31st May, 2013
As bickering within the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, threatens to scuttle President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential ambitions in 2015, scandal-ridden party leader Tony Anenih has come up with an easy way out: an automatic ticket for Jonathan in 2015.
According to Anenih, the Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, President Jonathan and other ‘performing’ governors of the ruling party must face no primaries and no opposition as they seek re-election.
“What I would like to say is that the president and governors who are seeking their second term should be given automatic tickets to contest the second term,” Anenih, also known as ‘Mr. Fix It’, said on Thursday night at a dinner organised by Jonathan for the “PDP family” at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
Anenih’s suggestion must, however, be adopted by various structures of the wrangling PDP, including the National Working Committee, National Executive Committee and a convention.
Anenih said the divided PDP must close ranks before it is too late if it must be taken seriously by the electorate.
“I believe the challenges facing the party are temporary and at the end of the day we will come out stronger. But if we want to continue to enjoy the support of Nigerians; if we create tension in the country as a result of the problems in our party and expect Nigerians to continue to support and applaud us, it is not possible,” he said.
Anenih said the emergence of two chairmen of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum, NGF, both from the ruling PDP, is an awkward situation.
“It is an embarrassment what is happening in the Nigeria Governors Forum. It is an embarrassing situation which must be urgently addressed. The leadership of the party will not tolerate a situation where it will preside over a divided house,” he said.
“Our problems are not insurmountable. After the tour of the board of trustees, we will collate the opinions and make appropriate recommendations to the president as leader of the party,” Anenih said.
Senate President, David Mark, also called for members of the parliament to be given automatic ticket in order to strengthen the parliament.
According to PDP Chairman, Bamanga Tukur, PDP members must imbibe the culture of discipline if the party must move forward.
President Goodluck Jonathan thanked members of the party for their commitment and said there should be no panic over manoeuvre by the opposition parties.
“If the opposition is holding meetings every day, then you should smile. If the opposition starts applauding the president, there is problem. PDP will endure because it was not built based on conspiracy against anybody. We believe in this country,” Jonathan said.
The President said squabble within the PDP should not be a surprise to members because the party is big and widespread. He said internal strife would be resolved.
Jonathan said the dinner was organised to create an opportunity for party members to brainstorm.
Party stalwarts, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, attended the event.