Chuks Okocha in Abuja
• Bars aides from issuing statements
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, who is currently undergoing medical attention abroad has sued for peace among members of the party.
A statement by his media assistant, Tony Amadi, said Mu’azu would return to the country as soon as his doctors are satisfied with his medical condition.
He left the country last week and hopes to be back soon, the statement said.
According to Mu’azu’s media aide, “The leader of the party, President Goodluck Jonathan, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, Chief Tony Anenih and Senate President, Senator David Mark and members of the National Working Committee of the party are all aware of the Chairman’s medical trip abroad.”
Mu’azu has been under tremendous pressure from some party members to resign his position having led the party to such a crushing defeat in the March 28 and April 11 elections in Nigeria.
Many governors elected under the platform of the party have joined the campaign for his ouster.
Some analysts last night believed that the said medical trip of the national chairman might have been a ploy to stave off the increasing calls for his resignation, especially as no meeting of the National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) can be called without his approval.
Those who suspect that the trip is a smart strategy to hold on to power argued that President Goodluck Jonathan would cease to be the national leader of the party the moment he steps down as president on May 29; and that leaves Mu’azu as the defacto leader of the party.
However, the statement noted that, “Alhaji Mu’azu appealed to party faithful to be patient as the travails facing the party will soon wither away and the party will be a united opposition to the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC) for the overall good of Nigeria.”
Also in another statement signed by Mu’azu, he appealed to all stakeholders and members of the party across the country to put behind them the disappointment of defeat, rest all misunderstandings and put the survival and stability of the party ahead of all other considerations.
The national chairman said though the party’s defeat in the last general election is painful, members should key into the intervention by President Jonathan and not allow the situation to further divide the party.
“The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has noted the various reactions that trailed the unfortunate loss of our great party in the last general election.
“In the last few weeks, the media has been fishing on these reactions with a section even blowing it out of proportion to a level that has become a threat to our oneness as a family.
“As the National Chairman and a key stakeholder in this party in the last 16 years, I quite understand and appreciate the concern, pain and frustrations of our members regarding our defeat.
“I am also deeply worried about the division the development has generated within the PDP family especially regarding whether or not the national leadership should be dissolved as a direct consequence of our collective challenge.
“In the course of events, there have been reactions and counter-reactions among party members; mistakes have been made, some of them avoidable, but this is the time to put all of them behind us and move ahead as our party and its interest remain paramount and overriding.
“Expectedly, our party has had a share of media bashing and misrepresentations, which contributed immensely to the misunderstanding we are facing in our fold. For instance, in one of the press reactions from my office, the media quoted one of my aides as saying that our party will be ‘buried’ without the National Chairman, a clear deviation from what was actually said. Such misrepresentations of our party leaders also abound in the social media and we must be wary of them,” he said.
However, he further said: “I have already issued a strong warning to all my aides to henceforth desist from making comments on matters of party administration in the media or any other forum whatsoever.
“Having been a state governor on the platform of this party for eight years and having the grace of being a committed member for the past 16 years, I very much appreciate the reactions of some of our members like Governor Ayo Fayose, whose victory in Ekiti in June last year helped to strengthen our party, particularly in the South-west region.
“Nevertheless, in the larger interest of our party, we all must resolve to bury the hatchet, pick our pieces and move on to rebuild our party and return to our winning ways.
“In the wisdom of leadership of the party, we have set the machinery in motion by the constitution and inauguration of the Post Election Assessment Committee headed by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu. The needful thing to do at the moment is for all hands to be on the deck with this committee to come up with meaningful report that will provide answers to our challenges and roadmap for the future.
“Furthermore, my absence from the country lately has led to some apprehensions within the party resulting in various public interpretations, but the fact is, following the rigorous campaigns and its attendant toll on my health, I had to yield to the advice of my doctor to take a two-week bed rest for proper checks and recuperations. I am happy to inform all our members that I have been responding to care and will soon return to the country.
“Finally, I wish to charge all members that though we have had our setback, we are not down and out. The PDP remains the largest political party in this country. What we need now more than ever before is to unite as therein lies our strength as a family. “Fighting ourselves will not yield anyone any good. Our members therefore must remain focused and join forces with their leaders at all levels to actualise our collective quest to rebuild the PDP and repositioning it to regain power in 2019.”
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