From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
Sokoto State Governor and Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), Governors’ Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, has said the crisis in the party was not a war but a political misunderstanding which can be settled.
He spoke yesterday when he visited Governor Samuel Ortom in Government House, Makurdi, for discussions on how to resolve the lingering crisis in the party.
Tambuwal, acting Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum and Director General of PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, told journalists after a meeting with Ortom that they had time to converse and engage on what was happening in the party and there was need to work together for victory of the party.
Tambuwal, who reiterated that the internal wranglings were normal, said, “what we have been having is not a war of attrition but political disagreement. We, even in our families, have reasons to disagree, agree and some other times when you have such disagreement and you come back together, you bond more and wax stronger. So, it’s work in progress. We have met several times but we are working to bring everybody together to work for this party. That is the mission of my being here in Makurdi.
“Governor Ortom is a leader as of right in this party when you look at his political trajectory, history and where he is today. He holds a very important position in the affairs of our party. He is a principal person on the issues we are handling. We have had a very strong conversation with him and, of course, I will engage with the rest of our colleagues and our leaders to see how best we can come back together as one family and work towards making sure that the PDP come out stronger and win the election of 2023,” he said.
Governor Ortom said the meeting was at the instance of Tambuwal, and commended him for reaching out for discussion.
“We have discussed quite a number of issues including the division in the PDP; the G-5 which I am a member. He is here principally to see how we can team up and work together as a party.
“I have told him he is welcomed, we are together, we are members of the PDP. But I have said that the leadership of this party have failed to take advantage of the challenges of the party and make it stronger.”
Ortom noted that “right from when we held our convention, instead of the leadership deploying its internal dispute resolution mechanism to look at the grievances and dispute that arose as a result of the primaries, no matter how stupid they were, they have failed to do this. Rather it is arrogance, non-challant attitude and nobody has cared to reach out to us even when we voiced out that things were not going on well.
“So for me, I commend him, for taking this step to visit me. And we have discussed on my opinion on how I think this matter can be resolved and I believe that as a leader and DG of the campaign, he would do the needful because I am not alone. Talking to me alone will not solve the problem but reaching out to the others. I believe he will do the needful to pull the party together.”
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has charged Christians to save the country’s future by voting for patriotic leaders, and not political parties, in the 2023 general elections.
He said the country was embroiled in multiple socio-economic and security challenges, and that it was important for Christians to rise up and vote, not according to partisanship, but for leaders with the interest of the nation at heart.
He spoke while addressing delegates at the annual convention of the All Nations Evangelism Ministries (ANEM) which held this year in Makurdi, with the theme: “Fresh Oil International Convention.”
While noting that the 2023 election was going to be different, the governor said what Nigeria needed was a president who would tackle its security and socio-economic challenges. He tasked Christians to vote in such a leader in a manner devoid of political party affiliation.
“We shall not be foolish enough to vote according to political parties. Nobody should fool you. You must save your future and that of your children; you must save the future of those going to Church. You can save the churches; vote for the candidate of your choice, but let it be someone who will not work against you tomorrow. Don’t vote according to political parties. Let them not deceive us again. In 2023 we don’t just need a President, we need someone who will deliver us from insecurity, economic woes, diminishing social life, corruption and all those things that are pulling us apart.”
General Overseer of ANEM, Archbishop Yiman Orkwar said the country was in its “trying moment as a nation” and challenged Christians to be vigilant and prayerful to uphold the nation. We have become fugitives in our land because of the insensitivity of the Federal Government to the plight of our people. We must rise up in defence of our faith and protection of our people,” he said.
He commended Governor Ortom for what he described as his “relentless commitment to the cause of the gospel and humanity even in the face of intimidation and threats upon his life.”
The cleric urged the governor not to give up as the Church was standing with him in prayers.