By: Sunday Oyewole
President Goodluck Jonathan has assured members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that he would do everything possible to keep the ruling party united; saying without PDP, there will be no democracy in Nigeria.
He was speaking on Sunday night at the post-convention dinner hosted in honour of party chieftains at the Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
The President assured party chieftains that the rift within the party would soon be resolved in a manner that the party would not only overcome it but also come out stronger.
Stressing the need to keep the ruling party intact and stronger, President Jonathan said “without PDP, it is like saying Nigeria has not started because PDP is the only party that has come to give that political leadership in this country.
“Even the opposition, whenever we are having convention, they don’t sleep because they know that without PDP there will be no democracy in Nigeria. PDP has been able to show that stability.
“We will do our best as the leaders of the party now, by your grace to keep PDP one and to keep Nigeria one”.
Speaking further on the crisis, the President it is a minor disagreements that will soon be resolved, insisting it remains a family disagreement which is normal.
His words, “That some of us have grievances is normal and has been happening. We will do everything possible to make sure that the party grows stronger.
“In any human institutions there must be disagreements. What happened (the factional PDP) is a minor disagreement that can be solved. For those who have issues, we thank the elders and governors who have meeting and listening to them, we are committed to resolving our differences.
“Even those that are aggrieved call themselves the new PDP meaning they know without PDP they are nothing. PDP is intact; that we have some disagreements is normal. PDP is intact and will remain intact. We will make sure that the party remains one, those who left will rejoin us”.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State said the country would not break up under Jonathan’s administration, noting that he has survived major challenges in the recent past.
“We want Nigerians to challenge us on performance not on the pages of newspapers. We want to assure you there is no faction in the PDP, what we are seeing today is just a storm in the tea cup. If you want to step out of the party you are free, this is the only party you can leave and return and become a national party chairman, he told the aggrieved members of the party.
Akpabio spoke further, “The people are not with those who do not respect constituted authority. Those who do not respect authority will not get authority. Struggling your way through with might and propaganda will not give the presidency”.
The National Chairman of PDP, Bamanga Tukur, urged members to remain disciplined and loyal to the party, saying change is constant and members must learn to accept it.
He stressed, “We must learn to accept change in order to build on democratic principles. Our party cannot be relevant to the people only once in four years, when votes are needed, but at every time in order to improve their lot. Dialogue and reconciliation should be encouraged but our politics should be based on issues rather than personalities”.
Also speaking, Political Adviser to the President, Ahmed Gulak, assured the President that majority of Nigerians were happy with him and his administration. “The House is full; it is a family dinner, the biggest family dinner.
“All your former chairmen are here, they stand by you come rain, come shine. This is your party, there is only one PDP and 90 percent of Nigerians are with you. Majority of Nigerians are happy with your leadership. They like you and they love you. Those that are not here are those on the wrong path”.
Prominent party members gave goodwill messages, including Deputy Senate President Ike Ekwerenmadu, Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, the National Youth leader, representative of women, and former Governor of Adamawa, Boni Haruna who spoke on behalf of former governors.