The recent reconciliation tour embarked upon by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Chief Tony Anenih, to seek peace and reconcile members of the party may have worsened the crisis of confidence rocking the biggest party in Africa. It has stirred up a huge controversy within the party as some stakeholders are accusing the foxy politician of seeking to hijack the party for the agenda of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) tendency within the party His tour of Rivers State and the public courting of the Governor,Rotimi Amaechi last week is being seen by some top members of the party as part of the PDM script . Chief Anenih was and remains a top ranking member of the PDM founded by the late Major-General Shehu Yar'Adua
A top placed source within the party described the PDM agenda as seeking to enthrone a presidential candidate for the 2015 elections other than President Goodluck Jonathan. According to the source," the reconciliation visits were used to discussed more than peace and unity in the party."
Opponents o the BOT chairman's reconciliation tour insist that it is not the duty of Chief Anenih to be begging party members like he did with his visit to Governor Rotimi Amaechi because PDP as a party is bigger than any one individual."After all, this is a party that once deregistered its members, don't get me wrong,I'm not advocating for that, but we will not allow any one individual to hold us to ransom no matter how highly placed or important .The party must be supreme to all members, its policies must be accepted by all who claim to be members of the party and not some members seeing themselves as more important" a top politician from the North Central fumed.
Sources informed that it was as a result of this feeling of being important than the party that forces loyal to the presidential ambition of President Jonathan decided to cut Governor Amaechi to size by seizing the party structure in Rivers State from him using his one time Chief of Staff and presently Minister of State for Education,
It was gathered that most of the party's apparatchiks who support the presidential ambition of the President, think that rather than Chief Anineh going on a reconciliation tour of the states, the party Chairman and the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party ought to have been empowered fully and exclusively to embark on such a tour.
"The chairman of the Board of Trustees is like a father to all and as such should not get involved in what ought to be the duty of the chairman of the party who is in charge of the day to day activities of the party. So by dabbling into reconciliation tours, Chief Anineh is indirectly undermining Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, creating the impression that he is not effective. This does not augur well for the party when we are not too far from the next election"" a chieftain of the party from the South-South region said.
Investigations revealed that it is the alleged inappropriateness of the reconciliation tour that that has led some members of the party to suspect that the Chief Anineh embarked on the tour for his own end. Hence the allegation that the tour was meant to revive the PDM tendency in the PDP now that battle for who flies the party's ticket in the 2015 is in full swing, in order to foist its agenda on the party.
"The agenda is simple, get another presidential candidate ,other than the President to run for office in 2015." a party stalwart revealed.
It was gathered that what appears to fuelling speculation that ,Chief Anineh is working for the PDM agenda is a recent text message sent out by a known acolyte of Chief Anineh in Delta State asking for a financier for the PDM tendency in Delta North (Aniocha area) in Delta State.
"This text message started going out immediately Anineh embarked on the tour. How come the coincidence of such a message from some one so close to him?" asked the source.
What appears to be giving credence to the ongoing speculation of a hidden agenda by Chief Tony Anineh on his tour is that sources in Abuja say the tour was bankrolled by two Ministers in President Jonathan's cabinet who are known to have fallen out with Alhaji Bamanga Tukur over their gubernatorial ambitions in their states. According to PDP sources the Ministers wanted the PDP National chairman to support them in their bid to hijack their state executives of the party in pursuance of their gubernatorial ambitions without due process but Alhaji Bamanga refused.
Investigations revealed that among stakeholders in the PDP,it was only one elder of the party from the South-South region who confronted Chief Tony Anineh on why he was embarking on a reconciliation tour when the chairman of the party had just concluded one ,pointing out to him that such a move is divisive at a time the opposition is trying to come together.
" The elder told him pointedly that going on reconciliation tours of the states was not one of his duties as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party. He told him that he was undermining the Chairman and the NWC of the party by such an action and therefore he should not do that again and give the chairman maximum support to ensure that President Jonathan emerges as the presidential candidate of the party as well as become the president in 2015 elections" an influential member of the party informed.