By: Sunday Oyewole
President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday evening resumed peace talks with the aggrieved Governors with a view to resolving the crisis that has engulfed the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since early this year.
It was the first time the chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum; Governor Rotimi Amaechi of rivers would be attending a peace meeting with President Jonathan.
The meeting, held at the First Lady wing of the Presidential Villa, was attended by five aggrieved governors. They are Babangida Aliyu- Niger, Sule Lamido- Jigawa, Rotimi Amaechi- Rivers, Muritala Nyako- Adamawa and Abdulfatai Ahmed- Kwara.
Also in attendance were governors loyal to the President and the Bamanga Tukur-led PDP. They were Governors Godswil Akpabio-Akwa ibom, Liyel Imoke-Cross Rivers, Ibrahim Dakwambo- Gombe, Idris Wada- Kogi and Ibrahim Shema- Katsina.
It will be recalled that President Jonathan had held two meetings with the ’rebel’ governors in the past weeks but no meaningful resolutions were reached.
But, briefing after the Sunday meeting that ended late at night, Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu of Niger state, expressed delight that the meeting was fruitful as all parties agreed to cease fire and continue to explore peace within the party.
Governor Aliyu while reading a prepared speech was joined by President Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, chairman BoT, Tony Anenih and the Governors of Rabiu Kwakwanso and Rotimi Amechi of Kano and Rivers respectively.
The speech reads: “Leaders and stakeholders and the governors of Adamawa, Niger, Rivers, Sokoto, Jigawa, Akwa Ibom, Kogi and Cross River states met with the President, the Vice President and the chairman of the board of trustees and extensively deliberated on various issues over a three day period.
“The meetings were cordial and fruitful with a clear commitment on both sides to resolve all the issues raised at the meetings. The meeting also called on all parties to sheath their swords and avoid further inflammatory comments on all issues, particularly during the course of our deliberations as efforts are being made to resolve all differences.
“All parties have undertaken to commence immediate actions and agreed towards a complete resolution of all matters and to continue to meet until all processes towards full reconciliation are concluded. The meeting will continue on Monday, October 7, 2013.
“We use this opportunity, therefore, to thank all members of our party and supporters for the patience and understanding.”
It will be recalled that the seven aggrieved governors have aligned with the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led faction of the PDP, said to be the brainchild of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The governors had walked out with the former Vice President during the last special convention of the ruling PDP convened to elect national officers of the party.
They later announced a parallel national executive at a press conference held at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua centre, Abuja and named Abubakar Kawu Baraje as chairman and former Osun state governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola as National Secretary.