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South West PDP Crisis: Bukola Saraki Meets Makinde, Fayose
Embarrassed by the bad publicity brought to the Peoples Democratic Party by the public spat between the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, and his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed, the PDP Governors Forum as well as the Bukola Saraki-led National Reconciliation Committee, have stepped in to broker peace.
According to PUNCH, a top-ranking party source familiar with the issue explained that the party hierarchy was uncomfortable with the public spat which appears to be fuelling speculations by the ruling party and its supporters that the main opposition party is a house divided against itself.
The source said, “The whole affair is embarrassing to say the least. Here we are as the main opposition party which should benefit from the inability of the ruling party to manage its success fighting among ourselves. It does not speak well of us.
“We understand the passion both men have for the protection of their people and the need to remain in tune with the feeling of the majority of the people they govern but at times of national tragedy which we are in, what we all expect is leadership. Both men are leaders we are proud of. They are doing well in their various states and we want them to look at the bigger picture.”
Another party source said, “The party is not leaving anything to chance. Saraki and his team are also reaching out to the parties involved, there is no cause for alarm; I can assure you.”
When contacted, the Director General of the PDP Governors Forum, C.I.D Maduabum, confirmed the forum’s peace moves but said it was not something it was interested in making a media affair.
In response to a question as to whether the forum was involved in intervening, he said, “Certainly, we are intervening, rest assured that our chairman is intervening; it is not an issue for the media.”
Also, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan said, “All of our governors are responsible people and they have demonstrated a very high sense of statesmanship and dedication to duty. Whatever the issues are, they are being resolved; that we can assure Nigerians.”
Also, the former President of the Senate met with the Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde in Ibadan on Saturday.
The meeting with Makinde was a follow-up to last week’s meeting the former governor of Kwara State had with a former Governor of Ekiti State, Mr Ayodele Fayose.
Both Fayose and Makinde have polarised the PDP as a result of their differences as both party leaders have been supporting different factions of the party in the South-West.
Both of them have also nominated different men and women for party positions in the forthcoming zonal congress of the party in the South-West.
Their supporters have also been accusing and abusing their leaders, calling them unprintable names.
However, Saraki, in a tweet on Friday, said both Makinde and Fayose were ready to work together in the interest of the PDP.
He said, “As part of our ongoing efforts to reconcile the leaders and members of our great party, last week, I had a meeting with the former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose.
“As a follow-up to the engagement and consultation, this evening, I just wrapped up an extensive but fruitful meeting with Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State.
“As we continue to listen to and learn about the concerns of stakeholders of our party, it is great to observe their willingness to work towards forging a stronger and more united Peoples Democratic Party. #PDPReconciliation.”