By Ben Agande
Abuja—The war of words between the two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, degenerated with the Ahmed Makarfi faction blaming the crisis on what it claimed as a secret presidential ambition of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
The Sheriff faction, on its part, accused the Makarfi faction of planning to compromise the Supreme Court to obtain a favourable judgment. Meanwhile, chairman of the party’s Reconciliation Committee, Governor Seriake Dickson, yesterday, welcomed the pledge by the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, not to contest the office of national chairman in the proposed unity convention. Welcoming Sheriff’s gesture, Dickson also refuted news reports that he called on Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, to resign his position.
Sheriff and Makarfi
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja, the deputy national chairman of the Sheriff led faction accused members of the Makarfi faction of bragging that they would use the Supreme Court to win control of the party.
“It is worthy of note today that the same group of impunity peddlers have now resorted to boasting that they are in control of the Supreme Court and that the judgment rejected by the Court of Appeal will be adopted by the Supreme Court,” he said.
“We make bold to say nobody can buy the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court cannot be bought, and that the Party has implicit confidence in the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Samuel Walter Onnoghen and his colleagues in the Supreme Court.
“We, therefore, advise Sen. Makarfi and his co-travellers that their wishful judgment which they are parading will remain in the thrash can while the Party is moving forward and preparing for its National Convention.”
But in a swift reaction, the spokesman of the caretaker committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye said there is no place on “record where we have said we will influence the Supreme Court’s judgement. None of us have said anything about what the Supreme Court judgment will be.”
“They were the ones celebrating that appeal court judgment even before it was given. They said they know the judgement. Their subtle blackmail of Supreme Court is unbecoming.
Responding to the insinuation that Wike didn’t win the governorship election, Adeyeye said for Sheriff to make such insinuations shows that he is working for the APC.
He said “Is that what should come out of the mouth of a patriotic PDP member?
That is what I expect APC to say and they have not said it. Instead it is these ones that said they are PDP members that are helping them to say it.
“So you can see why we can’t trust them. Are they really PDP members to insinuate that they didn’t win the election in Rivers.
They are agents of APC. If that is the case, we can’t trust them with our party. They are not patriotic PDP members. Everybody knows Rivers is a solid PDP state. Do you expect Wike to attend any convention held by Sheriff? Is that how to build the party.”
Adeyeye attributed the crisis in the PDP to the presidential ambition of Sheriff.
“I am not one of those who share the view that Sheriff has no good intentions for the party. All his efforts are geared towards hidden presidential ambition. He is doing everything within his power to tear the party apart.”
“It is imperative that all men of good will must see through this shenanigan. The masquerade has been revealed.”
Meanwhile, Dickson yesterday denied insinuations that he asked Makarfi to step down.
Noting dividends of the Reconciliation Committee’s efforts, the statement said:
“efforts of the Committee are beginning to yield dividends as the National Chairman, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff had publicly written, on the request of the Reconciliation Committee to undertake that he would not contest election at the unity convention; that he would not interfere in the selection of committee membership; that he had already written organs of the party for nominations into the convention committees; that all party officials elected before the first botched Port Harcourt Convention remain valid and lastly, all members of the party’s NWC whose tenures are still running have agreed to resign to pave way for a unity Convention!”