PDP Crisis: Obasanjo Backs Out OF Mediation
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has backed out of the move to end the raging crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) following the failure of the presidency, the party leadership and the G-7 governors to honour the truce terms reached by all the stakeholders.
Obasanjo and other leaders had mobilised former PDP national chairmen including Senator Barnabas Gemade, Senator Ahmadu Ali and the chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, to wade in the feud between President Goodluck Jonathan and the seven aggrieved governors caused by the alleged bid by the president to seek a second term in 2015.
They met with the warring factions and appealed to them to sheathe their swords, an appeal the parties have failed to honour.
According to sources close to the former leader, in the mediation effort, the leaders told the presidency and the governors to allow the interest of the party to prevail because “no sacrifice is too much for them to make for peace to return to the party”. But none of the warring factions shifted ground, a development that did not go down well with the party elders.
In the interim, the sources said Obasanjo had resolved to wait till the time the feuding parties would come back to them in the interest of the PDP and their personal ambition as 2015 draws closer.
An aide of Obasanjo said: “From all indications, both the presidency with the party leadership and the seven governors are not ready and willing to embrace peace; they are poised to fight to the end but this would never help the party. The party elders have done their best by intervening in the dispute, but the two camps are not listening, and so the likes of Obasanjo have given up, watching the shameful scenario. It is a pity.”
He further said: “In the rule of swimming, when you see a man drowning, those who know how to swim would not jump into the river while the man still have enough strength to swim into safety. This is because saving him at that time might lead to the drowning of the two. He has to wait until the man loses hope and surrenders to the torrent. Baba (Obasanjo) has done his best; he called some elders of the party with a view to intervening, but the two camps are not ready to listen to the voice of elders.”
The source further disclosed that Obasanjo was unhappy with the dimension the crisis had taken and “foresees a problem for the party in 2015”.
“From the experience, Obasanjo moved in when he foresaw a bigger problem ahead. He has met with the governors who are angry and those that are with President Jonathan including the president himself, but neither of the two camps took heed of the advice of the elders. Remember, I told you that Obasanjo strongly believes some of presidential aides are fuelling the crisis. He has urged them to refrain from the media war, that it would not help. And for saying that, they began to accuse him of setting the stage for the crisis.
“Then, when the governors met with the president, the outcome was read by the governor of Niger State (Babangida Aliyu) and another meeting was fixed for October 7, but, shortly after the meeting, some aides to President Jonathan began to disclose what was discussed and what was not. As a response, the aggrieved camp shifted the battle to the National Assembly. It seems some people are benefitting from the crisis and the earlier the president and the PDP leadership is aware of this, the better for our party,” the source said.
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