There were indications on Tuesday that the Peoples Democratic Party might have suspended indefinitely the holding of its National Executive Council meeting in the light of internal wrangling rocking the ruling party.
A member of the party’s hierarchy confided in our correspondent in Abuja that the PDP’s National Working Committee could not call for any NEC meeting now “until we realise how far (the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, Chief Tony) Anenih can go in his tour of the states to beg the governors to sheathe their swords.”
The PDP held its last NEC meeting in June 2012 whereas the party’s constitution stipulates that NEC meeting must hold every quarter.
Also, the PDP is said to be delaying the constitution of its disciplinary committee due to the lack of peace and cohesion in the party.
“It will amount to shooting themselves in the foot for the NWC to call NEC meeting now with the governors up-in-arms against the party’s leadership. Let Anenih go and beg them first,” the PDP chieftain said.
The governors on the platform of the party, at the height of their anger against the NWC and chairman of the PDP, Bamanga Tukur, had in January asked for the urgent convening of NEC.
The party leaders have however refused to heed the call of the governors with analysts suggesting that Tukur would be wary of convening such a meeting with the suspicion that the state chief executives would seize the platform to pass a vote of no confidence in his leadership.
The membership and voting right at the NEC are tilted in favour of the governors who are said to wield influence on members from their states.
But the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said the PDP NEC meeting would hold “after Easter.”
Metuh, who, few weeks back, had promised that the PDP would hold its NEC meeting after the election of the BoT chairman, declined to specify the date the party would call the meeting.
He however in a release on Tuesday commended the tour of the PDP states by Anenih, saying the BoT chairman was living up to his reputation as a consensus builder.
“His (Anenih) intervention at a time the National Working Committee has embarked upon a tour to achieve total reconciliation and engender internal cohesion is worthy of commendation,” he said.
The PDP spokesman expressed confidence in the BoT Chairman’s ability to use his “experience, wide contacts and wisdom” to bring all party men together for the common goal of providing qualitative service to the People.
According to him, he said Tukur was particularly delighted with the synergy between the Board of Trustees under Anenih, the NWC and the PDP Governors’ Forum which he said was knitting the party together in the midst of unfounded speculations of disunity.
The PDP Governors’ Forum was formed just last month, and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State installed as its chairman, with the unstated objective to polarise the Nigerian Governors’ Forum under the chairmanship of Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
The NGF under Amaechi had been at loggerheads with Tukur for allegedly taking a unilateral decision to dissolve the PDP exco in his Adamawa home state where he had engaged Governor Murtala Nyako in a battle for the control of the party.
On Sunday, 21 out of 23 governors on the platform of the PDP, boycotted the party’s peace meeting and celebration of Tukur’s one year in office. The event held in Abuja.
Shocked at the development, the party leadership had reportedly decided that they would need to swallow their pride and appease the governors in order to avoid the disintegration of the party.
The outcome of the current tour of the PDP states by Anenih, whose installation as the BoT chairman was said to have also caused schism within the party, is said to be crucial to the continued survival of the party.
He had already visited Jigawa and Kano states, where he reportedly begged the governors, Sule Lamido and Rabiu Kwankwanso, respectively, not to defect to another party.
There have been speculations that many of the PDP governors had been planning to defect en masse to a yet-to-be-registered merger parties’ All Progressives Congress.
Akpabio, however, said on Sunday that no governor in the party was planning to defect but that he and his counterparts had set up a tactical team to woo governors of other parties to the PDP.