A face saving move by President Goodluck Jonathan for the resumption of peace talks with the G-7 governors which was earlier postponed by the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has yielded results, as the proposed meeting will hold afterall today at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
It was learnt that the sudden U-turn by the aggrieved governors followed discussions with Mr. Jonathan over the weekend where it was agreed that the office of the President should be respected, even in the face of the tough posture adopted by some of the president’s loyalists.
A source close to one of the governors revealed that “The meeting will hold as scheduled and there is a reason for that. Yes, we had earlier resolved to boycott the meeting due to the way some of the President’s close associates have been carrying on. But, after the President’s intervention and discussions, we feel his office should be respected.
“As things stand today, we have asked our Chairman (Baraje) to withdraw the letter.”
Meanwhile, the Baraje-led New PDP in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze confirming the meeting last night said:
“Alh. Abubakar Kawu Baraje, the National Chairman of PDP, just called from Saudi Arabia around 9pm on 6th October, 2013 to direct that the Governors and stakeholders of PDP under his administration that include Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State, Alh. Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Alh. Kwankwaso of Kano State who are yet to travel to Mecca should meet with the National Leader of our party and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Dr Goodluck Jonathan by 9am on 7th October, 2013 at the seat of power in Abuja to formally obtain permission from Mr. president to shift the meeting date to a more convenient date when all our leaders may have come back from performing the Haji operation.
“Shifting the meeting to morning period is to allow the mentioned Governors apart from Governor Amaechi to travel to Mecca later in the day of 7th October, 2013 for the Hajj operation.
“According to the National Chairman, Alh. Kawu Baraje, this step is borne out of the plea by President Jonathan and respect we have for his office.