PDP Crisis: Jerry Gana’s Group Settles For Caretaker Committee | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP Crisis: Jerry Gana’s Group Settles For Caretaker Committee

Police At PDP Gate
Posted: May 27, 2016 at 4:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

*Modu-Sheriff Remains Adamant


Rotimi Akinwumi




Two of the three contending factions in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday resolved their differences as the steering committee put together by the Concerned PDP Stakeholders’ Forum accepted to work with the Caretaker Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, set up at the Port-Harcourt convention held last Saturday.

But peace in the party is yet a scarce commodity.

The amicable resolution of their differences was achieved after two different meetings spearheaded by the leadership of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party held at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

However, the entire crisis is not over yet as the third leg of the war, the camp of former Chairman of the party, Ali Modu-Sheriff, is refusing to agree to the terms of the settlement.

At the enlarged meeting consisting of the BoT, the National Assembly caucus, the Governors Forum, the Concerned Stakeholders group, the forum of former ministers, the forum of the immediate past National Working Committee members, and the caretaker committee, it was resolved also that all party members who have instituted one court case or the other against the party should as a matter of urgency, go back to the court and withdraw such immediately.

The meeting was called by the BoT to find break the logjam since the party became factionalised after the parallel conventions held last Saturday in Abuja and Port-Harcourt.

While the conveners of the Abuja convention set up a 57-man steering committee, the Port-Harcourt convention also put together the caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Markafii.

Former chairman of the party, Ali Modu-Sheriff who had hoped to get a fresh term at the Port-Harcourt convention before the music changed, has created a faction for himself with the support of former National Secretary of the party, Prof Wale Oladipo and the former National Auditor of the party, Adewole Adeyanju.

The group is said to be bankrolled by Senator Buruji Kashamu.

At the commencement of the BoT meeting earlier in the day, both Makarfi and Modu-Sheriff were present but were later asked to excuse the meeting.

Modu-Sheriff had walked into the Transcorp Hilton venue of the meeting at about 11:10 am and was followed five minutes later by Senator Makarfi.

The duo took their seats  at the high table alongside the chairman of the Board, Senator Jibril Wali and the Secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, for the opening ceremony  but few minutes after the meeting started, both were seen walking out.

The chairman of BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin had announced before the commencement of the meeting that the board had a very important decision to take and asked journalists covering the opening ceremony to leave the hall.

Less than  five minutes later, Modu-Sheriff and Makarfi also walked out of the meeting hall.

When the BoT meeting ended at about 1.15 pm, the enlarged meeting commenced and didn’t round up until some minutes after 6pm in the evening.

Chief Ojo Maduekwe, secretary of the BoT was given the mandate to read out the communiqué of the meeting.

According to him, the enlarge meeting resolved “to immediately engage all groups and party leaders and members involved in whatever dispute towards a just and lasting, amicable resolution of all contending issues.

“The BoT will therefore preside over the processes of major reconciliation in our party as part of its leadership responsibilities.

“Accordingly, in the light of that, the meeting agreed that all the various contending groups are being supported and agreed to work together and support the decisions reached at the National Convention.

“As such, a high-powered sub-committee to ensure speedy resolution and reconciliation of all contending issues is being set up.

“It was also agreed that the National Caretaker Committee of the party led by Ahmed Makarfi and Ben Obi should involve members of the Concerned PDP Stakeholders for effective integration of all points of view and all tendencies.

“A committee has also been set up to meet with former National Chairman, Modu Sheriff.

“In the spirit of working together and resolving all outstanding issues, all matters that are in court, the parties have been advised, because of the extant regulation of our party constitution that no matter should go to court without exhausting internal mechanism, all matters that are in court should be withdrawn immediately as indication of good faith and commitment to party discipline and unity.

“The various parties are also expected to make a commitment to maintain peace and undertaking not to result to external agencies to meddle with what is solely internal party affair”, he said

When asked by newsmen if he agrees with the resolution read out, Aminu Masari, chairman of the factional steering committee said emphatically that he and his group are in total support of the decision taken.

However, a source close to Modu-Sheriff said that the former chairman and his supporters are not in agreement with the decision taken.

The source who is a strong member of the Modu-Sheriff loyalists said that the former Chairman actually refused to return to Transcorp Hilton for the enlarged meeting having known that the decision to be taken won’t be in his favour.

The source who spoke in confidence said further that Modu-Sheriff and his loyalists had met even before the enlarged meeting concluded its own deliberations and had taken the decision to see through the court matters, as long as the decision to be taken at the meeting was not favourable to their cause.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu is to lead the special committee set up to meet with Modu-Sheriff and his group.