PDP Crisis: I am not the problem of PDP … Makarfi should resign – Ali Modu Sheriff
The factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has called for the dissolution of the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee as a condition for reconciliation.
He also rejected the choice of Port Harcourt as venue of the party’s National Convention slated for August 17.
The last convention, which was disputed, was held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Sheriff tabled these and other demands as conditions for truce in the PDP.
He told reporters yesterday that he had made it clear to Governors Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe) that the caretaker committee was an aberration to the PDP constitution.
The former Borno State governor was receiving a delegation of PDP supporters from 17 local government areas of Abia State who visited him in Abuja.
He asked to be allowed to nominate 10 members into the convention committee, with the Makarfi group also nominating 10 members.
Sheriff said the convention should hold in Abuja.
He dismissed claims that he was the problem with the PDP, saying the crisis in the party was being fuelled by some persons who regard the PDP as their personal property.
He vowed to resist such persons, saying there will be no room for them to operate as long as he remained chairman.
Sheriff said: “People are very interested in our party and how the crisis will be settled before the Port Harcourt convention, which was aborted by a court order.
“Yes, we met and issues were discussed but all the issues I put forward to them was for the Makarfi caretaker committee to resign.
“Since it is (committee) an aberration as far as our party constitution is concern. I told them that I am not ready to be a permanent chairman but I want the party to be placed in proper stead.
“If he resigns tomorrow, I will ask the members of my National Working Committee (NWC) whose tenure will expire in 2018, including myself to resign.
“Then, we will set up a convention committee in Abuja and put respected members and leader at the wards as members of the committee.
“In that convention, I will give away my mandate that does not expire until 2018 and I remain the national chairman of this party until 2018.
“If the leaders of our party felt that we can find a solution without exhausting the pending court processes, then I am open to a political solution.
“There is nothing like what has been reported. If you do not stand on the truth, the end result will be a serious distraction.
The leader of the Abia delegation, Mr. Chidi Nwosu called on Sheriff to look into the flawed congresses in Abia with the view to correcting the anomalies.
Nwosu said the congresses were conducted by a few powerful men who sat in their hotel rooms and picked the delegates.
Sheriff appears to have lost the support of one of his main backers. Senator Buruji Kashamu yesterday called on him to embrace peace.
The senator said it was time for the disputants to bury the hatchet in order to reposition the party for constructive opposition role.
Kashamu who represents Ogun East senatorial district, stated this in a statement in Abuja yesterday.
Kashamu said he opted to join Sheriff at the initial stage because the party leaders did not consult him before removing Sheriff as chairman.
He said: “When I was asked by our leaders to support our revered national leader, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, as the national chairman, none of the leaders told me that they had changed their mind.
“Therefore, my support was to maintain the dignity and respect for the office of the National Chairman.
“Disputes and disagreements are part and parcel of any dynamic organization. But while we disagree, we must not throw away the baby with the bath water as true party men and women. There must be room for resolution of the disputes and disagreements.”
“Therefore, I can only plead with our great leader, Sheriff, who has been hurt, to soft-pedal and let go, in the interest of the party and our teeming members. He has shown that he is a principled man and a courageous person.
“Since he and Makarfi have said they are not interested in contesting for the office of national chairman of the party at the national convention, he should encourage all his people to participate in the process leading to the rescheduled national convention.
“ I wish to enjoin all my leaders, elders, associates and supporters in the Southwest to join hands with all our states, zonal and national leaders to move our party forward. Let’s sheathe our sword and put an end to recriminations and infighting”.