By Chibuzo Ukaibe and Bode Gbadebo, Abuja
Spurred by the recent outburst by some aggrieved party members, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday said they are taking action to calm frayed nerves within the party.
The PDP presidential candidate and former vice president, who took to his verified Facebook page on Thursday, said he was not taking any member of the party for granted as the unity of the party remains his priority ahead of the 2023 general elections.
Atiku was reacting to separate outbursts by two party chieftains, Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom and former Ekiti State governor, Ayo Fayose, bothering on their support for the party’s presidential prospects in 2023.
While Ortom hinged his grouse on Atiku’s handling of the Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa,’s emergence as the PDP presidential running mate, Fayose, declared that it was the turn of the South to produce the president. Atiku is a Northerner from Adamawa State.
But reacting to their grieviances, Atiku wrote: “The Peoples Democratic Party will remain united. Focus on our actions. We are taking action to address the feelings of all party members. The unity in our community is my priority. Our resolve to unify Nigeria starts in our party and moves to the community, then on to society.
“Every Governor, Legislator, and other elected officials produced by our party, and party members and loyalists, are much loved and respected by me. When they speak, I listen. I do not only listen. Appropriate actions have been taken, are being taken, and will continue to be advanced. -AA.”
The national publicity secretary of PDP, Hon Debo Ologunagba, had also stated earlier that the party has a robust reconciliation mechanism to address the current impasse.
Ologunagba who stated this on Channels TV morning programme, Sunrise Daily, stressed that as much as they admit that there ought to be more speed in addressing the issues, the crisis is being blown out of proportion.
However, a party source conversant with the reconciliation process said Atiku isn’t taking the issues raised so far lightly.
“The reconciliation process is on overdrive, he is not taking it lightly. He is working with the party to ensure that all aggrieved persons are reached because he recognises the extent of what is involved,” the source who pleaded anonymity said.
Asked about the threat of some of the aggrieved PDP chieftains working against the party, the source noted that “People who are aggrieved manifest in different ways. The issue however is that we will get to the bottom of why they are aggrieved and we, as a party, will resolve all the issues.”
Meanwhile, Benue State governor, Ortom, yesterday charged the party leadership to pursue the part of reconciliation to douse the tension in the party.
Ortom who stated this while speaking on Channels Tv political programme, Politics Today, reiterated that he is still in hibernation while praying and fasting for God’s direction on whether to support the PDP presidential candidate in 2023.
He said “ I believe that Atiku and the party should reach out to us and when that happens we can move forward.”
On calls for the PDP national chairman Dr Iyorchia Ayu to resign in line with an agreement to ensure power balancing between the North and South, he said “I think that is left for the leadership of the party to decide. I want to leave it for the party to decide because we want to win the election.
“We have a leadership and truly that was what the national chairman said when he was nominated to take over the mantle of leadership of the party
“I think at the appropriate time these issues will be sorted out,” he said.