President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday appealed to all the Peoples Democratic Party aspirants who are aggrieved as a result of the outcome of its primaries across the country not to leave the party.
He said the party leadership was working hard to resolve the conflicts thrown up by the primaries in many states.
Jonathan spoke at the PDP Fund Raising Dinner, held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Many state chapters of the party are currently enmeshed in controversy over alleged cases of imposition of candidates, either by state governors or the national headquarters of the PDP.
The situation has led to many party stalwarts leaving the party or threatening to leave.
Among those who have left to join the opposition All Progressives Congress were Jonathan’s former Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Samuel Ortom, after he failed to clinch the party’s governorship ticket in Benue State.
Jonathan, however, said it was better for aggrieved party members to remain in the system to correct whatever they felt was wrong in the party than jumping ship.
Although he said conscious efforts were being made to resolve the post-primaries crisis in some states, the President admitted that all the cases might not be resolved to the satisfaction of all the parties concerned.
He, however, said the party would be guided by the issues raised when preparing for the primaries of the 2019 elections.
He said, “We all appreciate that throughout the congresses where primaries were conducted, there have been some outstanding issues. The party is working to resolve these issues. Definitely, in such a situation, all may not be resolved to the satisfaction of everybody.
“But my plea to party members is to remain committed to the party; stay with the party.
“I know other parties are wooing some of you to contest elections on their platforms, but if you believe in democracy then you will contribute to strengthening it.
“The only way you can strengthen democracy is for you to stay in your party.
“If there are some issues you feel are not too correct, it behoves on us to stay together and correct them. That is the only way we can grow democracy.
“If out of anger or frustration, you leave the party because you didn’t get what you wanted, then you are not contributing to the growth of democracy.”
The President said the major task before the ruling party was to ensure that the country remain united.
While thanking those who donated the over N21bn realised at the dinner, he said the money was needed to build a formidable party.
He observed that if parties were tied around individuals, there would be dictatorial tendencies in such parties.
He promised that the money realised would be judiciously utilised, like his administration had done with the different funds raised earlier.
Describing his administration as business-friendly, he promised donors of more policies that would promote enterprise and industry.
But some of the aggrieved chieftains of the party including a former national chairman of the party, Senator Barnabas Gemade, a former governor of Oyo State, Adebayo Alao-Akala, who recently left the party, said they could only return to the PDP if the problems that led to their defection were tackled objectively.
Gemade, who left the PDP to protest what he said was a primary skewed in favour of the incumbent Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, told one of our correspondents in a telephone interview that nobody had appealed to him.
Asked if he would yield to President Jonathan’s appeal not to leave the party, he said, “Nobody has made any appeal to me. I won’t be able to make comment on something that has not happened.”[Punch]