The Chairman, National Caretaker Committee, NCC, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi has shed more light into how the National Chairman of the party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff backtracked on the peace proposal by former President Goodluck Jonathan over the crisis rocking the party.
Makarfi said this at the meeting of PDP Northern Leaders and Elders which held in Abuja.
The NCC Chairman accused Sheriff of blatantly refusing to abide by an arrangement where both of them would resign and forge a settlement at the Supreme Court.
Makarfi, while speaking about the crisis rocking the party, said “When Dickson came to meet me on his committee’s report, I told him, you are one of the governors that met with former President Goodluck Jonathan and he spelt out the proposal of peace plan which he communicated to the NASS, communicated to us (caretaker committee) and other organs of the party.
“And I asked him, are you now removing yourself from that? Why didn’t you table what you have before your colleagues? I also asked him whether he has taken pains to read the Port Harcourt Appeal court judgement and he said no. “That judgement is based on two premises which we did not accept.
The first premise, which we did not accept in our appeal to the Supreme Court, that the tenure of three members of NWC will expire in August this year and 18 will expire in July 2018.
“If you now propose to hold convention in June, what are you going to achieve? How will the June convention be different from last year’s in Port Harcourt and he said he didn’t think about that.
“And if he didn’t think about it, he shouldn’t do anything that will go against Court of Appeal judgement. What that judgement stipulates is a return to status quo ante. What the court means is that all the national officers before May 21 must return to office.
What Sheriff is doing is against the judgement, all his actions run foul of the judgement.
“The proposal on the way forward is to revert to the status quo as pronounced by the Court of Appeal.
This is what I told Dickson, that he should go back to his colleague governors and other organs of the party to clear the issue.
As far as we are concerned, the Caretaker Committee has no position other than that of the organs of the party,” he said.
Continuing, he said, “President Jonathan, after meeting with the governors, at about 1am, called me and told me about the resolution they have reached, which he said will be forwarded to the NASS caucus and other organs of the party as part of political solution.
“Some of the resolution is that the judgement of Appeal Court must be respected to prevent anybody from coming tomorrow to rubbish the party with litigation.
“Again, having reverted to the status quo, everybody will now formally resign. If everybody will resign, then the solicitors of the organs of the party will now sit down and look at all the legal issues involved and then draw up an MoU that will serve as settlement of parties.
This will be deposited at the Supreme Court as the settlement of the crisis. “Even if this is not provided in the constitution of the party, INEC is going to accept it and no one is going to rubbish PDP on that.
“In response, I told the former President that the Caretaker Committee has nothing against his proposal but that it will be presented before the organs and if accepted, the Caretaker Committee will stand by it. “Former President Jonathan said he told Sheriff to go and consult and after his reply, he will get back to him. Up till now he has not gotten back to him.
What it means is that perhaps, he did not get positive response from Sheriff.” Former Ambassador to the United States, Aminu Wali, said the crisis is beyond Sheriff or Makarfi ,but about the soul of the party. He noted that the party deserved to have a leadership “based on legitimacy and not on technicalities”.
Speaking at the meeting, former Minister of Police Affairs, Barr Kabiru Turaki pointed out that the PDP must be rescued from the hands of charlatans, adding that with the appeal at the Supreme Court, Makarfi’s committee can continue to lead the party.
Similarly, the former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu, asked PDP leaders to reflect on why they lost power after 16 years. While he said the party should ask for forgiveness, the former governor asked “why did God take power away from PDP after 16 years? We must ask ourselves what did we do wrong? How did this power slip away from us? Former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, said the crisis rocking the party is a blessing in disguise, noting that “without this we will never learn”.
He however said what the PDP needs now is solidarity. Another former Minister of Police Affairs, Gen. David Jeribewon pushed for a committee where suggestions on how to solve the party’s problems will be submitted.
Some of those present at the meeting are chairman of PDP (NCC), Sen. Ahmed Makarfi; former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri; former Minister of Information, Prof Jerry Gana; Aminu Wali; former PDP Youth Leader, Abdullahi Maibasira; Sen Saidu Kumo; Sen Aruwa; Kabiru Turaki; former Jigawa State governor; former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bala Mohammed; former governor of Adamawa Boni Haruna.
Former governor of Kano State Ibrahim Shekarau; Hon Tukur; Gen. David Jeribewon; former governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa; former governor of Niger State, Dr Babangida Aliyu; former deputy national publicity secretary of the PDP, Abdullahi Jalo; former deputy governor of Sokoto State, Muktar Shagari; former women minister, Hajiya Inua Ciroma; former governor of Plateau, Sen Jonah Jang; Sen Abubakar Gada and Sen. Solomon Ewuga among others.