Fresh Convention: PDP Govs Spoil For War Over Venue

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  • Makarfi’s Refusal To Resign Stalls Peace Talks
  • We Are Fighting Impunity By A Few In PDP – Sheriff

Attempts by Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to resolve the leadership impasse between Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi may have been stalled following the refusal by Ahmed Makarfi to resign and pave the way for the organization of a fresh National Convention.

A meeting of the Governors and select stakeholders at the Taraba State Governors lodge last Tuesday was said to have been stalemated following the refusal of Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi to heed to their advice by stepping down to allow Sheriff conclude on the assignment of organizing a fresh National Convention. Our correspondent reports that six out of the twelve PDP Governors who were unhappy with Makarfi’s posture may have began moves to dump him by insisting that the planned fresh National Convention must be moved from Port Harcourt to Abuja, ostensibly to whittle Governor Wike’s seeming overbearing influence on the process. Governors Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe, Darius Ishaku of Taraba, Cross Rivers’ Ben Ayade, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu and Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo States are said to be not comfortable with Port Harcourt as venue for the National Convention, even as they get set to dump Ahmed Makarfi and his group. This is even as National Chairman of the Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has said that, those fighting for the soul of the PDP are not even in the party yet, but are using stooges like Ahmed Makarfi and his group to neutralize any form of resistance to their eventual defection into the party against 2019. He said that he will never allow the PDP to be taken over by political mercenaries, as he remains in charge as national Chairman, stressing that he will continue to fight until he rescues the party from the clutches of a few tin gods who want to mortgage the fortunes of the PDP to a particular individual in 2019. Speaking while receiving a delegation of party leaders from Abia State in Abuja on Monday, Senator Sheriff stated that, nothing can change the fact that the Caretaker Committee under the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi does not exist in law and anything they do amounts to an illegality. Sheriff said he decided to speak out in the face of widespread mischief and distortion of facts about happenings in the PDP, where those who came in to trade with the fortunes of the party accuse others of sundry misdeeds. “We are compelled to address you so as to put things in proper perspectives and correct the widespread distortion of facts and manipulation of our position on key issues affecting our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP”, he said. He said he did not reach any peace deal with anybody during last Tuesday’s meeting at the Taraba Governor’s Lodge, rather, he put forward conditions for the said peace, which include the discarding of the caretaker Committee, because it is an aberration to the party constitution. “Our attention has been particularly drawn to various insinuations by some people to the effect that we have reached an agreement at the last meeting we had with some stakeholders of the party at the Taraba state
Governors lodge on Tuesday, 12th July, 2016”. He said he accepted to attend the said meeting at the instance of the chairman and deputy chairman of the reconciliation Committee, Governor Seriake Dickson and Senator Ibrahim Mantu, because he formed the committee, and that he went to the said meeting with a position which he communicated to the conveners of the meeting. “We believe that the way forward is not to resort to blackmails and unwarranted media war, or even legal battles, but to seek for a political solution that may not rock the boat. To this end, we wish to restate that while we remain passionate about possible peaceful resolution of the seeming impasse, the views expressed by some individuals were their personal opinions and not in any way our official position as a party’ he added. The National Chairman told his guests which include senators, former governors, and party leaders that, “Permit to state once more that Ali Modu Sheriff remains the National Chairman of the PDP, and any insinuation to the contrary is absurd. In articulating our position we will not succumb to name calling and blackmail, as is being employed in some quarters”. He said “for the avoidance of doubts, our position has always been and will remain the strict adherence to the provisions of our party constitution and the rule of law. And our task is to return the PDP to the real owners at the grassroots and stamp out the impunity of a few individuals, who are insisting on hijacking the PDP for their selfish quests.”

 

By Lateef BANGBOSHE, Abuja