By Dapo Akinrefon
FORMER Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope has called on members of the Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi to resign accusing it of plotting to distort the processes that will midwife a new leadership for the party.
Babatope, in a statement, accused Makarfi of working towards handing over the chairmanship seat to a candidate supported by Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.
The former minister disclosed that there is a plan to distort the process of electing a national chairman of the party warning that any attempt to force upon the party a “discredited and dubious leadership will provoke a mass decamping of the Yoruba people from the PDP.”
He said: “There is no doubt in my mind now that Makarfi’s Caretaker Committee is virtually and entirely compromised. The statement issued today by Barrister Abdulahi Jalo, a former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP and a well known close ally of Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi confirming the presidential ambition of the PDP Caretaker Chairman has basically reinforced the fears that Mr. Makarfi is not a neutral arbiter in the processes that will midwife a new leadership for our party.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that if Mr. Makarfi is an honourable man, he will voluntarily resign his position without waiting to be pushed out.
The game plan of Mr. Makarfi is simply to handover the party administration to Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State through his planted agent and acolyte Mr. Uche Secondus. In this grand scheme to compromise the national convention, Secondus and Wike will equally do a pay back by rigging the presidential primary to favour Makarfi.
“This is indeed a road to perdition and the ultimate destruction of PDP. Any attempt to distort the process and force upon us a discredited and dubious leadership will provoke a mass decamping of the Yoruba people from the PDP. We will never play a second fiddle to anyone.
“The Yoruba will never accept any attempt to insult our people and denigrate our collective intelligence. The only way out now is for Makarfi and his entire Caretaker Committee members to resign immediately. They cannot be trusted. Once the head is rotten, the whole body is subsequently vitiated, corrupted and dishonored.
“We are absolutely clear in our demand. We are absolutely resolved in our position. We will not stand idle and fold our hands while all kinds of machinations are being hatched to destroy the collective interest of the Yoruba people. We insist on micro zoning. We demand that Makarfi and his co-conspirators should resign immediately while a new, neutral arbitrating leadership is appointed.
“The convention itself should be postponed for at least one month to ensure that all the corrupt and crooked contraptions of Makarfi are removed to allow a sane and more objective interregnum. The Yoruba people are now poised and ready to claim what is deservedly ours. If we are denied the chairmanship of the party, we will walk out of the PDP and take our fortunes somewhere else.”