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PDP crisis: Makarfi rejects new reconciliation plans “we will not attend convention”

PDP crisis: Makarfi rejects new reconciliation plans “we will not attend convention”

The  hope of an immediate solution to the lingering leadership crisis in the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) was on Thursday shattered as the National Caretaker Committee of the party led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi has vowed not to have anything to do with the national convention being planned by the National acting Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

Sheriff had on Thursday announced that he had accepted all the recommendations made by the PDP Standing Reconciliation Committee led by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa state which had designed a template spelling out the composition of a national convention planning committee.

Going by the recommendations of the reconciliation committee, Sheriff would preside over the convention that he is proposing to have in Abuja with various organs of the party contributing specific number of members of the planning committee.

But the Makarfi has now kicked against it, saying during a press conference addressed by the National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, in Abuja on Thursday that the former Borno state governor is not the national chairman of the party as there are two subsisting court judgements voiding his election.

According to the faction, Sheriff was yet to appeal the judgements, with the time frame to lodge appeals now lapsed.

The faction therefore said it would challenge every action carried undertaken by Sheriff as the national chairman of PDP.

Adeyeye said: “It is interesting to note that Senator Sheriff is very much aware of the binding implication of the Subsisting Judgment on his ‘status’ as National Chairman because we have been reliably informed that he is now seeking leave of Court to appeal the Judgment, but unfortunately time is against this later move. So, he is an illegal National Chairman.”

The Makarfi group also reminded the public that the judgment of the Appeal Court, Port Harcourt Division of Friday February 17, 2017 that nullified the National convention of May 21, 2016 limited itself solely on the legality or otherwise of the National Convention of May 21st, 2016 and not on the legality or otherwise of the appointment of Sheriff as chairman.

The party spokesman added: “This Man, Sheriff and his co-travellers are in defiant of the Court of Appeal Judgment which they seem to enjoy.

“For emphasis, the judgment declared Status Quo Ante May 21, 2016; and Senator Sheriff is in gross violation of it having appointed persons from the comfort of his bedroom to fill purported vacancies.”

Adeyeye said even though the National Caretaker Committee was committed to a political resolution of the crisis, given the way Sheriff was going, “there can be no meeting point” between the two factions.

He demanded that Sheriff vacate the national secretariat of the party and stop parading himself as the national chairman.

The party spokesman challenged the National Chairman to issue “a one paragraph statement criticizing the APC if he is not working for and on behalf of the APC.”

Adeyeye also faulted the Governor Dickson reconciliation committee for acting hastily, saying that it went beyond its brief by announcing recommendations which had not been vetted by the organs of the party.

He said the committee was not a standing committee as its mandate had since expired.

Sheriff had at an earlier press conference, announced his decision to accept all the recommendations of the reconciliation committee as he said they met the requirements of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC).

He said: “The NWC has met and looked at all the recommendations of Gov. Dickson’s reconciliation committee. We believe that it has met the requirements of the NWC, and therefore, we are accepting the recommendation in totality, and we are commencing implementation of these recommendations.”

He revealed that his leadership has started off the process of conducting congresses in states where there were problems before the May 21, 2016 national convention, starting with Anambra state.

Sheriff remarked that he would also contact all party organs to send in their nominations for the proposed national convention planning committee followed by a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) to ratify a date for the convention.

The party boss said: “From today, I am going to meet with all the organs of the party and collect their list of membership with a view to picking their members to be part of the convention committee.

“We are going to get the list of National Assembly, Board of Trustees and we are writing them formally on that, so that we can collect the specific numbers that are required.”

He accused Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state and Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum of insulting him at every given opportunity, warning that even though he did not want to “condescend to his level,” ” enough is enough!”

Sheriff declared: “Let me make it clear to some of the party members, particularly, Gov. Ayo Fayose. I will not condescend ‎to his level. I must be very clear to him, party has rules, and we will look at the constitution, at the appropriate time to do the right thing.”

“He has made it a point of duty, every day he will be insulting Ali Sheriff. I want to tell him that enough is enough. Belonging to political party is by choice. Yes, you may have a right, but your right should not trample on another person’s right. Political party is a voluntary association.”

“If you are a leader of a political party, we have to allow people to have their choice of leadership. In all these things we are doing, we believe that PDP belong to all Nigerians, we believe that PDP must be handed over to the owners.”

“The right of the owners of the party must be allowed to do the right thing. That does not mean a sign of weakness.”

“PDP that has produced 28 governors, and today it has 12. If we allow impunity to continue, Nigerians have the right to reject our party. You can take a horse to the river, but you can’t force it to drink.

“We can make this party attractive to everybody. We want to reposition the party so that it can win election. Nobody has‎ the monopoly to do what he is doing like we don’t have the rule of law.”

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