Members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were shocked by the outcome of their meeting with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday night.
Select members of the board, from the 6 geo-political zones, led by their chairman, Walid Jibrin, met with the former president to appeal for his intervention in the PDP leadership crisis.
The meeting, which was held at Jonathan’s Abuja residence in Mataima, lasted for about one-and-half hours. There was no official briefing at the end of the meeting.
Chief Bode George and former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran, who spoke at separate interviews with journalists after the meeting, described the outcome as
“warm and encouraging.” George disclosed that Jonathan “has not only accepted to assist in making peace, but gave his word to be joining us in the process of resolving the crisis, and to also make out time to attend our meetings.
“As you know, he is a life time member of BoT, having been a former president. Sometime, when people see the big masquerade, they will be more careful.”
A source at the meeting disclosed that the BoT members got more than what they bargained for. Most of the board members have pledged support to Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee, which they said was a product of the May 21 Port Harcourt National Convention.
But the source disclosed that Jonathan directed them to make peace with Sheriff for quick resolution of the crisis.
According to New Telegraph, the source said the former president told them that given the evidences available, Sheriff has the upper hand than the Makarfi-led caretaker committee and might continue to rubbish the party if urgent steps were not taken to reconcile with him.
A member of the BoT, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the members told Jonathan to return to the party and assume his role as the leader. He said that the former president agreed to return with a promise that he would speak with all the feuding members of the party with a view to finding a solution to the crisis.
Jonathan was also said to have told the BoT members to reach every party to the crisis and try and achieve reconciliation. But he said that anybody that did not accept the offer of reconciliation should be regarded as not being interested in the party.
He said: “It is not only about Sheriff. It is about all members of the party who are angry or have issues with the party. He tasked us to reach everybody in the party that has one grouse or the other and attempt reconciliation. He also promised that he would reach everybody himself. But he told us that if after all the attempts, anybody that was not interested should be left out of the party.”
It was gathered that Jonathan met with Sheriff a day before the BoT meeting, at his Abuja residence. The meeting lasted for three hours.