After about five hours of discussions with Rivers Governor, Nyesom Wike, on Tuesday, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) departed the Government House in Port Harcourt without resolving the party’s lingering crisis.
When they arrived for the peace talk around 12:30 pm, the high-powered delegation, comprising seven members had high hope of resolving the crisis threatening the chances of PDP at the next year’s presidential poll.
It was, however, gathered that during the deliberation, Wike spent significant time educating members of the board on why they would not back down on their demand that the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, must vacate office to restructure the party ahead of the poll.
Those, who met with the Governor, were a former Senate President and acting Chairman of BoT, Adolphus Wabara; former Kogi acting Governor Ibrahim Idris and a former Governor of Enugu State, Chief Okwesilieze Nwodo.
Others were a former Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Shuaib Oyedoku; Kabiru TanimunTuraki, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN); Dr. Esther Uduehi and Hajia Zainab Maina.
On the part of Wike were Rivers PDP Chairman, Amb. Desmond Akawor; Rivers Elders Forum Chairman, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, former Deputy Speaker Chibudom Nwuche, Senator Adawari Pepple, Elder Emmanuel Anyanwu, Senator Olaka Nwogu and Dr. Sam Sam Jaja.
Speaking after the meeting, Wabara said it afforded them the opportunity to properly understand the concerns of Wike adding that they were better informed about the crisis.
He said they would convey their findings and make their position known to the larger BoT gathering in Abuja.
He said since it was the first meeting of the BoT intervening in the crisis, they were optimistic about resolving the issues.
Wabara, who described Wike as an inestimable asset to the PDP, said ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Governor’s infrastructural development in Rivers was already campaigning for the party.
He said: “We have been rubbing minds for the past four hours with his Excellency, the performing Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Project. But we have not concluded.
“It is always easy to destroy but to make peace takes some time. But I think we are better informed. We have gotten useful information. Every point has two sides. We have been briefed by his Excellency. So, we are going back to Abuja to digest all the information we gathered from his Excellency.
“We had very frank talks. But one good thing is that this family remains one. You know, we are still under the umbrella called PDP and by the special grace of God, we will end up very victorious and we will end up in the Villa in May 2023 with his cooperation and support of other governors; four of them. I think we will make progress, no doubt about it.”
“It is work-in-progress. We will definitely get there. This is the first time the BoT is coming to see the governor. He is also a member of the BoT.
“We rubbed minds and we will find a solution very soon. Presidential campaign has started, he is campaigning for the party. I will go to Abia State to the campaign. There is no ballot box for me in Abuja.
“Our Governor is a PDP governor, even if he doesn’t go out to campaign, he has campaigned already with all the projects he has delivered. I am an acting chairman of the board of trustees and I do not have the exclusiveness to stand here and tell you what the board of trustees will come up with.
“We are going back and during the meeting of the board of trustees, that is when Nigeria will hear where the board of trustees stands. Since it is an advisory body, we will be there to tell the party the truth and nothing but the truth.
Wike said what was important to all of them was to ensure that the unity of the party was not endangered.
Wike reiterated that he and his allies were not leaving the party, but were more interested in resolving the contending internal issues.
He said: “What’s important is that the house is united for the war that is coming in front. So, for me, the issue of whether they achieved peace or not today is immaterial. What is material is that PDP is united.
“What is important is to have unity, even if it takes you longer days. I think that is the message he(Wabara) is conveying.
“We have said repeatedly that we are not leaving the party. We have said so. But that does not mean that there are no internal issues that ought to be sorted out. I think what they are here for is to see how they can sort out some internal issues.”