PDP state chairmen dump Sheriff, visit Makarfi
Senator Ali Modu Sheriff’s claim to the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, suffered another setback on Monday, as all substantive state chairmen of the party across the country rejected his leadership of the party.
This is coming as the PDP Edo governorship primaries organising committee led by Gov Dave Umahi submitted its report to the party’s caretaker committee in Abuja.
The decision of the Forum of PDP State Chairmen was made public during a solidarity visit to members of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee in Abuja.
Leader of the state chairmen and FCT chapter chairman of the party, Mr. Yunus Suleiman said they were all party to the decision of the national convention to inaugurate a caretaker committee following the lapse of the tenure of the last National Working Committee headed by Modu Sheriff.
Mr. Suleiman said they were at a loss at what bases Modu Sheriff was still laying claims to the national chairmanship of the party after the tenure he was appointed to complete had lapsed and the national convention filled the vacuum with the caretaker committee.
“As state chairmen of our political party, we are not comfortable with what is going on with our party, particularly at the national level.
“We attended the last NEC which was held on May 17, which was presided by SAS (Senator Ali Sheriff), and which approved the last national convention held in Rivers State on 21 May 21.
“It is note-worthy that there was no whatsoever any court of competent jurisdiction restraining the party’s convention.
“The tenure of our national officers terminated on May 21, 2016. Just like nature abhors vacuum, the party involved the power invested on it under Section 33 sub 5 of the constitution and dissolved the then exco led by SAS and set up a national caretaker committee headed by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi to drive the affairs of the party forward.
“They also organised a national convention of the party to organise fresh national officers for the party.
“In view of the above, we as state chairmen wish to aver that the decisions of the convention on May 21 subsist and binding on all members of the party.”
While expressing appreciation to Modu Sheriff for his “enormous services and contributions” during his tenure in office, they appealed to him to accept the decisions of the Port Harcourt convention of May 21, which was convened by NEC under his leadership, believing that other opportunities might arrive in the future for him to serve the party in great capacity.
In his response, the chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Senator Makarfi thanked the state chairmen for not using indecent words against Modu Sheriff, despite the fact that they were not on same page with him
“I am impressed by their tone of presentation as they do not malign anybody or use any disrespectful language.”
While describing the crisis in PDP as “unfortunate,” he said the development had a positive side as it showed that “PDP is alive; PDP is potentially a party people love and is party like a government in waiting.
“If it is not worth anything nobody will struggle over it. We must not over-stretch this fact for too long because this is injurious to the party and can affect the fortunes of the party in the long run, not only in our attempt to retain the states we have but also winning the states we lost and capturing power at the centre.”
He assured members of the party that the caretaker committee would not witch-hunt anybody in carrying out its responsibilities.
He added that their job was to organise a credible convention within three months and hand over leadership of the party to those that would emerge at the convention.
Senator Markarfi promised that no member of the caretaker committee would contest for any position at the convention.
“We in the caretaker committee are not here to witch-hunt; we are not set up in order to go after anybody. We are not set up in order to dissolve this or that. If there are problems we can sit down and resolve then we can sit down as a family and resolve it.
“We reject the insinuation that we are here to feather political interest. We are only here to facilitate peaceful reconciliation and to create a level playground and to organise national convention.
“The problem that will be there, after the national convention, those elected will have sufficient time to handle them. We believe that if we work together the issue will be handled peaceful,” he said.