By: Sunday Oyewole
Five elders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday met for about five hours with the Bamanga Tukur-led national executive committee and the Abubakar Baraje-led ‘New PDP’ faction.
However, the meeting held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja was deadlocked. The chairman of the New PDP, Baraje in company of Governor Sule Lamido left the venue of the peace meeting for Maitama, to inspect the faction’s secretariat still being renovated.
Briefing journalists, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said the elders had listened to the two sides, adding that they would put heads together to find the way forward.
Obasanjo said, “I thank you for exercising patience. You have seen five us. As select elders of the party we have taken it upon ourselves to prevent the worst from happening to our party.
“Two of us: Lar and Ekwueme are abroad and could not join us but we are carrying them along. But suffice to say that there is family dispute within the PDP which we want to stem the tide of, and prevent our party from going to the brink.
“And I want to say that we have met with the two sides of the family. We have listened to them and of course we are going to put our heads together and go on from there.”
Other elders at the meeting were Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Tony Anenih, former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, and two former national chairmen of the party Ahmadu Alli and Banabas Gemade.
From the warring factions was Bamanga Tukur, who led Governors Henry Seriake-Dickson of Bayelsa state, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State and Jonah Jang of Plateau state and Henry Akitoye, Acting National Secretary.
The New PDP’s delegation which included Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa state, Magatargada Aliu Wamakko of Sokoto state and Rotimi Amaechi of River state, was led by its national chairman, Abubakar Baraje.
Both sides were however, kept in separate hall while the elders shuttled at intervals to discuss with them. According to sources, the two factions maintained hard stance throughout the meeting.
Meanwhile, immediately the meeting ended, Abubakar Baraje and Governor Lamido inspected the secretariat of the New PDP located at Number 4, Oyi River Cresecent, Maitama. It is painted in PDP colour- ‘Green, White and Red’.