Asks Jibrin, Makarfi to resign Group bemoans continued shutdown of party secretariat
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) loyal to the former National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has rejected the latest peace arrangement put forward by the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party.
The embattled former chairman of the PDP had earlier rejected previous peace arrangements aimed at reconciling aggrieved members of the party, but instead relied on court injunctions to stall the national convention of the party on two occasions.
In what appeared to be Sheriff’s response to Monday’s proposal by the BoT to move the next national convention to Abuja, and to disband all previous convention planning committees, Sheriff’s next in command and Deputy National Chairman of his faction, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, said the peace proposals fell short of their expectations and as such, stands rejected.
In a statement issued yesterday by Ojougboh, the aggrieved faction fell short of accusing the Chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin, of constituting a clog in the wheel of the party’s reconciliatory efforts.
“We completely reject the vote-of-confidence passed on the illegal caretaker committee because a committee that has failed twice to successfully organise a convention on two occasions is a failure. Consequently, we can now confidently inform the public that well meaning Nigerians have been urging Makarfi to resign to save democracy,” he said.
Ojougboh said the problem with the party was the “still-born illegal caretaker committee,” adding that the BoT should have advised that the illegality be addressed.
Ojougboh’s statement read: “Having deliberated on the reported outcome of the BoT meeting of August 29, 2016, we have resolved to state as follows, that the resolutions fall short of the decision reached with the Dickson/Mantu reconciliation committee.
“The agreement we had is that Sheriff should Chair a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where Makarfi will attend as a member of the BoT, at the meeting, a Chairman of Convention Committee will be agreed upon, a new convention committee setup, including all other sub-committees: zoning, finance, accreditation, etc.
“The venue of the convention will be in Abuja, where a new leadership of the party will emerged, internal democracy will be respected and confidence will return to the party.
And we had hoped that opportunity will be given where everybody will meet under one umbrella and shake hands and will see the PDP reemerge for the challenges ahead.
We therefore state as follow: “We therefore call on his friends and associates and family to advice him to do the needful and resign now to save multi-party democracy in Nigeria and stop impunity that has been the bane of internal democracy.
“That the BoT Chairman, Jubril, has brought crisis to the party. In any case, his tenure has expired as he has spent more than 10 years as Secretary and Chairman BoT which runs contrary to the constitution. A party where we have eminently qualified persons like Senator David Mark, Babangida Aliyu and others cannot be led by unstable individuals controlled by the love for money.
“That the source of irritation in the party is the still-born illegal caretaker committee and the BoT should have advised that the illegality be addressed.
“Whereas the National Working Committee (NWC) had agreed terms with the reconciliation committee on numerous occasions but the BoT will go public and make misguided and provocative statements. The leadership of the BoT must immediately be reconstituted to move the party forward.
“We thank the numerous PDP faithful nationwide and Nigerians for their understanding and patience. We make bold to state that until we get it right and check impunity, the Nigerian opposition party won’t perform as required.
“As we move towards reconciliation, PDP should prevent any person or group from hijacking the party. Rest assured that the PDP will emerge stronger as we note that impunity marred the party’s success in 2015 general election.”
Meanwhile, a group with political interest in the PDP, the PDP Media Watchdog, has lamented the over three months of lock down on the secretariat of the party by security agents.
The pro-opposition party group, in a statement signed by Mr. Tunde Lawal, described the role of the police under the All Progressives Congress as (APC)-led administration as high-handed.
“It is no longer news that the national secretariat of the PDP is still under lock and key for over three months by officers of the Nigerian Police Force on the pretext of protecting lives and property due to the leadership crisis in the PDP,” the group said.
The group noted that since 1999, Nigeria has never witnessed a situation where the government in power will use the security agencies to scuttle and shutdown the national secretariat of a major opposition political Party
The statement read: “The role of the Nigerian Police Force in the PDP affairs under the administration of the APC is unbecoming of an unbiased umpire and a clear sign of autocracy in full practice in Nigeria.
“Since the inception of democracy in 1999, Nigeria has never witnessed a situation where government in power will use the security agencies to scuttle and shutdown the national secretariat of a major opposition political party with no serious or cogent reasons except to destroy all opposition voice.
“The Nigeria Police Force today has several security issues to deal with and show how proactive the force can be by tackling the various herdsmen attacks, kidnapping, armed robbery and other civil disturbances but are only proactive when it comes to the PDP affairs.”