Renewed efforts to end the leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appear to have broken down as the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee, yesterday, said there might be no meeting point with the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
Spokesman of the caretaker committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye told newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, that they did not trust Sheriff because of his antecedents.
Adeyeye said the Reconciliation Committee headed by Bayelsa State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, which made recommendation for the party to hold a unity convention not later than June 30, this year, ceased to exist after the PDP botched May 21, 2016, National Convention.
Consequently, he said the caretaker committee “does not recognise the report of the committee”, which was submitted to Sheriff on Tuesday. He said although Dickson acted in good faith, the former Borno governor is not acting in good faith.
“It appears that there would be no meeting point in this matter” Adeyeye said.
Sheriff said the PDP NWC, after the meeting on Wednesday, adopted all the recommendations of the reconciliation committee. He added that preparatory to a national convention as recommended by the committee, the National Organising Secretary was directed to come up with a time table for state congresses in Oyo,Lagos, Anambra, Kwara and Sokoto states.
The PDP chairman said he would write formally to all the organs of the party to come up with their nominees for the convention committee.
Sheriff added that, as part of his consultation on the way forward for the party, he had spoken on phone with Fayose and other PDP governors. He said the only governor he has not been able to speak with is Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, because the governor was said to be out of the country at the time he tried to speak with him. However, Adeyeye, who is also a former Minister of State for Works,said the party would not hold a National Convention under Sheriff, adding, “we don’t trust him. He cannot be at the driving seat. We do not trust him to organise any national convention.”
Meanwhile, Ekiti State governor and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, Mr Ayodele Fayose has alleged that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has provided $1 million to Sheriff to fund his planned PDP national convention.
Fayose, who also alleged plans by the ruling APC to deploy adequate security agents “to sustain its plot to turn Nigeria to a one party State”, distanced himself from the recommendation of the Dickson’s led reconciliation committee and, instead, reiterated his support for the Makarfi led caretaker committee.
“There cannot be any meaningful reconciliation with an impossible character like Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, who is obviously working for political interests different from that of the PDP,” he said.
Speaking through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, the Fayose said: “With APC calling for support for Sheriff, it should be clear to all genuine lovers of the PDP who are behind the crisis in the party.
“I am speaking for myself and the entire people of Ekiti State that I represent; we won’t be part of any PDP convention sponsored by the APC, and I must state, categorically, that Sheriff is being sponsored 100 percent by the APC.”
Similarly, the PDP Caucus of House of Representatives has rejected the report of the Dickson’s reconciliation committee.
Leader of the caucus, Leo Ogor said, yesterday, that the committee didn’t consult both caucuses of the party in the National Assembly.
The Senate caucus of the PDP had, on Wednesday, turned down an invitation extended to it by Sheriff and opted to conduct wider consultation in resolving the crisis in the party.
Ogor who was reacting to a statement signed by two members of his caucus, under the aegis of Concerned PDP House members, insisted that the caucus fully supports the Makarfi led caretaker committee.
According to Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma (PDP, Edo) and Oni Olamide (PDP, Ekiti), the Concerned members of the caucus endorsed Sheriff and “are fully in disposed to the reconciliatory efforts of the Dickson committee.”
But, Ogor, who spoke to the press yesterday, said the PDP caucus in the national assembly was united in backing Makarfi and described the statement from Agbonayinma and Olamide as “a storm in a tea cup.”
“The caucus has always been behind Makarfi, that support has not changed. In a caucus of about 139 members, one or two dissenting voices cannot be ruled out, but we are never behind Sherrif,” he said.