•Secondus reports progress in reconciliation bid
•Plans consensus presidential candidate
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has mandated Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, to reconcile Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, and his Bayelsa State counterpart, Hon. Seriake Dickson, who have been locked in a bitter battle over the ownership of Soku oil wells, THISDAY’s investigation has revealed.
The Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, also said the board had set up a committee of BoT members to intervene in the face-off between the two governors and was working towards presenting a consensual presidential candidate in the next election.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, told THISDAY that the Delta State governor whom both governors respect had been asked to mediate in their feud.
Secondus added that as in the first line of success in the mediation, both governors had been asked to avoid further media comments on the crisis.
“We recognise how sensitive this issue is to both governors but as a party, we will not sit back and allow them to continue like that. There must be control.
“The PDP has therefore asked Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, whom both Governor Wike and Governor Dickson have respect for to intervene.
“He has met the two governors and there is progress. The two governors are from the PDP and we as a party will ensure peace as quarrel between them will not augur peace for PDP,” Secondus said.
Wike had earlier rejected the offer by the PDP leadership to intervene in the conflict with Dickson over the Soku oil wells returned to Rivers State by the Federal High Court.
Wike had said there was no premise for the intervention by the PDP leadership since the Federal High Court had already determined the issue in question.
He said: “I don’t know why they are interceding. They have no power to resolve the issue of oil wells. Secondly, the matter has been determined by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Anybody who is not satisfied should go on appeal. Are they interceding on behalf of someone who betrayed the party?
“They know that Governor Dickson betrayed and sold out the party. They know that during the 2019 election in Rivers State, what happened in the state. That Dickson worked with my opponent.
“Throughout that period, the national chairman himself knows that people were calling from all over the country to know the situation. Dickson never called one day.
“This was because of his alignment with the opposition. I can show proof that Dickson had already made up his mind to go over to APC.”
PDP BoT Sets up Committee to Resolve Feud
PDP BoT chairman, Jibrin, also told THISDAY that the trustees were also intervening in the feud to avoid it from escalating.
He said: “The elders don’t stay at home and their children fight at home. The BoT has set up a committee, which I am heading. We will meet Governor Wike and Governor Dickson and find good resolutions to the crisis, at least in the overall interest of PDP.
“We as the custodian and elders of the party will try to bring both governors to a round table discussion for the peace of the two states. I am heading the committee.”
Jibrin, at a news conference yesterday in Kaduna, also stressed the need for peace in PDP.
He decried the wrangling in the PDP, saying there is need to unite members of the party across the states ahead of the 2023 general election.
“The PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) is making necessary arrangements to reconcile the Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike and Governor Dickson Seriake of Bayelsa State and indeed all the party members in order to unite the party with a view to taking over government from the ruling party in 2023.
“The disunity among the PDP governors demand urgent intervention by the party and its highest advisory body, the BoT, which is ready to remain neutral all the time,” he stated.
Jibrin explained that such intervention will start immediately with the two governors with special visits to them.
He said the board would also visit all the PDP governors in order to give them encouragement in their states’ development activities.
According to him, the BoT Committee on Peace and Conflict, has been directed to visit Edo, Kano, Osun, Bayelsa and other states, where there are conflicts with a view to reconcile party members.
“We should focus on politics of issues and constructive engagement.
“All we need now, is consultations and dialogue in solving our problems and not dismissals or suspensions.
“All members must respect the dignity and supremacy of the party. Reconciliation should continue in the units, wards, local governments, states and nationally.
“Another board committee has been directed to work on why we lost the governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states” Jibrin said.
He added that the BoT will adopt best strategies to work with the National Working Committee (NWC) to ensure success.
“Consultation among us should be the key point. Myself and the national chairman of the party will soon meet to work out the strategies,” he stated.
The party BoT chairman added that the main opposition party has also concluded plans to embark on nationwide consultations among its members to see how to produce a consensual presidential candidate for the next general election.
“On the presidential candidate, the National Working Committee (NWC), in consultation with all relevant organs, will reveal the plan for coming up with our presidential candidate, he added.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong to allow anybody from any zone to show interest, but our collective decision will bring out an agreeable candidate.
“Meanwhile, what is there in our front is for us to work hard to unite the party by making it strongest and unbeatable in the next presidential election,” he explained.