By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor & Ben Agande
ABUJA— The two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said yesterday that they would submit to the peace process conceived by former President Goodluck Jonathan to restore unity to the party.
Factional Chairman of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and the deputy national chairman aligned to the Ali Modu Sheriff faction, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, in separate interviews with Vanguard, affirmed readiness to key into what PDP insiders have termed the political solution being framed by the former president.
Jonathan’s peace plan also gained traction after it was also endorsed by the PDP Reconciliation Committee at the end of its meeting, yesterday. The committee comprises elements from the two factions.
Details of the Jonathan Peace Plan were still being finalised, according to Vanguard sources, and could lead to the enthronement of a new national executive at a convention where both factions would play leading roles.
In an exclusive interview with Vanguard in Abuja, Senator Makarfi said he had no objection to the Jonathan peace plan as long as it was acceptable to all members of the party.
He said: “I have no objections to it if it’s accepted by all and implemented comprehensively as proposed by them.”
Dr. Ojuogboh on his part, while endorsing the plan, said: “We thank President Jonathan for his statesmanly intervention, and above that, we thank the governors for cooperating with the former president and with the party.
‘’The decision to accept political solution is very much welcome and acceptable to almost all members of the party.”
Reconciliation c’ttee, too
Meanwhile, the Governor Dickson Reconciliation Committee at the end of its meeting in Abuja, yesterday, said “a political solution is the best option for the protracted crises in the party.”
A statement issued by the committee at the end of its meeting said it “endorses the resolution of the meeting between the former President Goodluck Jonathan and PDP state governors in this regard without prejudice to the ongoing judicial processes.
We’re not asked to step down—Sheriff
In another development, Sheriff, yesterday, denied a media report that he and Makarfi had been asked to step down.
A statement issued by the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the party, Bernard Mikko said: “The general public, PDP members, and the media are, hereby, informed that the issue of the national chairman’s resignation as the political solution has never been discussed nor was it put up for discussion with the former President and other stakeholders.”
“The general public; PDP members nationwide and the media are hereby informed that shortly before the Court of Appeal judgement of 17th February, 2017; all parties and stakeholders agreed that on the receipt of the court of appeal judgement whichever way it goes; members will be prevailed upon and urged to support the judgement and orders of the court of appeal and rally round the successful party to conduct; as soon as possible a national unity convention for the election of officers; the modalities of which shall be worked out by all stakeholders of the party.
“As law abiding citizen and advocate of the rule of law, the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff hereby calls on all stakeholders including but not limited to PDP governors; national and state assembly members; Board of Trustee members to make themselves available and give their input on how we can; as quickly as possible conduct a national unity convention; where our national officers will be elected. The National Chairman has promised and undertaken not to contest,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senator Sheriff has announced the appointment of the former Political Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan as his chief of staff.