CRISIS: PDP holds stakeholders meeting today


ABUJA—A meeting of Peoples Democratic Party stakeholders is to be held in Abuja today to discuss the crisis in the party as well as the programmes put in place by the caretaker committee, headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, for the party’s convention and forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.

The meeting is coming on the heels of a call by Senator Makarfi on the former chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and his supporters to come back to the mainstream of the party. But Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, whose candidate for the September governorship election in Edo State was rejected by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on Tuesday, insisted that he remains the authentic chairman of the party.

He added that his candidate should be recognized by the commission based on the decision of the Abuja High Court. Speaking on the stakeholders meeting, a member of the caretaker committee in charge of Publicity, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said  the meeting, which will have in attendance governors elected on the platform of the party as well as members of the Board of Trustees, BOT, and the National Assembly members, would discuss the programme drawn up by the committee for the convention of the party which may hold in August.

The meeting will also discuss preparations for the forthcoming governorship elections in Edo and Ondo state. According to him, members of the caretaker committee are ready to hold the party’s convention within the specified time frame given to it at the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt.

Meanwhile, chairman of the caretaker committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has again extended an olive branch to Senator Ali Modu sheriff to come back to the fold of the party. Speaking yesterday when he received state chairmen of the party from the North West geo-political zone, Senator Makarfi said the problems in the party could not be settled through the courts, no matter the legality of court judgments. “So far, all legal intervention has been in favour of the decisions of the Port Harcourt national convention. That is not to say that the job is finished.

‘’In the past, I have said severally that the path of peace and reconciliation is the best path.  Litigation can resolve issues on legal grounds but not between brothers and sisters. “We will never foreclose that window, even if the legal issue terminates at this stage. If the legal issue continues, we will not foreclose the window of reconciliation.  I assure you that we will work very hard to do the needful. “I don’t want to talk too much on what we want to do because we are yet to be in full comfort zone. God willing, we will deliver to the satisfaction of PDP members,” he said.

However, the man at the centre of the leadership crisis in the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has said that contrary to the news making the rounds, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had not formally notified him that it had rejected the candidate presented by his faction for the governorship election in Edo State. Speaking yesterday when he received a delegation of South South young professionals for good governance in Abuja, Senator Sheriff said the news making the rounds that the commission had rejected his candidate for the Edo election was a rumour. Senator Sheriff, who was represented by the former Deputy Chairman, South, Dr Cairo Ojuogboh, urged his supporters nationwide to remain calm and continue to work for the candidate of the party in Edo State. “I, hereby, dispel the rumor and categorically state that INEC has not yet communicated to us.

INEC is still considering all judgements and orders of the court. ‘’As we speak, the order of Federal High Court, Abuja, specifically asked INEC to recognize only candidates presented by Ali Modu Sheriff as national chairman of the party. “The court in Portharcourt is not superior to the court in Abuja and as such, cannot reverse the specific orders of the Abuja court ruling that INEC can only accept PDP candidates from Sheriff leadership for purposes of Edo and Ondo governorship elections. “In view of the above, I call on all our PDP members to remain calm and call on our candidate to go ahead and campaign vigorously and seriously to win the election in Edo State,” Modu-Sheriff  said.

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