Speaking for the first time since the submission of his report to the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Governor of Bayelsa State and Chairman of the National Reconciliation Committee, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, yesterday said many of the comments trailing the report were lies and propaganda.
The governor urged Senator Ahmed Makarfi and others who have taken exception to the contents of the report to sheathe their swords and work towards surmounting the current challenges bedevilling the party.
Among other allegations, Makarfi had accused Dickson of dropping the proposal drafted at a meeting of the 11 PDP governors with former President Goodluck Jonathan and coming up with a personal one which he submitted to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s group.
But in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, Dickson maintained that rather than embark on name-calling, propaganda and outright lies, it was high time the party came together in the interest of peace.
He posited that he had always been opposed to Sheriff’s leadership of the PDP, maintaining that the recent pronouncements by the courts entailed that the party adheres to the rule of law.
Dickson stressed that despite the sacrifices made by him and members of the body he heads, it was unfortunate that some persons within the party, were making “uncharitable comments” on the report meant to salvage the party.
The governor called on everyone who has any idea as to how to take the party out of the current crisis to proffer their own solutions, instead of seeking to pull down the little gains that have been made by the committee.
“In my usual character, I am not disposed to joining issues with anyone or group especially on a matter that I think can be settled internally. More so, when some of the key actors are not sincerely committed to bringing an end to the festering crisis that has set us back as a party.
“But first, let me state in clear terms that the ongoing blame game, name-calling and propaganda will not in any way help us. Rather, we are by such actions de-marketing ourselves and playing into the hands of the All Progressive Congress (APC) which appears to be the major beneficiary of the crisis rocking our party.
“What we should be doing now is to look for an amicable solution to come out of where we are, rally round ourselves and form a bond like never before since INEC had released the timetable for the 2019 general election,” the governor said
He added: “Secondly, everyone especially in the PDP governors forum can testify that I never supported Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as national chairman. I strongly canvassed against his choice because he was new to our party.
“I felt that we needed a fresh face for a new beginning. But as a democrat I believe in the plurality of opinions which made me to tag along.
“Now with the Appeal Court judgment affirming him as the national chairman, it is only legal and strategic for all leaders of the party to engage him on a template such as what we have proposed.
According to the head of the PDP reconciliation committee, the national body was convinced that holding a national unity convention would finally put an end to the hydra-headed crisis that has rocked the party since its defeat in 2015.
However, Dickson said all its recommendations were not meant to be taken hook, line and sinker, noting that they could be adjusted if need be.
Finally, Dickson urged all party leaders not to allow their ego take the better of them and called on them to drown their differences for the sake of the party and its supporters.
“Let the blame give way. Let egos and all form of utterances cease. Let all ambitions be put on hold.
“Let all leaders now begin to brainstorm and find the best ways of resolving the dispute to save the party from further depletion and disintegration,” he said.