By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, at the weekend dismissed media reports that there were factions in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), describing the reports as false, baseless and misguided.
Ekweremadu, according to a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, made the remark at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, yesterday, while arriving from Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, where he attended the Saturday national convention of the party.
The statement added that Ekweremadu who was accompanied by the interim National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ahmed Maikarfi, said what exist within the PDP are only contending interests, which, according to him, are normal in any political family.
“For the purpose of clarification, there are no factions within the PDP family as I speak. What we have are contending interests. Such is common in any party. Yes, there were some disagreements, but the good thing is that we have not allowed such disagreements to degenerate into a major crisis that would warrant factions.
“Instead, what happened in Port-Harcourt over the weekend further confirms PDP’s capacity to resolve issues in favour of laid down precepts and in the overall interest of our great party and nation. Am sure what happened in Port-Harcourt remains a disappointment for those who were expectant of major crisis and factions in the PDP because we emerged from the convention more determined to change the change, to save our economy, reposition the electoral process, and make life more bearable for the suffering masses of Nigeria again,” he was quoted as saying.
Furthermore, Ekweremadu who said there were no legal or judicial encumbrances to the convention or the emergences of the interim National Working Committee of NWC, argued that the convention did not conduct any election but simply acted within its constitutional powers as the highest decision-making organ of the PDP to appoint an interim NWC to oversee the affairs of the party and also conduct elections into the NWC positions within 90 days.
He congratulated the interim NWC and expressed strong confidence in the leadership qualities of Makarfi and his team as he enjoined them to make the reconciliation of all aggrieved and divergent interests within the party their priority.
“Distinguished Senator Makarfi is a quality leader, a pan-Nigerian, and someone I have worked with for many years in the Senate.”
He also served in the PDP Post Election Review Committee, which I chaired; I am sure his team is already reaching out to reassure all interests and amicably resolve any outstanding issues ahead of conducting a free, fair, and credible election of NWC members in line with the mandate handed to them by the party in Port-Harcourt,” Ekweremadu added.