By Ben Agande
ABUJA – The chairman of the caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi has given a new condition to be met before the committee will consider a possible reconciliation with Ali Modu Sheriff.
Speaking Thursday when a delegation of Borno PDP members paid him a solidarity visit in Abuja, Senator Makarfi said the committee is “open to political resolution provided it is genuine , provided it is sincere, comprehensive, Democratic, legally water tight and it is not a surrender of the party in an undemocratic manner to anybody including myself”.
According to Senator Makarfi, Sheriff’s forceful occupation of the secretariat of the party secretariat was a violation of the Court of Appeal ruling in Portharcourt which said that should return to status quo ante.
“The court of appeal judgement only said the status before 21st may 2016 should be We are with you a 100 percent , power to people is PDP, it is not power to individuals or few groups of individuals. That is what this struggle is all about. The convention that took decision is a reflection of the people, even NEC that made appointment in acting capacity, how many people made that decision, about 60. In convention, thousands made the decision” he said.
Senator Makarfi said the committee will remain committed to the generality of PDP members who are committed to the progress of the party.
“We are with you a 100 percent , power to people is PDP slogan. it is not power to individuals or few groups of individuals. That is what this struggle is all about. The convention that took decision is a reflection of the people, even NEC that made appointment in acting capacity, how many people made that decision, about 60.
“In convention, thousands made the decision. So how do you compare a decision that was made by 60 people and decision made by thousands of people, when you are talking of democracy. In any case the constitution is clear, which again is supreme. NEC is not superior to convention. The legal arguement will be sorted out in due course but I assure you irrespective of the legal outcome we are not going to abandon you. We are not going to abandon true democrats, we are not going to abandon true PDP men and women” he added.
He said even if the committees loses at the supreme court, it had other options that it will explore the wrest the party from intruders.
“When you are going to a battle, you develop plans of plan A, Option B C, the ultimate target is that you come out victorious and victory for us is the enthronement of a viable opposition party in Nigeria, enthronement of democracy and replacement of the current government by a government that in one form or the other, God willing, will come 2019. Road A may be it, Road B may be it, Road C may be it. We may be going by rail, we may be going by car or flying, we may be going by ship, it doesn’t matter, it is to get there.
“Yes we are open to political resolution provided it is genuine , provided it is sincere, comprehensive, Democratic, legally water tight and it is not a surrender of the party in an undemocratic manner to anybody including myself. It is not just about Ali Modu Sheriff, it can be Sheriff or anybody. We will not submit this party in an undemocratic manner to anybody.
“The court of appeal judgement only said the status before 21st may 2016 should be reverted to. Well he feels as beneficiary , well its not just all about him, the status before 21 may means that all the organs of the party elected before 21 May should be reverted. But you are aware that they are busy setting parallel structures in so many states. Is that status before 21st may. The status before 21 May means that all former national officers should return to their seats, not the officers appointed by Modu Sheriff, not officers appointed by me, but that has not been complied with.
“So you can see that the judgement has been reduced to only one person to the exclusion of all other persons affected by the judgement. This is recipe for disaster. Some people have learnt to go to court now. People are there taking record if this is not reversed, in the next one or two months other people will go to court challenging the decisions they will be making which means that we will never come out of this legal quagmire. And it is deceptive to say in a few months maybe may/june , you will hold convention but the court of appeal said which is the majority judgement, they are reasoning but we don’t agree with anyway, as it is you have to go back to their reasoning is that the tenure of three national officers will expire in August, which means you can’t elect them until August. So how are you going to conduct convention in June, another fraud”
He said the committee is “praying and hoping that justice will be done so that this quagmire can be laid to rest. Of course nobody will be aversed to any true and genuine reconciliation. None of us has a personal interest here and our duty will terminate when those people who put us here want us to go we will go
He said the recommendation by the Governor Seriake Dickson that convention should be held in June this year was a recipe disaster.
“Except if that judgement is reversed by the supreme court. If it is upheld, God forbid, it basically means that there can be only convention in August to elect chairman and secretary and auditor and I tell you, before August, there will be no PDP then as we know it now. If we say people should wait under the circumstances it is not possible. Let people think wisely and even know what the court said. We are praying and hoping that justice will be done so that this quagmire can be laid to rest” he said.
Leader of the Borno delegation had earlier warned Senator Makarfi against going into a compromise with Senator Sheriff, saying that he is not reliable.