to say the truth.
“I don’t believe the party is in shambles, the party is alive and kicking very well. We have many aggrieved people in the party and people who have left this party because of one reason or the other”.
Speaking further on the election of a new BoT Chairman, Jubril who noted that the board has not penciled down anybody to emerge as substantive chairman, however explained that if the current Acting chairman, Alhaji Haliru Bello wants the position, he was free to contest, adding, “The procedure of electing a new chairman will be discuss on the 14 January, if Bello wants to contest he is so much welcome to contest”.
Commenting on the sack of the PDP acting national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus by Abuja High Court, the BoT Secretary said “We have decided that all legal matters will be looked at on January 14, so we are not in a hurry to discuss any legal matter now. But on the January 14, there are many of them, they will be looked at and bring sanity to the PDP”.
On the proposed National Convention fixed for March 19, 2016 by the National Working Committee, NWC, Jubrin who noted that NWC could act for the National Executive Committee (NEC), said that NWC did not err in fixing a date for the national convention, adding, “when you read the constitution of our party, the NWC can act on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NWC); thereafter present the issue to the NEC and then to the national convention. So if NWC has proposed dates for congresses up to the national convention, it is not bad at all. It will be brought before NEC and it will go to the national convention for approval. I don’t think they have gone out of their bound at all”.
In a communique at the end of the meeting and signed by Secretary of BoT, Senator Walid Jubrin who noted that Quorum was not formed due to crucial party activities in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Ekiti and some of the party activities in some states, said that bad weather situations in some parts of the country also prevented flights.
However, the meeting recommended that a larger meeting of BoT be held 14th January 2016 to elect a substantive BoT chairman and therefore advised all BoT members to attend the meeting.