…..Sheriff walks out of meeting
OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has admonished the leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to sheath their sword and work towards the 2019 general election.The former president also warned that no one can be elected into a higher office on the platform of a weak party like the PDP unless they put their house in order.
Speaking at the stakeholders meeting in Abuja on Thursday, Jonathan said a smaller stakeholder meeting comprising 40 party leaders will be inaugurated to run with whatever the outcome of the larger stakeholders.
He said: “Great and committed members of our Great Party, you will all agree with me that this house as presently constituted is too large to fine tune details of our reconciliation plans and for the intended final political settlement out of court. Permit me to therefore recommend that the meeting be conducted in two tiers viz:
“The larger body of stakeholders as we are now. This body will come up with suggestions on the way forward for resolving the differences that we currently face.
“A smaller committee of not more than 40 members will be constituted to fine tune the suggestions of the larger body, to finally resolve all the outstanding issues.”
He charged the party leaders to make personal and general sacrifices to ensure the quick resolution of the problems in the party.
“The PDP is a symbol of democracy. If you believe in the PDP, there is no sacrifice too big for you to make. As politicians, with the zeal to lead our people, we must aspire to higher offices or identify the people we believe have leadership qualities and encourage them to aspire to those positions. But one thing is very clear: You cannot, as the polity is configured today, be elected into a higher office on the platform of a weak party.
“We must all, therefore, work to rebuild the PDP and strengthen the party in line with the vision of our founding fathers, and the mission to continue to provide for the good of the people of our great country, valuable leadership in a stable democracy rooted in the rule of law.
“We have to remind ourselves that the prolongation of the crisis in our party may have cost us so much in election fortunes, in recent time. The loss of Edo and Ondo gubernatorial elections is still fresh in our memory. It goes without saying that we cannot afford to have a repeat of that in the forthcoming elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States.
“It is high time we buried the hatchet, suppressed our ego and prepared to make sacrifices in the interest of our party and, indeed the country.
“Our ambitions, therefore, must come second; otherwise, we will only be building castles on quick sand. We must realize that as they say, everybody is nobody without a platform. So, why destroy the platform?”
Prominent party members including present and former governors, lawmakers and office holders were in attendance.
The sore point was when the National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff walked out of the meeting citing non-recognition as the authentic national chairman.
He also warned that any outcome of the meeting that is different from the Dickson led Peace and Reconciliation Committee will not be acceptable to his faction.
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