PDP Won’t Know Peace, Says Modu-Sheriff | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP Won’t Know Peace, Says Modu-Sheriff

PDP, Modu-Sheriff, Police
Posted: Jul 19, 2016 at 4:31 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Rotimi Akinwumi


Abuja – Factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu-Sheriff, on Monday said that the only condition for peace in the party is for Senator Ahmed Makarfi to resign his position as the chairman of the caretaker committee and subject himself to his (Modu-Sheriff) authority as the authentic chairman of the party.

Speaking while playing host to a group of party members from Abia State who paid him a solidarity visit, Modu-Sheriff stated that he is not ready to withdraw any of the suits currently in court against the party and the caretaker committee.

He stated emphatically that he remains the chairman of the party until 2018, but will be willing to surrender his position at a convention to be organised under his leadership, which must mandatorily hold in Abuja.

However, his former ally, Senator Kashamu Buruji, has called on Modu-Sheriff to sheathe his sword in the interest of the party and allow peace to reign.

Kashamu in a statement he personally signed on Monday noted that though Modu-Sheriff had reasons to be angry because of the way he was treated, the survival of the party, he noted, is supreme to anyone’s cause.

He urged the angry former chairman to embrace peace and allow the party move forward.

Giving insight into the attempt by the party stakeholders to end the crisis in the party, Modu-Sheriff disclosed that he actually had meetings with the governors of Taraba and Gombe states, Darius Isiaku and Ibrahim Dankwambo, and thirty others? last Tuesday with the agenda to end the factionalisation of the party.

He, however, said he told the peace meeting that the resignation of Makarfi committee which he insisted had no place in the constitution of the party, is the only way to resolve the crisis or else there will be no truce outside the court.

Addressing the party members led by Chidi Nwosu, Modu-Sheriff said that the people needed to know that he was not the problem but ?some persons who want to make the PDP their personal property as against the essence of the founding fathers of the party who envisioned it to be powered by the people.

Modu-Sheriff said whilst he is in charge of the party, there will be no room for such kind of party ownership by people.

He added that besides the resignation of Makarfi, he (Modu-Sheriff) must be allowed to ?nominate the chairman of the party and 10 others into the new convention committee as well as accept another 10 members for the committee from the Makarfi group.

“Yes, we have met and issues were discussed but all the issues I put forward for them was for the Makarfi Caretaker Committee to resign since it is an aberration as far as our party constitution is concerned. 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 till 2018 including myself to resign and set up a convention committee in Abuja and put respected members and leaders in the world as members of the committee.

“In that convention I will give away my mandate that does not expire until 2018.

“If the leaders of our party feel that we can find a solution without exhausting the court then I am open to it, we can find a political solution.

“If I go to the convention and say that I don’t want to continue to 2018 it is okay, that in the sight of law is allowed but as it is now I remain the chairman till 2018.

“I have given the people 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”, he said.

In his statement through which he called for peace, Buruji Kashamu said he actually supported Modu-Sheriff during the impasse because those who asked him to support Modu-Sheriff at the inception didn’t tell him when they decided to dump Modu-Sheriff again.

He also stated that far reaching decisions were taken at the reconciliation meeting held last Tuesday, adding that the best option for the warring parties is to embrace peace in the interest of the party.

“Let me clarify that no one has dumped anyone. We are members of the same party. When I was asked by our leaders to support our revered national leader, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, as the national chairman, none of the leaders told me that they had changed their mind.

“Therefore, my support was to maintain the dignity and respect for the office of the national chairman.

“Disputes and disagreements are part and parcel of any dynamic organisation. But while we disagree, we must not throw away the baby with the bath water as true party men and women. There must be room for resolution of the disputes and disagreements.

“After series of meetings with many of our respectable leaders, a larger meeting was held with Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi last Tuesday at the Taraba State Governor’s Lodge. The meeting had in attendance Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State, Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, the Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Godswill Akpabio; Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Senator Biodun Olujinmi; Senator Suleiman Adokwe from Nassarawa State; Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jubrin; House Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor; former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ibrahim Mantu and my humble self, with other notable and meaningful leaders.

“The meeting which began around 11a.m on Tuesday lasted till 5a.m on Wednesday; and the discussions at the meetings were frank and tough.

“I was amazed by the fact that during the negotiations, the two leaders confirmed their unwillingness to contest the national chairmanship of the party.

“They both agreed that an expanded national caucus meeting should be held and that a National Convention Committee (NCC) be set up within a week and then the NCC will run the affairs of the party till the National Convention is held.

“They both agreed that a date should be fixed for the National Convention within a month. They both agreed that the two of them will address the nation and members of the party at the National Convention. In effect, the two great leaders showed that they have the interest of the party at heart.

“However, the only point of divergence was who should preside over the expanded national caucus meeting and constitute the National Convention Committee.

“It was then proposed that they both co-chair the expanded national caucus meeting and jointly constitute the National Convention Committee. Other proposals were made.

“It was at this stage that I decided to attend the expanded national caucus meeting and join hands with other well-meaning leaders to see through the reconciliation process. As a true party man, I could not but support the reconciliation process in order to move the party forward.

“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 Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff.

“Therefore, I can only plead with our great leader, Senator Sheriff, who has been hurt, to soft-pedal and let go, in the interest of the party and our teeming members. He has shown that he is a principled man and a courageous person.

“Since he and Senator 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 national convention”