ABUJA, JULY 19, 2016 – Ali Modu Sheriff, factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says members of the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee must resign for peace to reign in the party.
Speaking in Abuja while playing host to a delegation of party members from the 17 local governments in Abia state, Sheriff said the committee should be disbanded because it has no place in the party’s constitution.
Earlier at a peace meeting organised to settle the rift in the party, Sheriff reportedly insisted that there would be no truce outside court verdicts, unless the committee was disbanded.
Besides, he said that he should be allowed to nominate a chairman, and 10 persons into the new convention committee.
He also insisted that he would nominate another 10 members from the caretaker committee to be disbanded, into an interim management committee that would operate until the new convention.
“People are very interested in our party and how the impasse will be settled before the Port Harcourt convention which was aborted by a court order,” he said.
“Yes, we have met and issues were discussed but all the issues I put forward for them was for the Makarfi-led caretaker committee to resign.
“It is 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 NWC whose tenure still lasts to 2018, including myself, to set up a convention committee in Abuja and put respected members into the committee.
“In that convention, I will give away my mandate, which does not expire until 2018.
“If the leaders of our party feel that we can find a solution without exhausting the court process, then I am open to it; we can find a political solution.
“I have given the people the opportunity to see that Sheriff is not the problem. The problem is that some people want to make the party their personal property and that will not happen under Sheriff.”
However, Buruji Kashamu, lawmaker representing Ogun east senatorial constituency, and Sheriff’s ally, has appealed to the factional chairman to give peace a chance.
Kashamu said this in a statement he signed and released to reporters in Abuja.
“I can only plead with our great leader, Sen. Sheriff, who has been hurt, to soft-pedal and let go, in the interest of the party and our teeming members,” he said.
“He has shown that he is a principled man and a courageous person.
“Since he and Sen. 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 convention.
“One thing I took away from the many reconciliation meetings and diplomatic shuttles is the fact that the PDP is blessed with many good leaders among who are Sen. Ahmed Makarfi and Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff.”