Saturday, 15 June 2013

PDP Crisis: Amaechi, Wamakko May Shun Jonathan’s Moves

Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and his Sokoto State counterpart, Aliyu Wamakko, may refuse to appear before the peace panel set up by President Goodluck Jonathan to mediate in the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party.
The committee, which was set up by the President following the protracted crisis rocking the party, has six governors as members and ill begin sitting today.
The governors are Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ibrahim Shema (Katsina), Theodore Orji (Abia) and Isa Yuguda(Bauchi).
Also on the committee are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Pius Anyim; Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak; and the Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Oghiadomhe.
Our correspondents learnt that Amaechi and Wamakko might refuse to honour an invitation from the panel over fears that its composition would not guarantee fairness.
This is hinged on the fact that the six governors are also members of a breakaway faction of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum headed by Plateau State Governor, Jonah Jang.
The faction arose after the election of Amaechi on May 24 was rejected by some PDP governors, who decided to pitch tent with Jang.
There are also fears that the panel may ask Amaechi to drop his leadership pf the NGF in return for his recall to the party.
Amaechi was suspended from the party some days later for failing to heed its advice not to seek a second term.
Wamakko was suspended last week for failing to heed the party’s invitation to answer charges of alleged anti-party activities.
However, it is believed that his suspension was in reaction to his support for Amaechi.
The presidential panel is expected to review the suspension of both governors and mak recommendations on ways of resolving the crisis.
Amaechi’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. David Iyofor, initially promised to call our correspondent back. But subsequent attempts to reach him failed as he did not pick calls to his phone.
But the Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Chidi Lloyd, said Amaechi would not honour any invitation from the panel since a court had restrained parties to his suspension from taking any further step on the matter.
“What I can say is that the matter is subjudice because the court has said that parties in the case (suspension of Amaechi) should not take any action that will affect the matter.
“But the fact remains that the Rivers State governor is amenable to peace and the sustenance of peace.
“Parties are not expected to discuss anything pertaining to the suspension until the determination of the suit,” Lloyd said.
When contacted, Wamakko’s Director of Press and Public Relations, Sani Umar, said the governor would wait and see how the panel conducts its assignment before deciding on the next step.
He also said insinuations that Wamakko’s alleged refusal to acknowledge Akpabio’s leadership of the PDP Governors’ Forum was one of the reasons for the governor’s suspension.
Sani said, “When did he say he would not submit to the leadership of Akpabio and where? It’s a lie and if he did he’ll not deny it. We wait and see how the committee will go about its assignment.”