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Regarding PDP crisis, Ali Modu Sheriff says: No plans for convention now

Factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, has said that his group has no immediate plans to organise the national convention for the party.

Rather, he said he would embark on reconciliation of all organs of the party, from the national caucus to the National Executive Committee.

He agreed that the Thursday’s court ruling did not give express order to stop the national convention of the party being organised by the Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee.

He maintained that the caretaker committee was not properly constituted, but stated that his group would obey the ruling.

He said the court order had stopped all preparations for any convention.

Spokesperson for the Sheriff-led faction, Mr. Bernard Mikko, who spoke on Saturday, said that Sheriff was already talking with the majority of the governors on how to end the crisis in the party.

He said, “We are not planning any national convention for now. The court has said that we should maintain the statuo quo ante. We will obey the law and the orders of the court.

“What we are trying to do now is to make sure that there’s peace in the party by having meetings with all the stakeholders. These meetings will include members of the national caucus, Board of Trustees, governors, NEC, local government chairmen and others.

“We are ready for peace as explained by our chairman, but that road to peace must take into cognisance the rule of law and pronouncements by the courts.

“We are not out to destroy the party as being insinuated in some quarters. Rather, as original members of the party, we will take it to the owners, who are the people in the grassroots.”

Sheriff also described himself as an agent of change.

He said the ruling of the court had demonstrated that he meant well for the party.

He also called on members of the party’s Board of Trustees and leaders to come together and appeal to a chieftain of the party he referred to as the “Emperor of Ikwere” to allow peace reign in the troubled party.

Sheriff, who also spoke through his deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, said the process of rebuilding the party had commenced.

He said, “Sheriff is an agent of change. He has vowed to return the party to the people of Nigeria and he is appealing to other members of the party, it’s leaders like the BOT and governors to speak with the ‘Emperor of Ikwere’ to allow peace reign in the party and return the party to the path of progress and prosperity to all Nigerians.

“This judgement vindicates the Nigerian judiciary and it shows that the judiciary is the only hope of the common man and that the oppressed can only get a fair hearing and judgement from the Nigerian courts.”

But Makarfi said that the plan for the convention was ongoing.He added that members would soon be informed when the party began the sale of forms.

Spokesperson for the committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who spoke on Saturday, however said the sales of forms would only commence after leaders of the party from the north and south must have met differently to know which state would produce officers for the offices allotted to their areas.

It will be recalled that the zoning committee of the party submitted its report to the caretaker committee on Tuesday in Abuja.

The committee has reserved the office of the national chairman to the southern part of the country.

Offices reserved for the north, according to the committee, were the deputy national chairman, national secretary, national financial secretary, national publicity secretary, national auditor and national woman leader.

Others included the offices of the deputy national treasurer, deputy national organising secretary, deputy national youth leader, deputy national legal adviser and deputy national secretary.

Positions allotted to the south ,according to the committee, were the offices of the national chairman, deputy national chairman, national treasurer, national legal adviser and national youth leader.

Others included national organising secretary, deputy national publicity secretary, deputy national women leader, deputy national auditor and deputy national financial secretary.

Adeyeye said the report had been accepted by the caretaker committee, adding that leaders from the north and south would need to meet to agree on it.

He said, “We have accepted the zoning structure . We are just waiting for the leaders from the two zones to meet and agree on which state would produce officers for specific offices. After this, we will begin the sale of forms.”

Our corespondent, however, gathered that the PDP leaders from the southern part of the country would meet in Port Harcourt on Thursday to agree on the zoning.

Meanwhile, the caretaker committee has waded into the crisis in its Ogun State chapter by settling two of its members with offices in their zones.

The members are a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, and a member of the House of Representatives, Ladi Adebutu.

The caretaker committee did this in a letter dated July 27, and addressed to the Chairman of the party in Ogun State, Mr. Adebayo Dayo.

The letter, which was signed by the Secretary of the Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ben Obi, was titled, “Harmonisation of the state PDP executive.”

The letter reads in part, “The above subject matter refers.

“We write to inform you that following the harmonisation exercise of the state executive of our great party, the following sharing formula has been proposed and approved.

“Central senatorial district: Dimeji Bankole will take 50 per cent of the state executive council members and nominees for local government election.

“Ikenne, Remo North, Sagamu Federal Constituency: Mr. Ladi Adebitu group will take 25 per cent of the state executive members and nominees for local government election.

“You are hereby directed by this letter to effect the harmonisation without further delay and forward to us a list of the harmonised list for necessary action.”

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