By Emmanuel Aziken, Henry Umoru, Ben Agande & Dapo Akinrefon*Obasanjo urges Baraje faction to return *They are jokers — Babatope… ABUJA—The Bamanga Tukur-led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP was thrown into panic, Sunday, a day after seven governors on the platform of the ruling party broke out to form a parallel executive of the party. The panic was being fuelled by reports of the rebellion swelling to include party officials disenchanted with the outcome of last Saturday’s convention.Another governor in the North-West was last night said to be making moves towards joining the rebellion just as a former female deputy governor in one of the South-West states, was last night said to be mobilising women, including a former female gubernatorial aspirant in Lagos State to join the Kawu Baraje-led parallel faction of the party today.The sense of foreboding was reflected by the unwillingness of party and presidency officials to comment on the development which many of them said was still unfolding.Meanwhile, Baraje, yesterday, confirmed that the faction would be opening its national secretariat in Abuja, today.It was confirmed, yesterday, that President Goodluck Jonathan had summoned a meeting with PDP governors, including the rebel governors last night. The meeting was on-going at press time, with 16 governors in attendance. But even before its commencement, there were indications that some of the governors had moved to frustrate or boycott the meeting.The sense of panic which was prevalent among senior party and presidency officials was, however, played down last night by former Minister of Information, Chief Edwin Clark who said the rebellion was bound to fail. He accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of orchestrating the rebellion with the purpose of foisting Governors Sule Lamido and Rotimi Amaechi as president and vice-president respectively in the 2015 election.Also dismissing the rebellion, PDP chieftain Chief Ebenezer Babatope said the development was a storm in a tea cup as he described the architects of the split as jokers.The rebellion in the PDP was nevertheless welcomed by governors in the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, who through their platform, the Progressives Governors Forum, lauded the development in the PDP as they promised to join hands with the governors irrespective of partisan leanings to move the country forward.Their assertion nonetheless, the PDP Governors Forum has pledged to stem the rebellion.Besides summoning the seven rebel governors, the president, yesterday, met with Obasanjo during which it was believed the development in the party was discussed. Presidential spokesmen did not give details of the meeting between Jonathan and Obasanjo which happened after the church service at the Aso Rock Villa Chapel.Obasanjo is known to be a patron of, at least, five of the northern governors who have in the last few weeks raised agitation against Jonathan’s handling of issues in the party and polity.The five Obasanjo governors, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa) and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) were joined in the rebellion against the Tukur-led PDP by Governors Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State and Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara on Saturday.
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