By Ben Agande
ABUJA—VARIOUS organs of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday resolved to support the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the party in order to resolve the crisis in the party and chart a new way forward.
At the end of a meeting brokered by the Board of Trustees of the party at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja, the organs and groups in the party also urged all entities of the party in court to allow for a peaceful resolution of whatever grievances they might have.
The organs and groups that attended the meeting were representatives of the PDP Governors Forum, the National Assembly Caucus, Concerned PDP stakeholders Forum, the Former PDP Ministers Forum and representatives of eight former members of the National Working Committee of the party.
The secretary of the BoT, Ojo Maduekwe, who read the resolution at the end of the meeting, noted that as a rebranding party, PDP expected that all its members would abide by the provisions its constitution in the resolution of the crisis.
Though members of the Caretaker Committee of the party were in attendance, the man at the centre of the crisis, Ali Modu Sheriff, was conspicuously absent.
He had earlier been excused from the meeting of the Board of Trustees, BoT of the party alongside Makarfi. Chief Ojo Maduekwe noted that the meeting also resolved that members of the Concerned PDP Group would be coopted into the caretaker committee to allow for all inclusiveness.
Sheriff, Makarfi excused from meeting
Earlier as the BoT meeting got underway, Sheriff and Makarfi were excused.
Senator Sheriff had walked into the Transcorp Hilton venue of the meeting at about 11:10 am and was followed five minutes later by Senator Makarfi who also walked into the meeting.
The duo sat on the high table, alongside the chairman of the Board, Senator Jibril Wali, and secretary, Chief Ojo Maduekwe.
A few minutes later, the chairman of the board announced that the board had a very important decision to take before the commencement of the meeting.
At this point, he asked journalists covering the opening ceremony to leave the hall and less than five minutes later, Senators Sheriff and Makarfi walked out of the meeting.
A member of the board who preferred anonimity told Vanguard that the two were asked to leave the hall because it would be inappropriate for them to be in attendance at a meeting that was going to discuss their matter.
Vanguard also gathered yesterday that the BoT resolved to despatch a delegation to be led by the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu to parley with Sheriff. The House Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, and Senator Abdul Ningi, are to be included in the delegation.
Also yesterday, Senator Makarfi affirmed that there was no injunction against his caretaker committee.
In a statement he issued yesterday, he said:
“No orders of injunction or any order whatsoever is granted or exists against appointing caretaker committee for the PDP.”
“Justice I. N. Buba did not make an order dissolving the caretaker committee. An order of court could only be made if the court is presented with either a motion ex-parte or motion on notice which the court hears and makes appropriate order(s) as deemed necessary. No court makes an order not sought.”
“The plaintiffs in SUIT NO. FHC/L/CS/613/2016 had on Monday May 23, 2016 filed a motion on notice for the purpose of setting aside the national convention of the party held on Saturday May 21, 2016. The motion on notice is yet to be served on the defendant (the PDP being the 2nd defendant in the suit) as at today Wednesday 25 May, 2016.
“The suit comes up Friday May 27, 2016 for the hearing of all pending applications, including Motions for stay of proceeding/execution of the order of May 12, 2016 pending the Appeal already filed against the suit; motion to set-aside and/or vacate the order of May 12, 2016; motion for joinder of certain persons; motion on notice by way of notice of preliminary objection on ground of jurisdiction, among others.”
“Aggrieved members of the PDP who were affected by the resolution of the national convention, being the supreme organ of the PDP, have resorted to desperation and manipulation of judicial proceedings,” he said.
“The national convention of the PDP, in the exercise of its powers under section 12.88 of the PDP constitution, dissolved the National Working Committee and appointed some of its members as caretakers Committee for the next ninety (90) days, to enable it pursue true reconciliation of its disputant members towards peaceful, amicable and political settlement of the disputes leading to the cases in court.
“As a party, we shall fully cooperate with the IGP and the Nigeria Police in ensuring maximum compliance with the Court order dated May 12, 2016 to the effect that no election should be conducted into the above offices, namely National Chairman, National Secretary, and National Auditor pending the resolution of the cases in Court,” he said
“As a matter of fact, it is for this reason that the supreme organ of the party, the national convention resolved not to conduct election into all the offices of the Party.
“Steps are already being taken to reconcile every aggrieved member, and to resolve all grievances with the ninety (90) days duration of the caretaker committee for the purpose of putting an end to needless litigation over issues that are purely internal affairs of our party,” he said.