PDP Crisis: Makarfi, Sheriff factions reconcile
Ahead of Edo governorship election, the end of the crisis within Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, may be in sight as the two factions of the party on Tuesday resolved to work together.
The Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the PDP and a faction of the party led by Ali Modu Sheriff met in Abuja where they agreed to put their differences behind them.
The caretaker committee was led to the meeting by its National Secretary, Ben Obi, while Cairo Ojougbo, the deputy national chairman of the Sheriff faction, led its members.
At a joint press conference, the groups said they had resolved to bring about a united, focused and constructive opposition party in order to achieve sanity in the nation’s democratic process.
According to Mr. Ojougboh, who read the text of the conference, the groups also agreed to constitute a joint committee which would embark on a holistic reconciliation of the aggrieved members of the party nationwide.
He said, “In reviewing the crisis that has engulfed our party, the PDP since the loss of the 2015 general elections, after 16 years of uninterrupted leadership at the centre, it became obvious to both of us as principal actors that it is time to heal the wounds, and bring about a united, focused and constructive opposition party that can bring sanity to our democratic process, bringing relief to the teeming supporters of our great party, the PDP and to the benefit of our country Nigeria.
“Based on the above, we have both agreed to consult widely with all relevant organs of the party; set up a joint committee that will carry out a holistic reconciliation of all aggrieved segments of our party across the country and in diaspora; pursue the vision of the founding fathers of our great party the PDP.”
He said the groups asked their members to remain calm and refrain from actions and utterances that could further bring about division and dispute in the party.
It was the first time they would agree to work together since the party split into two factions after the national convention of the party in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in May.
At the purported convention, Mr. Sheriff was removed as acting national chairman of the party and replaced with Mr. Makarfi.
The development led to conflicting court judgements on which of the groups was actually in control of the one ruling party.
In August, a meeting between the party’s Board of Trustees, backing the Makarfi faction, and the Sheriff faction, to resolve the contentious issues before the August 17 rescheduled convention, ended in a deadlock.