Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called on the warring members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to sheathe their swords and allow for the party to pick up its bits and pieces.
Jonathan, who spoke when members of the Board of Trustees of the party visited him in his Maitama residence also confirmed that he had been contacted to broker peace between the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee and the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction.
According to the former President, “I have been talking to individuals (members of the party) but not in a way that is exposed to media but I believe I should do more.
“Unfortunately, we have been challenged, but I don’t think you should be discouraged. Challenges are part of life; even in families there are challenges. There are challenges even in the church more than what may be happening at political level. So, you should not be discouraged, and I believe, collectively, we can solve it” he said.
The former president revealed that he had been receiving regular briefings on the state of affairs of the party since he left office from the BoT Chairman, Senator Jibrin Walid, and commended him and other members of the board for their role in stabilising the PDP, as a conscience of the party.
“This should not be beyond us but I believe that collectively, we can resolve it. Any sincere PDP member should know that PDP is bigger than an individual. And many members have sacrificed their interest for the party,” he observed.
Jonathan regretted the conflicting court orders that have continued to worsen the crisis and further called on party members to sheathe their swords in the interest of the party.
The Chairman of the BoT , Senator Jibrin Walid, explained that the visit was in recognition of Jonathan’s position as former president, to interact with him and inform him of the state of the party.
He said the PDP was undergoing a lot of difficulties and challenges, disclosing that there are about 15 court cases seeking to stop the PDP national convention.
“We abide by provisions of the party, article 10 of the constitution, which provides for internal resolution of crisis. This provision is abandoned with various court cases. There is court judgement in Port Harcourt, and there are court judgements and orders in Abuja.
“We have realised that we need reconciliation. So many committees have been set up for reconciliation. The BoT decided to form a special committee to pursue reconciliation. Some members of the party are concerned.
“That is why we appeal to the former President that he should take the party to the path of reconciliation; it is your intervention that is very important for a way forward for the party. We have great respect for you despite the fact that you have not been appearing in our activities.
“We have embarked on programme of visitations to our founding fathers; we have visited the National Assembly. We are satisfied with the level of cooperation between PDP and other members in the National Assembly. They have played the opposition very well and have embarked on policy of issues not on personalities,” Walid told Jonathan.
He added that despite all that is happening, PDP is alive, stating that “anybody who wants to destroy PDP will not succeed.”
Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity
Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.
The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).
Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.
It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.
Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.
Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.
Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments
President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.
The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.
According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.
He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.
Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.
The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.
He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.
On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.
He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.
“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.
“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.
“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.
”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.
“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.
“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.
On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.
On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.
According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.
The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”
Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari
Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.
The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.
Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.
He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.
He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.
“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.
“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.
“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”
He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.
This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.
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