National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, has condemned the directive to state chapters to choose platforms for members contesting imminent elections across the country.
National Caretaker Committee of the party had in a statement on Tuesday said that states’ chapters of PDP were free to cosider platforms appropriate for members to contest pending elections “in the meantime’’.
A statement issued by the committee’s Publicity Secretary, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, explained that the decision was to avoid a repeat of Edo and Ondo gubernatorial polls experience to the party.
It said that Sheriff and his co-travellers scuttled the chances of PDP members in elections in both states by fielding separate candidates for the party.
It stated that it was to avoid a repeat of such scenario that it decided to advise the party chapters in the state on the elections.
“In the circumstances and with no hope of the Sheriff problem abating before pending Supreme Court judgement, we are left with no choice than to consider ways our members will not be disenfranchised in the elections.
“However, our position is not to choose a platform for any state where true PDP candidates are denied the opportunity to stand for the elections.
“State Chapters are allowed to take any decision they consider appropriate.’’
But, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, the Deputy to Sheriff, also in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the caretaker committee led by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi had no authority to issue the directive.
Ojougboh 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 said that PDP had conducted successful local government elections in Ebonyi, which was signed by Sheriff, and that it was currently preparing for elections in Cross River and other states.
He added that all the party’s primaries were open to PDP members.
“PDP is an embodiment of great Nigerians, including our governors, who are performing very well in their various states and our youth organisations all across the states.
“What surprises us is that Makarfi claims he has a strong appeal at the Supreme Court when the Court of Appeal has made it clear that he disobeyed the order of court in Lagos and Abuja.
“Is Makarfi expecting that the law will be re-written for them, to suit their personal interest?
“By their attitude they are still unrepentant. We implore them to have a change of heart and return to the fold so that we can adequately prepare to return to power in 2019,’’ Ojougboh said.
He added that the door of peace was still open to Makarfi-led group, advising, however, that they could go back to Seriake Dickson’s reconciliation committee’s recommendations.