AMID its desperate search for peace, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) seems to have remained struck in the mud of trouble.
It suddenly put off yesterday a scheduled peace meeting between its leaders and its aggrieved governors.
It emerged last night that the refusal of President Goodluck Jonathan to make any commitment on his perceived 2015 ambition and alleged investigation of governors by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) led to the abrupt postponement of the talks, which should have been a follow-up to the Sunday meeting at the Villa.
Besides, a group loyal to the President, Media Network for Transformation (MNT), yesterday asked the Presidency to discontinue talks with the aggrieved PDP governors.
In a statement by its Coordinator, Mr. Goodluck Ebelo, MNT said only Nigerians can determine the fate of Jonathan in 2015 and not a group of governors.
According to a source in the Presidency, who gave an insight into why the peace talks were shifted, the aggrieved governors were not happy that they could not extract any commitment from the President on their demands that Jonathan should not contest in 2015 and the stoppage of investigation of governors by EFCC.
The source said: “The aggrieved governors of the PDP decided to seek a postponement of the peace parley scheduled for Tuesday as a result of President Jonathan’s rejection of the suggestion that the government should put an immediate stop to probe of state governments’ accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“Some of the governors expressed disappointment with the way President Jonathan waved aside the request that he should put an end to the probe of governors by the EFCC.”
They were also uncomfortable, it was learnt, that the President made no commitment on his 2015 plan.
“This is purely a constitutional matter, not subject to the dictate of any individual or group. You cannot ask an individual to forego his right,” the source said.
Unable to get any commitment, the governors told the PDP leadership that they needed further consultations before attending the peace parley.
The pro-Jonathan group asked the President to be courageous to discontinue negotiations with the aggrieved governors.
The group, in a statement by Ebelo said to demand that the President should deny himself what the constitution affords him is intolerable hubris.
The statement said: “The Media Network for Transformation has observed with keen interest recent happenings in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.
“Of particular interest is the walkout masterminded by a former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and six governors during the party’s Special National Convention at the Eagle Square on Saturday.
“While we appreciate the right of any person, including these feuding politicians, to aspire to any political office in the land, we denounce this glaring conspiracy to make President Goodluck Jonathan a hostage of their individual ambitions.
“ We wish to state that the premeditated walk-out at the Eagle Square, last Saturday and the demands of these politicians smack of blackmail.
“We, therefore, call on Mr. President to be resolute and resist this weather-beaten gambit, a treachery and mischief, designed to cow him. He should have zero-tolerance to political hostage taking.
“It is not news that the key persona in the last Saturday’s display of shame are a group of politicians with smouldering ambition to be President in 2015. Of itself, a legitimate aspiration. But to demand that the President should deny himself what the constitution affords him is intolerable hubris.
“We, therefore, call on the President and all leaders of the PDP, loyal and faithful to the party to immediately discontinue the ongoing negotiations with these men with self serving, ill-disguised ambitions.. What becomes of any ambition, including Mr. President’s, is in the hands of Nigerians, not a motley crowd of turncoats.
“While we welcome the wish of the feuding politicians to remain in the PDP, we make bold to say that intimidation, treachery and blackmail would not derail the genuine intentions of this President .
“It is common knowledge that a leader of this group, once left the party and at the end, neither the PDP nor its presidential candidate (the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua), who defeated him in the 2007 presidential election, felt any pinch from his absence.
“We are of the opinion that the performance of the Jonathan administration in the first four years would give the opportunity to the Nigerian people to decide whether or not to give him a second term in office. It does not lie in the mouth champions of sectionalism to hijack that decision from Nigerians
“We urge the Nigerian citizenry to be more observant as we move closer to 2015. We cannot afford to allow political desperation to derail democratic governance that caused this country so much to achieve.”