Senator Buruji Kashamu, Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district, on Tuesday, said that the proposed national convention slated for August 17 will not resolve the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, appealing with elders in the party to find ways of uniting the Caretaker Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi with the Ali Modu Sheriff faction.
Senator Kashamu in a statement in Abuja, affirmed that it would be better for the party to unite the two factions before going ahead with the proposed convention, warning that doing otherwise could worsen the crisis situation.
The Makarfi committee, backed by the key organs of the party, including the PDP Governors, has resolved to go ahead with the convention in spite of the various conflicting court judgments and orders against both factions.
Makarfi and Sheriff have continued to lay claim to the leadership of the party shortly after the botched May 21 Port Harcourt convention where Sheriff was replaced with Makarfi.
Kashamu further warned that unless issues of the various conflicting court injunctions are fully addressed with the two factions in agreement, the outcome of the proposed convention may also become a subject of fresh litigation.
He said, “Going to Port Harcourt for another national convention on August 17, without addressing the issues that have stuck out like a sore thumb might turn out to be an exercise in futility.
“I appeal to all our leaders to wade into the crisis and resolve the issues. If we gloss over the issues and facts and go ahead to hold the proposed convention without resolving them, the perception of PDP as a lawless organisation will sink deeper and ultimately public opinion will be against us.
“An air of palpable confusion pervades our party and the land, with one division of the court saying Makarfi’s appointment is right while another division of the same court says Sheriff is the authentic national chairman of our party.
“We cannot continue like this. Already, the nomination (governorship) processes in Edo and Ondo States are being endangered by the current crisis.
“It is incumbent on all well-meaning leaders and elders of the party to court Senators Sheriff and Makarfi and look for a political solution to this crisis and resolve it, once and for all. Nothing is too much to give, if we truly love the party”.
Kashamu noted that although there was no court injunction stopping the proposed August 17 convention, the reality of a pronouncement by a court in Abuja to the effect that the Makarfi committee cannot lawfully take actions on behalf of the PDP remained a source of grave worry.
Besides the resources that might be wasted on the exercise, Kashamu said going ahead with the convention could also constitute contempt of some of the court injunctions on the part of the organisers.
The lawmaker said these loopholes could easily be exploited by groups and individuals who are bent on frustration the efforts of the party to their own advantage.
“They wait on the sidelines to analyse situations and then go to court when you least expected to procure orders and judgments that they use to exploit the system,” he said.
Stressing the need for the party to guard against such pitfalls, Kashamu appealed to the party leaders to help put an end to the culture of impunity which has continued to plague the PDP.
He stated that for peace to reign, party leaders and members should stop seeing themselves to be above the law
He added that “Thus, it is crucial for us to find a political solution to the leadership crisis, unite our people and resolve the issues so that the various court cases can be withdrawn. An assortment of court orders, rulings and judgments will only deepen the crisis and make it intractable.”