By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA – The Forum of State chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has formally broken into two along the division shaped at the national level between the factions led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and the National Caretaker Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
Both sets of state chairmen held parallel meetings Wednesday in Abuja.
While those loyal to Sheriff met with him at the party’s national secretariat, other state chairmen loyal to the mainstream of the party as led by Senator Makarfi met at Valencia Hotel, in Abuja.
The meeting of the Senator Makarfi states chairmen was presided over by the chairman of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the party, Paul Ebong Ekpo while the meeting of the Sheriff faction was headed by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) PDP chairman, Yunusa Suleiman.
Mr. Ekpo while addressing newsmen, said the meeting was in tune with the efforts of the reconciliation committee headed by Governor Seriake Dickson but stressed that the report of the committee should be submitted to all the organs of the party for inputs.
The chairmen who were elected prior to the crisis in the party described any other person parading as chairmen as fakes.
“We note that the purported appointment of individuals into elective positions in the National Working Committee (NWC) of PDP is not in line with the provisions of the PDP constitution and constitutes a departure from the judgment of the Court of Appeal being challenged at the Supreme Court.
But in his meeting with the state chairman, Sheriff told them: “these are the authentic chairmen of the party. So if anyone says you are fake, it is not you that is fake; it is the person that is fake.”
Sheriff explained that he summoned the state chairmen to brief them on the developments within the party and especially to seek their input on the recommendations of the Governor Dickson-led Reconciliation Committee.
Leader of the chairmen, Yunusa Suleiman, however, said that they had already adopted the report of the committee which advocated a political solution and suggested that the party’s national unity convention be held not later than June 30.