IN an apparent response to the claim made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was dying and gasping for breath, its Board of Trustees (BoT) has assured that the party was alive and kicking.
Inaugurating an 18-member reconciliation committee in Abuja on Monday, chairman of the board, Senator Walid Jibrin advised party members to ignore the assertion.
Obasanjo had made the claim last week after having been wrongly been reported to have attended a meeting of the PDP at Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
He was at the venue for an unrelated event which happened to have coincided with the inauguration of the PDP national convention planning committee at the same venue.
Speaking at the inauguration of the reconciliation committee, Jibrin advised party faithful not to believe that the PDP was dead “as said by some leaders,” adding that the party was doing well and was prepared to receive such leaders back to its fold.
While urging members to remain calm, the BoT chairman said: “What’s happening in PDP is normal in a democracy. They (party members) shouldn’t listen to rumor that the party is dead as said by some leaders. The party is alive and we are ready to receive them.”
He explained that the committee was set up following the BoT’s August 3, 2016 meeting which reviewed “the unpleasant situation in the party,” adding: “I’m sure very soon, the problem will be solved.”
He added: “We want to ensure that honour and dignity of maintained in the PDP. We will not allow the party to die.”
While thanking governors elected under the party, Jibrin observed that a lot of efforts had been made in the past to resolve this issue, noting that the reconciliation efforts were ongoing.
He said the problem of the party was the reluctance of members to abide by its constitution and regretted that the party had now been bogged down by numerous court cases.
Jibrin admonished that the party was supreme and above individual interests, adding: “We must resolve the issues politically. That’s why we decided to form this committee. We hope they will be able to solve the problem.”
In his remark, Chairman of the committee, Prof. Jerry Gana, said members of the committee will do their best “to use their collective wisdom, effort, honour and sense of responsibility” to handle the assignment.
Adding that not all political issues can be resolved in court, Gana appealed to all members to avoid saying or doing anything that will make the job difficult.
He promised that the committee will use “wisdom, patience, listening, sense of justice,” during the assignment and appealed to claimant to the office of the national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Sheriff and his supporters to give them the opportunity to consult and arrive at an amicable solution.
He assured that “from what we have seen, PDP is back together. What’s left is to have a unity convention.”
The committee has one week to submit its report.