PDP Crisis Deepens As Makarfi-leadership Asks State Chapters To Leave PDP

By Ikenga Chronicles May 17, 2017

PDP Crisis Deepens As Makarfi-leadership Asks State Chapters To Leave PDP

— By David Oota

The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked state chapters of the party to adopt alternative political parties for their candidates in the up-coming elections pending the ruling of the Supreme Court on the crisis rocking the party.

Under the circumstance, the Caretaker Committee said state chapters of the party are allowed to take any decision they consider appropriate.

It said the move is to avoid the chances of its candidates being scuttled due to the antics of the rival leadership of the PDP led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by the faction’s spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, the caretaker Committee, said it took the decision in order to avoid the experience where Senator Sheriff tried to scuttle the chances of the PDP by fielding APC lackeys and surrogates as alternative candidates

Meanwhile, National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, has condemned the directive to state chapters to choose platforms for members contesting imminent elections across the country.

According to statement signed Dr Cairo Ojougboh, the Deputy national chairman to Sheriff, also in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the caretaker committee led by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi had no authority to issue the directive.

Ojougboh said that the committee was not recognised and was therefore, an illegal body.

“As far as we are concern, we are one family and whatever problem we have in PDP we should not wash our dirty linen in the public.’’

He said that PDP had conducted successful local government elections in Ebonyi, which was signed by Sheriff, and that it was currently preparing for elections in Cross River and other states.

He added that all the party’s primaries were open to PDP members.

“PDP is an embodiment of great Nigerians, including our governors, who are performing very well in their various states and our youth organisations all across the states.

“What surprises us is that Makarfi claims he has a strong appeal at the Supreme Court when the Court of Appeal has made it clear that he disobeyed the order of court in Lagos and Abuja.

“Is Makarfi expecting that the law will be re-written for them, to suit their personal interest?

“By their attitude they are still unrepentant. We implore them to have a change of heart and return to the fold so that we can adequately prepare to return to power in 2019,’’ Ojougboh said.

He added that the door of peace was still open to Makarfi-led group, advising, however, that they could go back to Seriake Dickson’s reconciliation committee’s recommendations.

Furthermore , Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has said that he will dump the People’s Democratic Party if the Supreme Court ruling does not favour  the Makarfi-led caretakercommittee in the leadership face-off with Sherrif.

Fayose said this to newsmen on Tuesday while reacting to media reports that he had removed the name and logo of the PDP from his campaign office and mini signposts mounted on Ado and Ikere-Ekiti roads.

Fayose, however, stated that he remains a bona fide member of the PDP until the outcome of the court ruling.

Despite reconciliation efforts, the governor has stated several times that he does not recognise Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the party’s leader.

On February 17, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had ruled that the caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi was illegal and could not act on behalf of the PDP.

He said “critical stakeholders” loyal to Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will defect to another party, if Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff wins the appeal at the Supreme Court.

Fayose said he has no intention to leave the PDP, adding that should he wants to, no law prohibited him from defecting if the party can’t be a veritable platform for him to advance his political frontiers in 2018.

He said: “I am still a member of the PDP and still the Chairman of the PDP governor’s forum, there are no two sides to it. But the strategy for 2018 poll is strictly my own business. No law says I should not run on the platform of another party if the PDP is no longer a right direction depending on circumstances.

“If they are bent on destroying the PDP, let them go ahead but I will never have anything to do with Senator Sheriff. The party is like a vehicle and the vehicle can’t be more important than the driver.”

He added: “They robbed our party in Edo State and same in Ondo State. Nobody can steal our votes here in Ekiti, because I am on ground and I will tell them I am the master of the game”