By Ben Agande
ABUJA— Former President Goodluck Jonathan, Wednesday, called on the warring members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to sheathe their swords and allow the party to pick up its bits and pieces.
President Jonathan, who spoke when members of the Board of Trustees, BoT, of the party visited him in his Maitama residence, also confirmed Vanguard’s exclusive report that he had been contacted to broker peace between Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee and the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction.
According to the former President, “I have been talking to individuals (members of the party) but not in a way that is exposed to media but I believe I should do more.
“Unfortunately, we have been challenged but I don’t think you should be discouraged. Challenges are part of life; even in families, there are challenges.
“There are challenges, even in the church more than what may be happening at political level. So you should not be discouraged, and I believe, collectively, we can solve it.”
Jonathan said he had been receiving regular briefings on the state of affairs in the party from the BoT Chairman, Senator Jibrin Walid, since he left office and commended him and other members of the board for their role in stabilising the PDP.
“This should not be beyond us but I believe that collectively, we can resolve it. Any sincere PDP member should know that PDP is bigger than an individual. And many members have sacrificed their interest for the party,” he observed.
Jonathan regretted the conflicting court orders that had continued to worsen the crisis and further called on party members to sheathe their swords in the interest of the party.
Chairman of the BoT, Senator Jibrin, explained that the visit was in recognition of Jonathan’s position as former President to interact and inform him of the state of the party.
He said the PDP was undergoing a lot of difficulties and challenges, disclosing that there were about 15 court cases seeking to stop the PDP national convention.
Walid told Jonathan: “We abide by provisions of the party, article 10 of the constitution, which provides for internal resolution of crisis. This provision is abandoned with various court cases. There is court judgement in Port Harcourt, and there are court judgements and orders in Abuja.
“We have realised that we need reconciliation. So many committees have been set up for reconciliation. The BoT decided to form a special committee to pursue reconciliation. Some members of the party are concerned.
“That is why we appeal to the former President that he be party to the reconciliation; it is your intervention that is very important for a way forward for the party. We have great respect for you, despite the fact that you have not been appearing in our activities.
“We have embarked on programme of visitations to our founding fathers; we have visited the National Assembly; we are satisfied with the level of cooperation between PDP and other members in the National Assembly.
‘’They have played the opposition very well and have embarked on policy of issues not on personalities.”
Former PDP National Deputy Chairman, Chief Bode George, who was also on the delegation, expressed optimism that the outcome of the meeting would bring an end to the leadership crisis.