by Dare Lawal
The PDP chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur understood that there were serious issues plaguing the party, when he decided to embark on a tour of all the six geopolitical zones in the country on a reconciliation mission.
It is doubtful that he knew just how deep-seated the differences between party members have grown.
From one zone to the other the story was the same, many of the party’s bigwigs shunned the reconciliation parley altogether. In a particular zone, the chairman was walked out on by some governors.
Let’s start with the North West. In what was a very embarrassing outing for the PDP chairman and the vice president of the country, Namadi Sambo, who was present, three governors refused to attend the meeting. They did not send their deputies either. In fact, not even the party chairmen of those states showed up.
The absent governors were Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Aliyu Wammako of Sokoto.
Those weren’t the only high profile absentees. The House Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and many members of the National Assembly from the zone also did not show up at the meeting.
However, Kebbi governor, Usman Dakingari; Katsina governor, Ibrahim Shema; and the host governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero were present, as well as some National Assembly members from the zone and some former governors.
In the South-West, Nigeria’s former president Olusegun Obasanjo and all the members of his largely decimated camp, shunned the reconciliation meeting. The party has no elected governor, but even former governors Segun Oni and Olagunsoye Oyinlola were absent. They were recently ousted by a court from the party’s executive.
The case was not different in the South-South, where the duo of governors Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, walked out on the meeting that held in Port Harcourt. The Bayelsa governor, Seriake Dickson and his Cross River counterpart were absent. By the time the two governors walked out, only the Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akpabiop, a key Aso Rock ally was left.
In the North-Central, no single governor attended out of the 5 elected on the PDP platform.
Also in the North East, there were notable absentees including former vice president Atiku Abubakar. w
The party’s leadership has downplayed the significance of the absentees, but there seems to be no doubt that all is not well under the umbrella.