by Dare Lawal
As we have been reporting, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party met today in Abuja. The PDP chairman got a vote of confidence from the NEC and 20 members were appointed into the National Working Committee (NWC) in acting capacity.
Another highlight of the event was the goodwill speech by the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio.
Akpabio used the occasion to lash out at some of his fellow governors for being disloyal to President Goodluck Jonathan. He said that as for him and the PDP Governors Forum, which he heads, they would remain completely loyal to the president.
“We are ready to stand solidly behind the leader of the PDP in the nation,” he said.
Here’s how Premium Times reported it:
Apparently taking a swipe at his colleagues who have challenged Mr. Jonathan’s alleged plans to run for a second term in office, Mr. Akpabio stated further that “When our late President Yar’Adua was in power, there was no single PDP governor that challenged him, either on the pages of newspaper or at any meeting. We even went to the extent of organizing prayer for him and we supported all his policies, yours cannot be different.”
The Akwa Ibom governor also reminded his colleagues that “Leadership comes from God and he gives it to whom he pleases. My assurance to you is that the 23 PDP governors are solidly behind you”.
The Governor also congratulated the President on the mid-term report he presented recently.
“We thank you for your mid-term report. We have keyed into your transformation agenda and we are saying no shaking,” he said.
Mr. Akpabio also told the gathering that the party is fast losing its numerical advantage in the scheme of things, hence the need to form the party’s governor’s forum.
“It is interesting to note that when we started in 1999, there was no need for the PDP governors forum, because as at time the PDP governors were over 33 and controlled the then Nigeria governors forum, but over time because of various disagreement, intrigues and scheming which are part and parcel of politics, the rank and file of PDP governors kept depleting,” he said.
The governor’s claim is, however, incorrect as the PDP had a lot less than 30 governors in 1999 with the then Alliance for Democracy, AD, controlling the six southwestern states and the then All Peoples Party also leading many states.
“When I became a governor in 2007, we were about 29 in number and through various court decisions; all of a sudden we were reduced to a level where we are now, only 23,” Mr. Akpabio said.
He also said the “PDP governors’ forum is therefore is a new baby, a new organ and we are now reporting ourselves to NEC that we are now born and we are ready to serve.
“We have been serving, on behalf of my colleagues I want to say we have come to NEC not just as governors individually but we are now coming under the PDP Governors’ forum”.