By Yusuf Alli:

The Peoples Democratic Party yesterday said it has decided to back Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as acting President.

It also denied that Jonathan was purportedly summoned by the First Lady, Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua.

The party made its position known in a statement last night by its National Secretary, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, against the backdrop of the controversy over who is in charge of the country.

The statement said the party had consulted widely on the confusion in the Presidency and decided to endorse Jonathan as the Acting President.

The statement reads: “The PDP has been making consultations at various levels, including the Presidency, the National Assembly, the Governors’ Forum and had decided that Dr. Jonathan will continue to act as President while Alhaji Umar Yar’Adua recuperates.

“While we pray for full recovery of the President, we will like to thank the members of the National Assembly, the Governors’ Forum, Eminent Nigerians and Party Members for their support during this challenging political development.

“We urge the National Assembly, the Governors’ Forum and indeed all Nigerians to cooperate with the Acting President in the onerous task of piloting the affairs of the Nation at this crucial time.

“However, the PDP National Leadership hereby appeals to all its elected and appointed government functionaries not to make any statement on the presidency without clarification from the party leadership.”

On the purported summoning of the Acting President by the First Lady, Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua, the party said there was nothing like that.

It added: “The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, wishes to state in strong terms that contrary to the claims by some quarters and was reported in the media, the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was at no time summoned for briefing on state matters by the first Lady, Hajia Turai Yar’Adua.

“The Acting President only visited his ailing boss who has just arrived from medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, as any normal person would do. It is then wrong for this visit to be misconstrued as a summon for the briefing of the Acting President.

“As Acting President, Dr. Jonathan does not need to take any briefing from any body as all the paraphernalia of office resides with him.”

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