Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Members of the Peoples Democratic Party in the National Assembly wednesday pledged their loyalty to the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee and advised the committee to constantly consult the federal legislature from time to time.
Speaking when Makarfi-led members of his team on a courtesy call on PDP caucus in the National Assembly, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, assured Makarfi that the caucus would deploy all powers at within its reach to support the committee including necessary legal actions.
He said: “You have taken the right step of coming to consult with the real elected people, the real elected representatives of the PDP in Nigeria today, the National Assembly. We are the one at the national level.
“We don’t have the Villa. This is our villa. The National Assembly is our villa. That’s the simple truth. Your first major task is to bring your committee members to consult with the villa. We will support you in every action.
“We not only applaud your strides, we identify with your actions so far and to reiterate the fact that you were all chosen based on merit on the mere fact that you have experience, capacity and capabilities to take us from the current quagmire.
“As a Senate, we are very proud of you so far. How you have navigated to bring about peace. You told Nigerians unequivocally that you were not the elected national chairman but a committee set up in line with the constitution of the party.
“That showed clearly that PDP is a party that believes in the rule of law. The party has the power to set up any committee like the Central Working Committee and even assign the functions of the national convention to that committee which was the case with your committee.
“We are in support of you and we ask you to exercise all the powers we vested in you in Port Harcourt that you have taken over as the NCW; you have the authority of the convention; you have authority to even take us to the next convention and enhance the popularity and acceptability of the PDP.
“For Nigerians who might have thought that we are finished as a party, the reality is that what has happened is just a storm in the tea cup. There is no division in the PDP. It is one. We are very impressed that you have maneuvered the entire Board of Trustees (BoT), the conscience of the party, with the National Assembly caucus which led you to the office in a very glorious manner. The authority including the security agencies respected the decision of the convention, assisted and withdrew all arsenal to let you into the national secretariat,” he said.
Also speaking, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, enjoined Makarfi to carry all members along by ensuring that stakeholders are involved in the committee’s activities with a view to ensuring that the party’s decisions are democratic.
He said: “Nigeria expects so much from us and we should not disappoint them. We want to assure you of our support, our solidarity. We know the task ahead is tough and you have limited time but be rest assured that we will be there for you to make sure you succeed because the foundation you are going to lay now, will determine the future of our party.”
In his remark, Makarfi assured the lawmakers that his committee would carry along all and sundry to ensure that peace and stability reign in the party as he urged members of the party who had instituted legal actions to withdraw them in the interest of peace.
His words: “We are here to say thank you for all those efforts and all of us continue to do so and to regard us as partners because this is a job that all of us together must do and see it closed.
“We are also here to individually and collectively seek for your individual or collective intervention to speak to the remaining members of the family that are still aggrieved to please take what has happened in good heart and spirit and come and join forces with you and us so that we can do what is right for our party.
“We are not after any individual, we are after collective interest of PDP. We want you to intervene those who have litigations against the party of course others we have being intervening with us. We urge you to continue so that we settle the matters politically not based on legislative pronouncement.
“You appointed us together with other party leaders. Even if we saw a problem, we consulted within minutes. We will walk in there as party men and women willing to participate in activities of the party.”