Politics - Sixteen Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, were last night making strategies on how they would lift the fortunes of the party. The governors who were meeting in the Akwa Ibom Governor's Lodge in Abuja, it was learnt, were also set to discuss an ad-hoc report of the Governor Ibrahim Shema led ad-hoc committee prospecting for the resolution of the crisis in the Southwest region of the country.
Chairman of the party's Board of Trustees, BoT, Chief Tony Anenih, the Secretary of the BoT, Senator Wahid Jibrin and Senator Jim Nwobodo sauntered into the meeting at about 9.25 p.m. about one hour after it commenced.
One of the PDP governors and a strong enthusiast of the Godswill Akpabio led group told Vanguard that contrary to media reports the chairmanship of the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, would not be an issue at yesterday's meeting which was on-going as at press time.
"The PDP Governors Forum was basically set up to put our house in order, to reunite the PDP and reach out to other political parties that may want to join the PDP, and we will also act as an advisory body to the National Working Committee of our great party. There is nothing wrong if you put your house in order," he said.
On why the forum was set up at this time, the governor said:
"The need has now arisen. When we started in 1999, we were the dominant party in the entire country and there was no need for PDP governors forum but today, our numbers have depleted because the opposition got stronger and stronger and so if we don't come together we may end up becoming a minority party in 2015 and that is why we want to come together and build PDP so that even within the Nigerian Governors Forum we can also canvass issues that will benefit our party because the rest also have their own associations."
"I don't see any political problem into what is going on now; it is just the need for the stability of the country.
"For me what is uppermost in the minds of the PDP governors is that we are lucky and privileged to be mandated by Nigerians to control the Federal Government and we must collectively come together and look at the programmes of the party, gain the confidence of Nigerians who voted us massively into office and to further consolidate the PDP Governors Forum as a forum that can stabilise the block of the PDP," the governor said last night.
The PDP-GF, the governor who spoke on the condition of anonymity yesterday, said, could in the near future also use their position to canvass for the abolition of the two term provision in the constitution of the NGF.
"We don't want to break the Governors Forum but let us go back to the original agreement, of two-two years and then we can then agree to amend the constitution so that future governors will not have this kind of disagreement over chairmanship of the forum," the governor told Vanguard last night ahead of scheduled meeting.
"All the things that they are writing in the papers are all sponsored and we don't have to answer them," the governor added.
Governors present at the meeting which was on-going as at last night were: governors from Bayelsa, Delta, Kwara, Cross River, Kaduna, Gombe, Taraba and Akwa Ibom, who is the host. Deputy governors from Plateau, Adamawa, Kaduna, Kogi, Benue, Abia, Ebonyi and Bauchi were also present at the meeting.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur has dismissed reports of a rift between the party and the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, saying there was no crisis between the two sides.
By Emmanuel Aziken and Henry Umoru