Sheriff, Makarfi At War Again Despite Agreeing To Peace

The National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff,  and the National Caretaker Committee of the party, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi are engaged in a war of words again, just few days after they reached an understanding to bury their differences.

The cause of the latest crisis began with Sheriff’s threat to sue anyone, including media houses, who  referred to Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, as a faction of the party.

Allied to this is the decision of Ali Modu Sheriff, national chairman of the party, to replace staff of the PDP secretariat who were not cooperating with him.

Sheriff had declared their jobs vacant, and gave them a seven-day ultimatum to return the property of the party in their possession.

But Ahmed Makarfi caretaker committee asked the old staff to ignore Sheriff’s threat.

On Thursday, Sheriff and Makarfi signed an undertaking with the PDP national reconciliation committee, led by Seriake Dickson, governor of Bayelsa state, to cease fire.

They both pledged? to work together for the restoration of genuine peace to the party.

But on Sunday, Sheriff described Makarfi committee as illegal, saying with the pronouncement of the court of appeal in Port Harcourt, on February 17, “such a group is not supposed to be in existence”.

He appealed to the media not to refer to Makarfi group as a faction of the PDP, and insisted that the group was illegal.

Sheriff also warned Makarfi and his group to stop interfering in the affairs of the party.

“Makarfi should behave himself. He should not interfere in our business, because we are not interested in his private business,” Sheriff said in a statement issued on his behalf by Cairo Ojuogboh, his deputy.

“Any further careless statement from him will force us to reconsider our earlier peace agreement.

“We have already employed staff who are running the bureaucracy efficiently. If Makarfi so desires, he should keep the old staff, just as he is doing now.

“We have had enough and enough is enough of this.”

He added that his faction was preparing to complete state congresses, where necessary, and “working hard” on the planned national convention.

“We will not be distracted by inconsequential issues from our set objective to return the party to the grassroots,” he said.

“We must prevent anybody with the agenda of killing the party, especially those, who were brought to the party by those, who have already decamped to other parties.”

Sheriff warned the old PDP staff, who still have the party’s property in their possession, to return them immediately.

“They should return them within the seven days grace or we will be left with no other option than to hand them over to the police,” Sheriff said.

But the Makarfi group smelled a rat and asked the old staff to ignore Sheriff’s threat and his seven-day ultimatum to return party properties.

“His threat against our hard working staff should therefore be ignored and treated with utmost contempt coming from a lawless impostor”, said Dayo Adeyeye, the publicity secretary, who responded on behalf of the Makarfi group.

“We went out of our way few days ago to reach accommodation with them even when some of our top leaders had serious misgivings about any type of talk with them given their unreliability,” Makarfi said.

He said that his committee showed its goodwill, while Sheriff-led National Working Committee (NWC) demonstrated their bad faith.

“We have always known that Sheriff and his co-travellers especially, Cairo Ojuogbo, were never men of honour with whom one can reach any agreement.

“But we tagged along to avoid being accused of unnecessary intransigence.

“Since the leopard cannot change its spot, it is now very clear that no agreement or political solution can be reached with these bunch of people with huge integrity deficit.

He described Ojougboh as an impostor and a rabble rouser in a non existent NWC, saying Sheriff has no men to constitute an NWC with the required constitutional quorum.

“His threat against our hard working staff should therefore be ignored and treated with utmost contempt coming from a laservants wless impostor.

“For the education of Sheriff and his cohorts, our Appeal at the Supreme Court is already on.

“To that extent, the position and status of the National Caretaker Committee remains completely unaltered.

“Since they cannot comprehend even very simple matters, we will use a simple analogy.

“If a Governor loses at the election petitions tribunal and at the Court of Appeal, does he cease to be a Governor even when his appeal is pending before the Supreme Court?

“Would the civil then refuse to serve him?” Makarfi asked.

He explained that the position of the law was that he would remain the governor.

He added that all government employees would continue to service his government until otherwise determined by the Supreme Court.

Makarfi added that his committee members have tried strenuously to reach Gov. Dickson to report this deliberate violation of the truce  by the Sheriff Group but they were not able to get through to him.

PDP Will Bounce Back Stronger, Says Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would resolve the crisis that engulfed it and come out stronger.

Jonathan expressed the optimism at his country home in Otuoke, Bayelsa when he received the report of the Gov Seriake Dickson-led PDP reconciliation Committee.

He said resorting to courts for political disagreements was abnormal.

He applauded the committee for getting the two factions of the party to the negotiating table and added that a truce was in sight given the commitments so far given by the party faithful.

He noted that there was an urgent need to return the power to the people arguing that litigation had surrendered the mandate of the people to the judiciary.

“I have always believed that political differences should be resolved outside the courts, but unfortunately we are already involved with it and gone up to the Supreme Court, but we are hopeful of a political solution.

“Party politics is supposed to be a family affair and ought to be resolved amicably without resorting to the courts,” Jonathan said.

Dickson said that he accepted the challenge of rebuilding the PDP to express gratitude to the party that gave Bayelsa the platform to lead Nigeria through Jonathan.

He said political option remained the best way of resolving the crisis within the party.

He noted that Jonathan laid the foundations for a political solution when he convened a meeting of PDP governors a few weeks ago that approved the peace plan.

He said the report, which is a roadmap to achieving peace was open to review and urged stakeholders with ideas to rebuild the party to table such ideas for discussion.

Speaking earlier, a member of the reconciliation committee Mr Mohammed Gana said Jonathan epitomised peace in the way he conceded defeat at the last general elections, a development that stabilized the country.

Gana applauded Jonathan for his efforts at rebuilding the party and urged party loyalists to support the efforts of the reconciliation committee. (NAN)

PDP Crisis: Sheriff, Makarfi Factions Agree To Embrace Peace

The crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party may have ended as the feuding parties have agreed to sheathe their swords in the interest of peace.

 The party has been embroiled in leadership crisis with two factions, the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction and the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee, claiming leadership of the party.

However, both parties have agreed that it was time to put their differences aside and work to take back power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019 in a feat achieved by the National Reconciliation Committee of the PDP headed by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.

The party in a communique, on Thursday, signed by both factions agreed to halt the current practice of making public statements capable of further inflaming the crisis and agreed that they would stop activities that are capable of further weakening the party, rather than strengthen it for the challenges ahead.

The communique was jointly signed Bernard Mikko, the factional PDP Acting National Publicity Secretary for Sheriff’s group and his counterpart in the Makarfi faction, Prince Dayo Adeyeye.

Other signatories are the factional acting National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Dave Iorhemba and Ahmed Gulak, former Political Adviser to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

During the event which was witnessed by Governor Dickson and former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, the groups also resolved to work with the National Reconciliation Committee to put an end to the prolonged crisis.

“That all actors of the party should desist from making derogatory, inflammatory and divisive statements against party officials, stakeholders and members,” the communique read.

“That the party should not dissipate her energy amongst itself but to focus on how to unite and be a formidable opposition capable of taking over power from the failed APC led government

“That all key actors in the on-going peace process should henceforth desist from making public press statements attacking each other and statements insinuating negative acts capable of dragging the party to the mud.

“In conclusion all key actors in the PDP have agreed to work together with the National Reconciliation Committee led by Governor Seriake Dickson to engender peace and genuine reconciliation.”

PDP Has Lost Focus, Says Bode George

A founding father of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, on Tuesday, said that the opposition party had lost focus.

A statement by George, who is a member of the party’s Board of Trustees, said the party was precariously placed at the ‘cliff of disaster’.

He said, “As I see it from my own personal prism as one of the leaders of our great party, we have lost the focus and the vision that once earned us high praise.

“There is confusion everywhere. There is no semblance of clarity anymore. There is no visible and acceptable guiding momentum to move us beyond the cliff of disaster.

“It is as if we are all frozen in a grand confusion and imperiled by our own collective contributions to the present crisis.”

Urging the leaders and supporters of the party to stand firm and be counted on the path of justice, George said it was high time stakeholders in the party took redemptive steps to salvage the party.

“There are too many appealing choices. But we must stand up firm and fast. We must make a stand to confront the many maladies now confronting our party. We must be counted to be on the righteous and the redeeming side of history. We must take the hard and the most enduring choice.

“We must never shy away from the bitter truth. We must talk to one another with sincerity of purpose and with constant purity of focus. There are no pretenses anymore,”  he said.

George, who was also a national vice-chairman of the party, said the party must retrace its steps by ensuring discipline and unity among members.

He said, “We have derailed in a mournful way from the guidance, the nuance and the formative directions of our founding fathers. We have upturned and disturbed the normal building blocks and the structures of an orderly organisation.”

APC Wades Into Senate-Ali Impasse As Oyegun Leads Reconciliation Team

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on Tuesday said it would intervene in the ongoing face-off between the Senate and Comptroller General of Customs, Hameed Ali.

A statement by the party’s spokesman, Bolaji Abdullahi, said the national chairman of the party, John Oyegun, would lead the reconciliation parley.

“The All Progressives Congress (APC) has keenly observed the controversy that has trailed the invitation extended to the Comptroller General of The Nigerian Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) by the Senate,” said Mr Abdullahi.

“We have watched the issues with growing concern and the expectations that they would be resolved in a manner that would be agreeable to all the parties involved.

“However, we wish to state that at this point, we have found it necessary to intervene. Accordingly, the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun will lead the party’s peace mission to the Leadership of the National Assembly and the concerned party member.

“We are confident that the party’s effort to broker peace would resolve the matter amicably.”

 

More Kogi PDP Lawmakers Set To Defect To APC

Barely one week after six members of Kogi State House of Assembly, elected under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) officially defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), there are indications that some other PDP lawmakers have concluded plans to join the APC.

According to report, two more members of the PDP have concluded plans to join the APC tomorrow.

The report named member representing Yagba East state constituency, Honourable Jimoh Omiata and another PDP lawmaker whose identity was not revealed as those who have concluded arrangement to dump PDP on the floor of the House tomorrow morning.

With this APC will now have 18 members, leaving PDP with 7 members.

23 PDP State Chairmen Meet In Abuja, Back Sherrif

Twenty-three state Chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have declared support for Ali Modu-Sheriff as the authentic National Chairman of the party.

They also, endorsed the recommendation of Bayelsa State Governor, Henry Seriake Dickson’s reconciliation committee for a political solution.

The Chairmen supported the committee’s reports and recommendation for an all-inclusive unity convention to be held as soon as possible.

The 23 PDP State chairmen in a joint communique read to journalists in Abuja by the FCT chairman, Yunusa Suleiman, after their emergence meeting held on Friday night, said Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, remained the chairman of the party, going by the pronouncement of the Appeal Court.

They suggested that every organ of the party, group or individuals that has anything to add to the recommendations should present same to the national chairman for consideration and deliberations, saying it would deepen internal democracy and support an all-inclusive regeneration of the party.

The communique was signed by PDP chairmen from Jigawa, Adamawa, Niger, Gombe, Taraba, Zamfara, Yobe, Kebbi, Kwara, Bayelsa, FCT, Ogun, Oyo, Lagos, Imo, Borno,  Ebonyi, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun, Kogi, Benue and Cross River States.

The communique reads: “The PDP Chapter Chairmen are very concerned about the crises engulfing the party as it is degenerating into the several decamping from the party across the Nation. Baring in mind the upcoming Presidential Election timeline recently announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as other elections fast approaching, and as key political actors of the polity, we cannot sit back and allow our party denigrate to this level and has thus decided to come forward and proffer solutions to this crisis.

“After exhaustive deliberations on the issues affecting the party, we the Chairmen of State Chapters in the country at its meeting held on the 17th of March 2017 resolved as follows:

“In line with the only template presented by the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of our Party headed by Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, we wish to state that we support the recommendation that a political solution is the best and only solution to our crisis without prejudice to the on-going judicial process.

“We are also in support of the committees’ recommendation of an all-inclusiveunity  convention to be held as soon as possible.

“We therefore suggest that every organ of the party, group or individuals that has anything to add to the aforementioned recommendations should present same to the National Chairman for consideration and deliberations as we believe this will deepen our internal democracy and support an all-inclusive regeneration of the party.

“We as legitimately elected Chairmen wish to state on the grounds of clarity that we shall never be in support or be a part of any thought of tinkering with the option of leaving the PDP and forming another party.

“We shall at all times align ourselves to any judicial pronouncement of a superior court on this matter. We call upon all party leaders and members to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure the survival of the party at this critical period of our history.

“We also call upon the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sherriff and the National Working Committee (NWC) to abide by the recommendations of the peace and reconciliation committee for the sake of our great party.

“As a forum, we shall continue to engage the party leadership and all relevant stakeholders with a view to having a hitch free convention and call upon all leaders and party members to work towards the realisation of this objective.

“The Chairmen appreciate the efforts of the former President, Governors, the Peace and Reconciliation Committee, Past leaders and elders of the party for their untiring efforts at resolving the on-going crisis in the party. Thank You and God bless.”

Ekiti PDP Accuses Sheriff Of Receiving $1m From APC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State has reiterated that the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led faction of the party was being sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sustain the party’s quest for a one-party state in Nigeria.

Ekiti PDP alleged that “Senator Sheriff and his cohorts’ receipt of $1 million from the APC to organise a convention and the open support of the group by some elements in the APC is enough to show where they belong.”

In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday, State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Jackson Adebayo said “Senator Sheriff group can best be described as APC Two while Chief Odigie Oyegun leads the APC One.”

The PDP said it was strange that people, who are laying claim to leadership of the PDP, the main opposition party in the country have not utter a word against the bad policies of the APC-led federal government.

Adebayo asked; “They are going about claiming that they love PDP and their actions are informed by their desire to strengthen the party. How do you strengthen an opposition party when you are more or less an ally of the ruling party?

“You rejoiced when PDP lost governorship elections in Ondo and Edo States, yet you are claiming to love the party, how sensible can that be?

“You are claiming that you want PDP to return to power in 2019, yet, you are planning a convention to be sponsored by the APC with as much as $1 million, how do you reconcile that?”

The PDP in Ekiti State challenged the Senator Sheriff group to tell Nigerians, especially supporters of the PDP what the end result of any convention sponsored with $1 million from the APC will be.

Sheriff Faction Accuses Makarfi Faction Of Collecting N50m From PDP Govs

The Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that governors who are members of the party give N50m monthly to the Ahmed Makarfi faction as subvention.

Cairo Ojougboh, a deputy national chairman of the Sheriff faction, said this at a news conference on Monday.

He alleged that Makarfi and members of his faction were holding on to the leadership of the party for their own benefit.

“The reason the caretaker committee members are protesting is that they have seen that the table is now crumbling fast under their feet,” he said.

“All the organs of the party are cueing into the reconciliation and when the reconciliation pulls through, they are out and Senator Makarfi can only come as member of the board of trustees and so the N50m monthly subvention from governors will stop.

“They get subvention from the governors every month and when reconciliation happens, that subvention will stop.

“Secondly, Makarfi wants a situation where he will tailor-make and tailor-made the convention to suit his interest because he has come out to say that he will be contesting the presidency of the country.”

Dayo Adeyeye, spokesman of the Makarfi faction, did not answer to calls to his mobile phone nor to an SMS seeking a response to the allegation as of the time of filing this report.

Makarfi also did not respond to calls to his mobile phone.

On February 17, the Port Harcourt division of the appeal court declared Sheriff as the authentic national chairman of the PDP.

But the leadership tussle in the party continued because some members would not recognised him as their leader.?

However, former President Goodluck Jonathan  has initiated a reconciliation process to resolve the dispute.

PDP Crisis: Group Says Wike, Fayose Backing Makarfi To Float Another Party

A pressure group within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Mandate Forum, on Sunday said it had uncovered the real reason why Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayo Fayose are bent on having Senator Ahmed Markafi remain as national chairman of the party.

The organisation alleged that Wike and Fayose were using the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee to lure PDP supporters into their fold with the sole intention of breaking out of the PDP to form another political party.

This it explained would enable Markafi to run for President in 2019 with either Wike or Fayose as his Vice Presidential Candidate.

A statement by the chairman of TMF, Bolaji Adeosun, said the grand plot was the reason the two governors are kicking against any form of reconciliation and also why they have refused to accept Sheriff as the national chairman even after the proclamation of the Appeal Court to that effect.

While criticising the two governors for the surreptitious move, the group accused Wike and Fayose of self-serving and described them as “enemies of the party who will stop at nothing to ensure their inordinate ambition is realised.”

Part of the statement reads: “When genuine party leaders and stakeholders are working for an amicable resolution of the current crisis rocking our party, Wike and Fayose are on the other hand selfishly working to become Vice President. They want to use the PDP but if it fails to work for them, float another political party”.

“This sad development is what have stalled our growth as a party. As bad as it is we assure Wike and Fayose that we will use every reasonable and lawful means to checkmate their? political greed and also ensure that they do not completely destroy our party.”

They however noted that the unholy alliance between the two governors will soon collapse and warned them to be weary of the fact that no individual is bigger than the party.?

“A court of competent jurisdiction has delivered judgment in the matter and if they (Wike and Fayose) have the interest of the PDP in their hearts, it was only nice in the spirit of party loyalty they accept the outcome”, they pointed out.

The group called on loyal members of the PDP to be aware of the antics of Wike and Fayose ?and not allow themselves to be used to cause further damage to the party especially now that a strong peace process is on, which is aimed at putting an end to the festering crisis.

Former Zamfara Governor, Mamuda Shinkafi Dumps PDP For APC

Former governor of Zamfara state, Alhaji Mamuda Shinkafi on Sunday defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Shinkafi, who became the state governor in 2007 on the platform of All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2008.

He, however lost to the APC in 2011 and had since then remained in the opposition.

Alhaji Mamuda Shinkafi, Shinkafi announced his decision to join the APC at a ceremony in Gusau, the state capital.

According to him, it is the outcome of a long negotiation between me and stakeholders who have faith in me and my leadership qualities.

He told all his supporters to join him as he strived to make the APC stronger. Shinkafi said that after series of meetings with stakeholders, he had sincerely made up his mind to join the APC.

He also announced that all his former cabinet members, including his former Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Mamman Bawa, had joined him in the APC.

The return of Shinkafi to the APC might be a grand plan by the stakeholders in the state to re-elect him as governor in the 2019 ele