PDP Crisis: Sheriff Vows To Fight On | Independent Newspapers Limited
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PDP Crisis: Sheriff Vows To Fight On

Posted: Jul 6, 2016 at 4:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Augustine Adah

Lagos –  There is no indication that  Ali Modu Sheriff, embattled national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is prepared to hand over to Ahmed Makarfi as chairman  caretaker committee of the party, despite the judgment of a Federal High Court that removed him (Sheriff) on Monday.

It would be recalled that the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt ruled on Monday that the May 21 national convention that removed Sheriff and constituted the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee was duly constituted.
The court also declared that the dissolution of the National Working Committee and the National Executive Committee (NEC) by that convention was valid.
In the judgment, Justice Abdullahi Liman declared that the appointment of the caretaker committee to oversee the party’s affairs was legal and in line with the provisions of the PDP Constitution.
Mr. Liman said that Article 31 (1) of the PDP Constitution vested the powers to convene a national convention on the NEC of the party.
But in a swift reaction, Sheriff, said he remained in charge until the Court of Appeal’s decision on the position.
Sheriff made this known on Monday in Abuja while reacting to the judgment of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that the party’s May 21 National Convention that removed him as chairman was legal.
The former governor of Borno State stressed that he had instructed his lawyers to appeal the Port Harcourt judgement and to seek a stay-of- execution of the judgment.
He said, “The court where the judge gave judgement in Abuja last week and the Federal High Court in Lagos and today’s court in Port Harcourt are all courts of the same competent jurisdiction.
“Therefore, the orders that we have in Abuja is still subsisting. What it means is that unless a Court of Appeal decides otherwise, I still remain the national chairman of the PDP.
“Courts that are of the same jurisdiction cannot overrule another court unless it is Court of Appeal. We disagree with today’s judgement completely.
“We have asked our lawyers immediately to file an appeal and also ask the same court for stay of execution, because there were three orders before this, which are of the same coordinate jurisdiction.
“Unless and until Court of Appeal, which is a higher court, makes a pronouncement contrary to what we have, I still remain the chairman,.’’
However, Mr. Marshall Okafor Anyanwu a chieftain of the party in Imo State has described Sheriff’s action as a deliberate effort to decimate the party. In a phone interview with Independent, Anyanwu who was the chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State advised Sheriff to obey the last court judgment in Port Harcourt and vacate office so that peace can return in the party. “No individual is greater than PDP which has been in power for the past 16 years in the country.”
Anyanwu who was the Imo State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) urged Sheriff to take the part of honour and accept the verdict of Monday court judgment and allow the Makarfi committee to do the job.
“The surprising thing about Sheriff is that he was appointed and not elected and while those that appointed him told him to handover, the man has vowed to destroy the party.” Anyanwu further stressed that PDP is greater than individual which any attempt to destroy it would not succeed. “With the calibre of people in the party, it is difficult for Sheriff or any other person to think he can decimate PDP.”

He disagreed with those who believe that Sheriff has the financial clout to reposition the party which lost power in the 2015 general elections. PDP does not need money as some people may think because of the presence of prominent Nigerians in the party. “What PDP need for it to come back to position of reckoning is sincerity and commitment of its leaders.”

The party chieftain maintained that he is convinced that the former governor of Borno State is acting a script of those who did not mean well for the party.   I am convinced that Sheriff is acting a script of his masters, but I believe they would not succeed.”
In the height of Sheriff’s appointment last February, several people expressed doubt over his ability to reposition the party as stated by those who brought into the position.
For instance,  Abiodun Oyebolu, former Lagos State chapter of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)  told Independent that Sheriff does not have what it takes to redeem the party as speculated by some people. He insisted that Sheriff was been driven by personal ambition and not really committed to the survival of the party.
Also Kashim Shettima, governor of Borno who Sheriff’s deputy when the later was the governor of Borno stated that his former boss is on the mission to destroy the party.
Reacting to the recent development, Makarfi, chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, called on Mr. Sheriff and his followers to accept the judgement and join the committee in moving the party forward.
He said, “I am indeed happy with the judgement on the one hand but also sad that it had to come to this. For me, there should be no winner or loser in this matter.
“I am still calling on Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff and his followers to join us so that we accommodate one another and indeed all other groups in a just, fair and equitable manner’’.
Whether Sheriff is using the Court of Appeal to buy time, observers believe it would not be long the matter would be resolved but the scars the crisis would leave behind may be too great for the party to heal.