PDP Crisis Divides State Chairmen | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP Crisis Divides State Chairmen

Posted: Jun 29, 2016 at 6:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

…As Modu-Sheriff Appoints Ojougboh Deputy National Chairman


Rotimi Akinwumi

Abuja  – The crisis of leadership rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took another turn on Tuesday when a faction emerged among the forum of state chairmen of the party, who openly announced their decision to support Ali Modu-Sheriff as the chairman of the party.

Eleven of the 24 state chairmen who paid a courtesy visit on the caretaker committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi on Monday pulled out of the group on Tuesday to declare support for Modu-Sheriff.

The group in a motion moved by self-acclaimed Ondo State chairman, Prince Poroye Biyi, also passed a vote of confidence on the embattled former national chairman.

Modu-Sheriff also introduced a new dimension to the problem when he announced the appointment of Dr. Cairo Ojougboh as the acting deputy chairman.

Independent had two weeks ago reported exclusively that Ojougboh who was the immediate past national vice chairman, South South of the party, removed at the last national convention held in Port Harcourt was set to become deputy to Modu-Sheriff.

The embattled former chairman of the party had announced his resolve to replace all members of the NWC who conceded their offices to the Port-Harcourt convention, with those who served as their deputies in the last dispensation.

At a meeting with Modu-Sheriff and former PDP national secretary, Wale Oladipo, in Abuja, the 18 persons who claimed that they were the authentic chairmen of PDP in the states denied ever endorsing Ahmed Makarfi as caretaker committee chairman of the party.

“We wish to state that at no time in that discussion did the chairmen endorse the caretaker committee as being circulated by some quarters.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we know that there is no provision for a national caretaker committee in the PDP constitution and as such we cannot in anyway whatsoever endorse such.

“We are aware that the May 21, 2016 scheduled national convention of our great party did not hold following the pronouncement of the court, leading to the suspension of the national convention by the National Working Committee (NWC).

“As leaders of the party, we pledge our loyalty to the provisions of the constitution of our party and the ruling of the court, which have continued to recognise Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff as the national chairman of the PDP.

“As at today, Senator Sheriff holds office as the national chairman of the PDP and any claim by the said caretaker committee remains to the extent of our constitution, a complete nullity.

“Our position is that there should be a family settlement of the disagreements within the ambit of the constitution of our party.

“We, therefore, humbly appeal to Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led group to let go and allow for peace since there is no provision for a caretaker committee in the constitution our party”, the factional state chairmen said.

However, in fulfillment of his threat to find a replacement for Secondus, Modu-Sheriff on Tuesday issued an appointment letter to Ojougboh as the deputy national chairman of the party.

The letter of appointment signed by Modu-Sheriff and the former national secretary, Prof. Wale Oladipo, reads: “Please be informed that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in a meeting held on the 28th of June 2016, and having received nomination from the Concerned PDP stakeholders (Abuja Convention Group) and major stakeholders in the South-South has appointed you (Ojougboh) as the Acting Deputy National Chairman of the party pending the conduct of election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of the erstwhile Deputy National Chairman.

“This appointment takes immediate effect”, the letter said.