The chairman of the Governors Forum of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Appeal Court, Port Harcourt judgement reinstating Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman of the party, as a `rape on democracy’.
Ayo Fayose, who is also Ekiti State Governor, made the remark in Abuja on Friday while reacting to the outcome of the judgement.
According to Fayose, the judgment was against the will of the people.
The Appeal Court in Port Harcourt in a ruling Friday nullified PDP National Convention held in the Rivers capital in May 2016.
The court also nullified the National Caretaker Committee of the party constituted at the convention, and held that Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff remains the National Chairman of PDP.
Two out of the three-member Appeal Court, Justice B.G. Sanga and Justice A. Gumel, in their judgment said the Port Harcourt convention on May 21, 2016, was an abuse of court process.
Delivering the lead judgment, Sanga said that PDP did not follow the provisions of Article 47(3) of its Constitution in the removal of the Sherrif-led National Working Committee.
Fayose, however, said that the party would appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court.
“If the people truly symbolise what a party is, then the machinations of our detractors and the anti-democracy organs will not prevail at last.
“We commend the minority judgment of the lower court and we believe the truth will prevail. It is a matter of time.
“Thank God we have another opportunity to seek justice at the Supreme Court, which I believe will not be delayed or denied, because when justice is delayed it is denied.
“It is a party matter that must be addressed as soon as possible.
“The party will appeal the judgement as we believe in the ability of the judiciary to do justice,’’ Fayose said.
The governor however, appealed to members, sympathisers, leaders and supporters of the PDP to remain calm saying “we are sure justice will come at last’’.
“If this is the price to pay, to keep our democracy alive and opposition strengthened, we are prepared to go the whole hug and for a time like this,’’ the governor said.
Fayose said that organs of the party would meet shortly to take concrete decisions on the way forward.
He also assured that the governors’ forum and various organs of the leadership of the party remain united and strong.
“You have the assurance of my colleagues that we should be less worried about this development.
“We will take steps and continue to ensure that the interest and future of this party is not mortgaged,”he said.
The forum chairman said that the Sen. Ahmed Markarfi-led PDP faction has majority of supporters on its side including governors, senators, House of Representatives members, state party chairmen.
“We want to believe that the same judiciary will right the wrong,’’ he said.
Fayose said the judgement would not affect ongoing efforts aimed at re-positioning the party or the governorship election in his state.
“I am a nation of Israel amidst the enemies; nobody defeats the nation of Israel. I will never be defeated,’’ the governor said.
On the withheld Ekiti state’s statutory allocation, Fayose assured the workers to expect their salaries on Tuesday.
“I can gladly tell you that a letter has been transmitted since yesterday (Thursday) for the release of the money. Whatever reason they give is not as important as that money. “I want to assure the people of Ekiti that they will get alert on Tuesday,’’ Fayose said
In his reactions, the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Sen. Walid Jubril, said that the judgment was not a threat to the party but would rather unite them.
He said that the party would go to any length to resolve the issue.
Jubril also urged PDP members to be calm and not defect to other parties as it was engaging in consultation with all organs of the party to ensure that the party remained strong.
“I am sure that very soon everybody will smile. Those who are crying today will laugh again and PDP will one day become one party and strong. All these is a question of time,’’ Jubril said.
He said that the party would on Tuesday come out with a statement.