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Thursday, 2 March 2017

PDP CRISIS: SHERIFF, MAKARFI DISAGREE ON JONATHAN’S PROPOSAL

National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi have disagreed on the proposal that they should relinquish their positions as part of a political solution to the party’s crisis.


While Sheriff said he would remain as national Chairman until a convention is held, Makarfi said he will step down if the various organs of the party want him to.


The proposal that the duo should step down from their positions was mooted at a meeting former President Goodluck Jonathan had with PDP Governors’ Forum on Tuesday.

Sheriff, who spoke through his deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, told Daily Sun in a telephone interview, yesterday, that their position is that  the PDP chairman will remain in office and conduct a convention, before he leaves office.

Ojougboh said if the two contestants to the chairmanship position step down, it will mean setting up another caretaker committee which will spark off another round of crisis in the opposition party.

“Our position is that Sheriff should remain the chairman and at the convention, he will hand over.

“If you say Sheriff and Makarfi should step down and you appoint another person, that will mean setting up another caretaker committee and the problem will start afresh.  I’m telling you, our position, which is the position of the law, is that Sheriff will remain chairman and hold a convention.  If you say Sheriff and Makarfi should go, who will chair the convention?” he asked.

However, Makarfi said the caretaker committee, which he heads, is a product of the various organs of the PDP.

“The proposal is much larger than Sheriff and myself, and it came as a result of meeting with our governors.

“Therefore, it’s erroneous to call it Jonathan’s proposal. It also did not call for halting the appeal except a common ground is found.  The caretaker committee is a product of organs of the party. Therefore, it has no  personal agenda. Whatever the organs of the party accept we will be bound by it,” Makarfi said in an text message to Daily Sun, yesterday.

On his part, former minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope said if the proposal is what would bring peace to the party, Makarfi will step down.

Meanwhile, the PDP Reconciliation Committee has said a political solution is the best way to end the crisis in the party.

A statement jointly signed by Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, Senator Ibrahim Mantu and Senator Joshua Lidani, chairman, deputy chairman and secretary of the committee, respectively, said the committee endorsed the resolution of the meeting between Jonathan and PDP Governors’ Forum, without prejudice to the ongoing litigation.
that “a political solution is the best option for the protracted crises in the party.”
Opiah, who spoke in a telephone interview, yesterday, said:

“I think our party members should respect the judgment of the Court of Appeal and rally round Sheriff; that will encourage him to step down on his own,” the lawmaker said.
When contacted for his reaction on the issue, chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees ( BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin said where he was in his village was not suitable for him to talk.
Meanwhile, the PDP Reconciliation Committee has said a political solution is the best way to end the crisis in the party.

A statement jointly signed by Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, Senator Ibrahim Mantu and Senator Joshua Lidani, chairman, deputy chairman and secretary of the committee, respectively, said the committee endorsed the resolution of the meeting between former President Jonathan and PDP Governors’ Forum, without prejudice to the ongoing litigation, that “a political solution is the best option for the protracted crises in the party.”

The committee recommended  early national convention within the second quarter of 2017 in Abuja, which should be all inclusive, where new national officials of the party will be freely, fairly and transparently elected.

“In furtherance of this, the reconciliation committee shall embark on extensive consultations with all stakeholders with a view to building confidence and necessary consensus towards the Unity Convention,” the statement said.

The committee appealed to all party leaders and members of PDP to exercise restraint and focus on overall interest of the party.

Meanwhile, the PDP, in a statement issued, last night, by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Bernard Mikko, said the issue of resignation of Sheriff as national chairman has never been discussed between former  Jonathan and other stakeholders.

The statement called on all stakeholders to suggest how the party under Sheriff can conduct a “unity convention” where new party officers will be elected.


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