Sheriff Congratulates Makarfi, PDP Fixes Oct for Nat’l Convention

Ali Modu Sheriff
  • Ex-Kaduna gov waves olive branch

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Laleye Dipo in Minna

The embattled former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has finally surrendered his struggle for the leadership of the party, even as the PDP has slated October to hold its National Convention for the election of new executives.

In Sheriff’s reaction Thursday, 24 hours after the Supreme Court judgment that nullified his chairmanship, he congratulated the lawfully recognised Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, for his victory.

Sheriff’s surrender came just as Makarfi said that the party would leave its doors open to all aggrieved members, including Sheriff and his group, for reconciliation.

In a short statement posted on Sheriff’s twitter handle, the former Borno State governor said: “The Supreme Court has spoken. I congratulate Senator Makarfi. We must all put our hands together to channel a new course for the PDP.
“Moving forward, we must embrace true reconciliation, so as to be united as a formidable option to send the APC packing in 2019. This is the time to build the PDP and to focus on the future, which includes reclaiming power from the APC.”

Sheriff also vacated the national secretariat of the party, which he had occupied since February after the Appeal Court judgment that recognised him as chairman.

One of his aides was sighted at the PDP secretariat at 1.30 p.m. Thursday after he had gone to Sheriff’s former office on the second floor to remove his personal belongings.

Makarfi responded by assuring Senator Sheriff and his loyalists that they would be given amnesty, and also declared that the 2019 general election will be a walkover for the PDP.

He added that Nigerians had completely lost hope when the opposition party was in crisis.
Also speaking when he met with former ministers at the party’s temporary office in Abuja, Makarfi said that some committees would be set up to resolve some outstanding issues in the South-west.

He added: “We will interact with Sheriff and some of his people. We will leave the door open. Sheriff has accepted the judgment going by what I read in the media.”

Reiterating Makarfi’s position after the meeting of the caretaker committee, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, also urged party members who had defected to the APC and those in the newly formed political parties to return to the fold.

He said: “Our hands are extended to all those on the other side. We will grant general amnesty to everybody. We have declared no victor, no vanquished. We want to give them full embrace, co-operate with them. We will extend our hand of fellowship to them.”

Adeyeye, however, warned that the olive branch to Sheriff and his followers would be predicated on their abstinence from anti-party activities.

He described Sheriff as a monumental distraction who created a painful and agonising period for the party, observing that he must desist from committing further offences.

Speaking on the way forward for the party, Adeyeye said that the PDP would use the model for the Osun West Senatorial election, noting that the collaboration adopted by both sides of the divide led to PDP’s victory in the poll at the weekend.

“If we had done that in Edo and Ondo States, we would have won. Going forward, we appeal that those who have cases in courts in the states should withdraw their cases,” he said.

On PDP’s come back plan for 2019, he said: “Everybody is happy. People are happy because there is a ray of hope for them, because APC has been a disaster. When PDP had its crisis, Nigerians lost hope completely.

“Now that PDP has overcome its leadership crisis, the election in 2019 will be a walkover for PDP. The arrogance of the APC is just too much.

“We want to send a signal to APC that PDP has come together and they will see a virile opposition. We have given them a two-year holiday and they have run roughshod over Nigerians.

“We will provide a very strong opposition to APC and make Nigerians see the evils of this government.”
The party spokesman went on to appeal to those who have defected from the party to return and build the party.
“We also appeal to our members who defected to APC and also our members who moved to the new parties to return. We will do justice to all,” he said.

But irrespective of Sheriff’s mea culpa, the spokesman of his group, Hon. Bernard Mikko, had earlier said in a statement Thursday that they were shocked by the Supreme Court verdict, which sacked them from office on Wednesday.
Mikko said: “We received with shock the 12th July judgment of the Supreme Court on the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party.

“Though we still await the full written judgment of the highest court from our lawyers who will fully brief us on the details of the judgment, in the interim, we ask all members and supporters to remain steadfast in prayers for Nigeria.

“Meanwhile, we continue with our avowed demands that the party must be given back to the owners at the grassroots to always elect their party officials and those to contest elections for them at all levels. Internal democracy must be institutionalised in the party.”

Meanwhile, the National Convention of the PDP has been slated to hold in October, the national leadership of the party has announced.

Towards achieving a seamless convention, each state branch of the party has been directed to submit the names of 30 members that would serve on the convention planning committee.

The Niger State chairman of the party, Alhaji Tanko Beji, disclosed this in Minna Thursday while addressing a stakeholders’ meeting where the implication of the Supreme Court verdict was also explained.

Beji said the leadership of the party, which met at the national secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday, after the Supreme Court ruling, also took a decision on the zoning of the presidency of the country in 2019 to the Northern part of the country, while the vice-presidency would go to the south.

Beji advised all those with ambitions to seek the mandate of the people to do so, stating that the era of “no vacancy” had come to an end.

“Anyone with ambition to seek political office should go to the people, the leadership will not allow imposition of candidates,” he said.

According to Beji, each zone in the state would present 10 of the delegates allocated to Niger State and advised that each of the zones should ensure that the local government areas are represented.

He said the major focus of the party was how to hold a successful national convention and win the national elections in 2019.

“Our common enemy is the APC; we should all join hands to chase out the APC in 2019,” he said.
Referring to the arrest and arraignment of some of the leaders of the party in the state, including himself, Beji added: “We should not be afraid of arrests, we cannot all be arrested, we cannot all die one day.”

Prominent members of the PDP, among them those in the Sheriff group, attended the stakeholders’ meeting.

  • nancy

    Better for them

  • larr

    Sheriff Northerner, Markaffi Northerner so the game is head or tail the Northerners will win. When are Southerners gonna smell the coffee and liberate themselves from this self-imposed destiny of slavery. Why do Southerners believe that their destiny is in the hands of the Northern masters. Somebody should kill the zoo.

  • Ak

    zoning AGAIN???


  • remm ieet

    PDP is a party of power. They cannot function without it. They are sensing a good outing in 2019. They have decided to unite to take back power. Both APC and PDP love power. Nigerian masses are too harassed and ignored to challenge them for their failure over the years. The battle is not really about which party will perform miracles after 2019. None of them gives a damn

  • bigbang

    Nigerians must learn from the past. No more voting for party. Vote for the candidate.

  • dawas

    Did I hear Beji say that the next presidency has been zoned to the north? This is the problem with the north. It is now apparent that the north has the monopoly for governance of this country. It is only when it pleases them that they zone to the south and they will never do that.

    • Milito

      I hear you but is the present government presidency not in the north? In this game of wits and intrigues, it makes common political sense to zone it to the north. That is the more reason APC will loose in 2019. PDP only lost to the APC in the last election simply because they fielded a northerner against a southerner in GEJ. If APC had fielded a southerner also, then GEJ would have remained the president till now.

      • austin

        True. And if PDP had fielded a Northerner, Buhari would not have won.

  • Curious One

    Excellent PDP

    1.You gave Nigeria EFCC, STA, ICPC, BVN, NIN, etc to fight corruption

    2.You gave Nigeria the freest election in 2015

    3.You gave Nigeria the most innovative agric policy. You gave her debt relief.

    4.You allowed the political space to widen

    5. You revamp the rail line, revamp air travel, united Nigerians

    6. The Nigerian economy became the biggest in Africa under your watch

    it took less than 2 years for APC to reverse all these. Come back PDP, come back

    • omotoso wasiu

      After giving Nigeria debt relief, you also ploughed us back into debt crisis notwithstanding, our huge foreign reserve and high prices crude oil was selling in the international market.

      • Dunu Anselm

        Wake up my friend. Who ploughed you back into debt crisis. Why is it that people can at times be blind to a very clear fact because of petite selfish reasons. Go check your facts from the office of debt management and then come back for an enlightened discussion.

        • omotoso wasiu

          I think you are the one that needs to visit DMO to obtain data on our debts both local and international between 2007 – 2015 to analyze and make informed decision. Also the foundation for the recession was laid by PDP.

          • Victor

            The worse thing that can happen to any human is for him/her to lie to his/herself. The truth is that no matter how much falsehood fellows like you put out there this time, i can assure you Nigerians are wiser today than they were in 2015. Come 2019 by the Grace of the ALMIGHTY GOD, the wind of TRUE CHANGE will blow across Nigeria.

          • Abanj

            My friend i know you’ve been paid to write this nonsense. I pray none of your family will be in a plane crash like others who died when the PDP deviating people like Fani Kayode, Oduah were looting the money meant to ensure safe flying, I pray none of family will be in the army and sent to their death when Jonathan instructed Dasuki to share the money meant ot buy weapons to protect them, I pray that you will find meaningful work so that no one wil be able to pay you to write rubbish but I know that when the Oil industry is suffering from crash in prices, Nigeria foreign reserves were depleted leaving people like you with no work and no future but to rely on the people who stole YOUR OWN money, who drove people to their death due to inability to earn an income. You are writing rubbish here, Patience Jonathan is sitting on millions of dollars, Diezani is chilling in her mansions, Obanikoros and his children are hanging out in America,. then they will give you N1000 to write rubbish. WAKE UP

          • austin

            Add and Babachir is cutting IDP grass with 200million, IDP KSA dates and donated food are found in shops, Ikoyi flats cash billions are suddenly found to have been known by the presidency so the probe results ran away with the presidency to London.
            They are all the same if you can just pause and think for a moment. What APC will do is pregnant and nursing a baby at the same time. PDP had provided good working policies and milked us dry at the same time. APC has only started with milking us dry without providing any policies. Just be open minded and you’ll see through the bull cap.

        • Victor

          God bless you bro. This fellow must be out of his mind.

      • Victor

        Which planet are you from bro?.

    • Abanj

      You gave EFCC, BVN etc but then you told us Corruption was not stealing. You and your people thought you would win election and no one will find out.We now find out that the foreign reserve was drained under your watch and at a time when Oil price collapsed their was NO money to use as back up. We know what you and your Oil minster were doing, we know that whilst you were sending young soldiers to their death you and your people were sharing the money meant to provide them with weapons. We know your wife suddenly has tens of millions of dollars (now we know why you said corruption is not stealing). We know you kept quiet for days when young children were kidnapped from school and then on top of that your wife accused grieving mothers of lying. Your gave us Amnesty money – people from Niger Delta did not benefit, you put money in NDDC but we the normal people in Niger delta did not benefit. We know about Malubu oil, Billions in Ikoyi flat, Diezanis millions. PDP, Jonathan – the party that has been in power for years , the party that has enslaved Nigerians, the party that created the present senatorial system that Law makers are actually stealing becoming millionaires when Nigerians cant afford to feed themselves, the party that has not managed to solve the power issues despite record Oil proces, the party that gave us corrupt judges m, the party that gave us Ibori, Dariye and other disgraceful elements, the party under whose watch Boko Haram was created. This party should NEVER be allowed to come back and most of them should be in Jail!!!

  • Ify Onabu

    Whereas President Jonathan enlarged the political space and encouraged political participation, his successor, the Mullah in Aso Rock and his party henchmen, have been busy abridging the political space, subjecting us to diverse infractions of our constitutionally – guaranteed freedoms. The subtle and covert attempts to turn Nigeria into a one- party dictatorship have now failed. But the PDP would be naïve to declare that 2019 is a ‘walk over’. When you have desperadoes like Bola Tinubu, Amaechi, El Rufai and Oshiomhole on the other side of the political divide, then you must realise that hard work and eternal vigilance are the price we must pay to sustain our freedom.

    • Okpomo

      True. The hard work must include taking the party back to the people at the the grass-root. The era of imposition must give way to true internal democracy, and a development of a genuine political ideology.

    • Victor

      I concur with you 100%

  • OJAY

    Oh PDP! There is a word in one of your statement that I don’t like even though it may be considered a political jargon that is used literally. APC is not your “enemy” rather your political opponent. The use of such words transcend to what is happening to Nigeria currently. As a party that ones ruled this country for 16 years should know how to choose their words & not inflame our polity. Use words that signify politics as a game.

  • OJAY

    This is a good piece of news that has brighten my day. Both parties to the feud should consider the ruling as a no victor no vanquish situation but the interest of the party first. Pls Sen. Markafi you have a lot of work to do, you & c’ttee should get to work. We need a formidable opposition now than ever.