After a deadlocked peace meeting at the First Lady’s Conference Room at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak took a swipe at former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for leading away members to form another faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The meeting was attended by about 17 Governors with Governors Rotimi Amaechi, Aliyu Wammako and Sule Lamido being the conspicuously absent ones.
After the meeting, Gulak who spoke to State House correspondents disclosed that the party will overcome the challenges currently facing it.
Reacting to the former Vice President’s status as leader of a faction of the PDP, Gulak said “I was surprised because Atiku is supposed to know more than another person that there is no other party like PDP. He left PDP and went to ACN and he came back to PDP, because he discovered that outside PDP there is no party, so he had to come back and he was even given the waiver to contest the primary election in 2011.
Atiku should be grateful to PDP. Atiku is indebted to PDP and the best way to continue to pay the debt is to protect PDP”.
He described the crisis as a clash of interests as he said “it is all politics and politics is about interest, and we are harmonising, we are talking, we are dialoguing, because the PDP as a family will not allow any of its members to go away, and even the members that want to go away, we will make bold to tell them that there is no party as good as PDP. So it is a matter of dialogue, it is a matter of discussion and God willing these problems will be surmounted.
It can never be the end of PDP. PDP has been there from 1998, it is only PDP that has still maintained its name and identity. The other people you are talking about, started as AD, transformed to AC, transformed to ACN, you know they have lost their identity. It is only PDP that has consistently maintained its identity and it’s name so there is no party that can beat PDP.”
Speaking about the meeting that lasted till the early hours of Monday, Gulak disclosed that the President listened to the grievances of the group and he is considering them. “That is why I said politics is about interests and whatever somebody says, it’s about how his interest can be protected and they have put on the table what they want, or put on the table what it should be and the leader has carefully listened and analyzed it and we keep on talking,” Gulak said.
He also gave a hint that the Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur will not be removed when he was asked whether the faction made a demand in that line. He replied, “you cannot remove the national chairman like that. He was elected and you will remember that of all the offices, INEC observed that only the position of the national chairman and the financial secretary were properly done and that is why we had do to the special national convention to properly elect the other officers.
There are processes, there are provisions of the institution, there are provisions of the electoral act, we should not act outside the laws, we must act between the extant laws of the land. Because the PDP is a law abiding party, we must entrench internal democracy. You cannot come and say, remove Mr A or Mr B and you cannot say for example remove governor A, there are processes of removal, the constitution is clear about it. And I want to plead with all PDP leaders and members, especially the senior stakeholders to continue dialoguing. You don’t win a war at the battle front; you win a war on the table. We want to plead with all members of this political party to keep on dialoguing, discussing, because the opposition out there wants the party to split and there are moles in the PDP, we have discovered them and Insha Allah all PDP stakeholders, especially our field commanders who are the governors have discovered this and we are talking.”
The fence-mending meeting will continue on Tuesday.