The Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF) yesterday said the political crisis that rocked Rivers State was beyond the party hence its appreciation of President Bola Tinubu’s intervention.
The forum said the crisis was no longer a PDP affair, adding that it had implications for the national security of the country.
The forum stated this while responding to what it called vicious and speculative media reports alleging that its chairman, Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State, was leading the opposition into oblivion by his recent courtesies to President Bola Tinubu on his interventions in the recent Rivers State crisis and non-interference in the proceedings of the Tribunals and the Judiciary as a whole in its rulings.
The PDP governors said their chairman is not trying and will not do anything to hand over the PDP to the president, who was elected on the platform of another party.
In the heat of the crisis allegedly between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister Nyesom Wike, the PDP national leadership had called for calm, noting that it would deploy its internal mechanism to resolve the issues. Wike had also acknowledged that the crisis was a party affair.
However, rising from a meeting with the PDP national leadership, the party’s governors praised President Tinubu for intervening in the matter.
Wike, the immediate past governor of state and Fubara’s political benefactor, is serving in an APC led administration at the federal level as a PDP member.
Displeased with the situation, a former campaign spokesman of PDP’s presidential candidate in the 2023 election, Daniel Bwala, in a video on social media, lampooned the PDP governors for praising Tinubu’s intervention in the matter.
But a statement by director general of the forum, Hon. C.I. D. Maduabum, said it was disingenuous for certain persons to lampoon the courtesies extended to the president for his intervention.
He said “For the avoidance of doubts and to clarify the sequence of events, it was in fact the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), HE. Governor Malam Abdul-Rahwan Abdul-Razaq of Kwara State, an APC Governor, that took leadership in intimating Mr. President of the situation in Rivers State.
“All the Governors of 36 States supported the move. In particular, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, H.E Bala Mohammed, lent his weight and support to the move. It should be noted that Gov. Siminalayi Fubara is a member of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Vice-Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum. The President, H.E Bola Tinubu, GCON, agreed to intervene as requested.”
The statement noted that “the events that played out in Rivers State had national security implications; it had the potential to lead to a breakdown of law and order. Indeed, the Rivers State Police Command acknowledged as much in its statement issued on Wednesday, November 1, 2023.”
Maduabum added that Tinubu as president and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, and effectively the Chief Security Officer of the nation, had to intervene to nip the crises in the bud.
Noting that Nigeria’s history is replete with instances where a development in one state could snowball and affect the whole country, he said any breach of peace in Rivers State, being one of the major oil producing States in Nigeria, could affect other states of the federation.
He said Governor Mohammed displayed leadership and a sense of duty to summon and hold the emergency meeting of the Forum immediately the Rivers State matter came up.
“There is no way Governor Bala Mohammed, being a lover of peace in all parts of the country, could fold his hands and fail to act or appreciate the good efforts of the President in finding solution to the crisis. This further explains the shuttle diplomacy employed by the PDP Governors’ Forum led by Gov. Bala Mohammed in visiting and counseling the dramatis personae in the crises.
“Those castigating the Chairman and other members of the PDP Governors’ Forum seem to have forgotten that the unity, peace and tranquility of the country transcend politics and political leanings.
“The Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum has not in any way done anything wrong by thanking the efforts of the President to resolve the crisis in Rivers State.
“Senator Bala Mohammed is not trying and will not do anything to hand over the PDP, a leading and formidable opposition party to the President, who was elected on the platform of another party.
“The situation in Rivers State on 30th October, 2023 was not just a PDP affair. No.”