FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan has revealed that he has been working behind the scene to resolve the ongoing leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and has also committed himself to doing more so as to bring the issue to a closure.
He spoke on Wednesday night, when members of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) met him in his Abuja home to seek his intervention in the crisis.
The former president told them that the problems in the former ruling party were a normal occurrence and was hopeful that they would soon be resolved.
He admonished members of the party to ensure to put the party’s interest above their individual interests.
Jonathan reminded them that Nigerians were looking forward to seeing the PDP played its role as a viable opposition party.
While commending members of the BoT for their effort so far in stabilising the party, he said: “unfortunately, we have challenges, but I think we should not be discouraged.
“Challenges are parts of life. In families, there must be challenges. Among friends, there must be challenges. Even in the offices. There are no places where people expect not to see crisis. Even in religious houses, sometimes, the challenges there are worse than the challenges we have in our political institutions.
“But the key thing as human beings, is our ability to resolve our differences, our ability to resolve our challenges.
“This will not be beyond us. Yes, matters are in court because that is why the courts are there, but I believe collectively, we will be able to resolve these issues that have been raised.
“But I believe that any sincere members of of the PDP will know that the PDP is superior to the individual interest.
“And I believe so many members will sacrifice their personal interest for the sake of the party.
“And of course, even the nation, they expect a vibrant opposition party now that we are in opposition. They expect PDP to even be stronger, more cohesive so that the ruling party will also know that there is somebody watching what we do.
“So, we must play that role. I believe we will be able to resolve these issues.”
Responding to the request by the BoT chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, to intervene in the crisis, he disclosed that he had, indeed, been talking to the principal actors in private and was hopeful that the matter would soon be put to rest.
Jonathan added: “You made a request that I should…really, I have been talking to some of the actors, but not in a way that is exposed to the media.
“So, we will maybe do more to see how we can resolve this perceived impasse of “who is the chairman of PDP or who is not,” one court giving judgment, another court of concurrent jurisdiction, the same high court giving conflicting orders, conflicting rulings and conflicting judgment.
“It’s quite unfortunate that the Nigerian environment is that way. But whatever the case, my belief is that collectively, we should be able to resolve these differences.
“I will continue to encourage you to do more and commend you for what you have done so far.”
In his remark earlier, Jibrin said the BoT decided to pay Jonathan a courtesy visit in his capacity as a former President under the party, to interact with and inform him on the state of the party.
He traced the genesis of the crisis, noting that it had been bogged down by not less than 15 court cases brought by individuals who had failed to abide by the party’s constitution.
The BoT chairman noted that the BoT realised the need for reconciliation and had consequently set up many committees to push for it.
He said, while the process of a repeat of the national convention was on, it was imperative for Jonathan to intervene in the crisis, saying: “I am sure when you do, we will have a way forward. You have to encourage us.”