By Henry Umoru & Ben Agande
The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, yesterday, met with former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Modu Sheriff and the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi ostensibly to help douse tension that has enveloped the party since Sheriff was removed at the party’s convention in Port Harcourt.
Meanwhile, more support for the Makarfi-led caretaker committee came yesterday after the PDP Senate caucus, eight of the 12 members of the just dissolved National Working Committee, NWC and the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, pledged support for the committee.
A member of the Makarfi Committee who confirmed the meeting told Vanguard that the police chief told them to maintain peace and carry out their protests within the ambit of the law.
It would be recalled that the day after the conventions of the party in Port Harcourt and Abuja, policemen were drafted to the party’s national secretariat where they prevented both workers and officers of the party from going into the premises.
The police have remained in place till date.
Details of the discussion between the police chief and the party leaders were not available as the meeting was held behind closed door.
Meanwhile, in a major setback for Sheriff, eight of his 11 colleagues in the dissolved National Working Committee, NWC yesterday pledged support for the Makarfi committee.
Eight out of 11 members of the National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party have dumped Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as they pledged their loyalty and support to the Ahmed Makarfi led caretaker committee of the party.
In a resolution passed at their meeting in Abuja, the former NWC members said as products of the national convention of the party, “we accept without equivocations all decisions and resolutions of the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party held at Port Harcourt on the 21st of May, 2016”.
While pledging their support for and cooperation with the Makarfi led caretaker committee, the former NWC members noted that the constitution of a caretaker committee falls within the powers of the national convention as enshrined in section 33(5) (e) of the party constitution.
While enjoining the party’s teeming supporters and other critical stakeholders to support the Ahmed Makarfi led caretaker committee, the members called on other party leaders to shun personal interests and work towards moving the party forward.
They added that in the absence of the national chairman of the party at the convention, it was appropriate for the Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus to preside over the convention in accordance with sections 33 and 35 of the party’s constitution.
Those who signed the resolution were Uche Secondus, Deputy National Chairman, Solomon Onwe, Deputy National Secretary, Victor Kwon, National Legal Adviser, Dr Kema Chikwe, Woman Leader, Abdullahi Maibasira, Youth Leader, Bolaji Anani, National Financial Secretary, Buharu Bala, National Treasurer and Olisah Metuh, National Publicity Secretary.
The national Secretary and National Auditor, Professor Adewale Oladipo and Fatai Adeyanj respectively were the only ones that did not sign the resolution as both of them are in court to challenge elections into their offices.