Abuja – National Vice-Chairman (South-South) of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Emmanuel Ogidi, said his zone would heed National Caretaker Committee’s directive empowering state chapters on platforms for members contesting elections.
He said that there was nothing wrong in allowing state chapters of the party to decide the political platform their candidates could use to contest imminent elections pending resolution of the party’s leadership tussle.
Ogidi made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said that the decision of the committee headed by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi was apt, alleging that the National Chairman, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, had continued to sabotage the party’s efforts in elections.
“Yes, the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt said that Sheriff is the chairman of the party but we have appealed against that; therefore, we still maintain our position.
“The committee’s directive is right since we know that in any given election in any state, at a particular time Sheriff will want to bring his candidate against the choice of party.
“From those experiences, the states’ chapters will happily do with the option to decide which platform their candidates can contest elections. There is nothing wrong with that order,’’ Ogidi said.
He, however, expressed optimism that the problem in the party would soon be resolved with the expected pronouncement of the Supreme Court on its leadership tussle.
“I believe that very soon the matter will be resolved after the judgement.’’
The Supreme Court had fixed May 25 for continued hearing in the PDP leadership case before it.
National Caretaker Committee of PDP had, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday said that state chapters were free to consider platform appropriate for members to contest pending elections in the meantime.
The statement by the committee’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, said while the party awaited Supreme Court’s verdict on its leadership tussle, the committee was confronted with pending councils’ elections in many states.
It said that there were also National and State Assembly bye-elections to be contested in many states.
It explained that the order to the states was to avoid a repeat of Edo and Ondo gubernatorial polls’ experiences where “Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff and his co-travellers scuttled the chances of PDP members’’.
But, in a swift reaction, Sheriff condemned the directive, saying that Makarfi-led caretaker committee had no authority to issue the order.
In a statement by Dr Cairo Ojougboh, his deputy, Sheriff said that the committee was not recognised and was therefore, an illegal body.
“As far as we are concern, we are one family and whatever problem we have in PDP we should not wash our dirty linen in the public.’’
He added that the door of peace was still open to Makarfi’s group, advising, however, that they could go back to Seriake Dickson’s reconciliation committee’s recommendations.