Blame Game: Pdp Factions Go After Each Other
SAN FRANCISCO, November 29, (THEWILL) – The two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have resumed hostilities following the party's loss of last Saturday's Ondo State governorship election.
The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, which rejected the results of the poll, won by the All Progressives Congress (APC), warned Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, leader of the other PDP faction, to desist from parading himself in that capacity or be ready to go to jail.
In a statement by the spokesman of the Makarfi camp, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the party said the caretaker committee had been confirmed several times by the court as the authentic body saddled with the task of providing leadership for the party, pending an elective convention for new leaders of the party.
“Our attention has been drawn to another set of garbage and tissue of lies put together by the discredited loyalists of Sheriff in the name of a press statement on November 28, 2016, wherein the group tried to sustain its illegal claim to the leadership of our party,” he said.
“The courts have spoken and their pronouncements are binding. However, those who wish to spend the rest of their lives behind prison bars may continue to utter heresy against the court. We hope their children would be proud to bear the family names of convicts.
“First and foremost, we wish to state categorically that in consonance with judgment of various courts, which Sheriff and his team of confused travellers have not bothered to appeal, the former Borno State governor is not the chairman of our party.
“His consistent claim to the office is a continuation of their plans to sustain mayhem in our party, but nature and fair justice have taken care of his desperation.
“We wish to draw the attention of all Nigerians to the judgment delivered by Justice Valentine Ashi of the Abuja High Court, which states clearly that Sheriff was never and is not the PDP national chairman.
“It is instructive to note that Sheriff and his team of circus performers have not deemed it fit to appeal the court's judgment. It is trite in law that a judgment not appealled is binding on the defendant.
“It is also morally wrong to accuse the caretaker committee of being the reason the party is facing challenges in terms of unfavourable election results, especially in Edo and Ondo States. Everyone knows who the real enemies of PDP are.
“We won't also forget in a hurry the ignoble role Jimoh Ibrahim played in scuttling our campaign in the Ondo State election. We also know those who pushed him forward for the hatchet job.
“We are amused that the agents of darkness used by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to cause confusion and frustrate our campaign in the Ondo State election can accuse the caretaker committee of impunity.
“However, we simply want them to define what impunity is using their acts of betrayal as a case study. What they are doing is the worst form of impunity, lawlessness, greed and avarice.
“Their call on the caretaker committee to disband itself is uncharitable and unconstitutional. If they have any shame, they are the ones that should quietly disband. But honour cannot be expected from impostors.
“No matter what they say, we are determined as a political party to forge ahead and put our house in order even without their input.
“The caretaker committee has not called for their expulsion against the claims they are making; the time for that has not come. But the rain of vengeance will not hang forever in the clouds.”
However, the former National Vice Chairman of the party, who is now Sheriff's deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, in response, said it is the members of the caretaker committee of the PDP that actually risk jail terms because they are in contempt of a Federal High Court order.
“It is the caretaker committee that is actually playing with a jail term because there are Forms 48 and 49 already issued against them from the Federal High Court that are waiting for them. The effort to serve and arrest them was aborted because they evaded the law,” he said.
“Justice Mohammed J of the Abuja High Court ruled that the tenure of the NWC (National Working Committee) expires in 2018 and therefore, Sheriff remains the only and authentic national chairman of the PDP.
“It was the culture of impunity that caught up with the party in the just concluded election, citing similar trend in the 2015 general election, which cost the party victory in Benue, Kogi, Niger, Jigawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Katsina, Kebbi, Bauchi and Adamawa states.
“An analysis of the 2015 general election shows that the entire ten (10) states mentioned above are in the North. The South South would not have survived if President Goodluck Jonathan did not hail from the region. Of course the figures that emanated from the South East were abysmal.
“In all these difficult times, only three Governors have been the architects of the destruction of the party. Some, like Governors of Taraba, Gombe, Bayelsa, Cross River and a few others have been very cooperative and are willing to let the party grow. They have shown maturity, understanding and sagacity in the affairs of the PDP.
“In Edo State, we told all who cared to listen that the party hierarchy was defective and that the leadership needed to be changed to allow the 60 stalwarts of the PDP who defected to APC to return to the fold. Of course the Governors refused. There was no surprise to the result.
“In Ondo State, the script was written in 2013 when Governor Mimiko returned to PDP. All members he met on the ground left the party for him and he took over the PDP. The structure was handed over to the Labour Party.
“If Olusola Oke had not gone to AD and Mimiko managed leadership sportsmanly, PDP would have won the election convincingly. In the election, APC scored 244,842 votes while PDP scored 150,380 and AD scored 126,889 votes. It is a fact that the AD votes belonged to PDP and the simple arithmetic shows why PDP lost; our votes went to Oke and AD.
“When Mimiko returned to the PDP his fellow Governors appealed to him to allow for harmonisation but he refused. All the PDP members led by Olusola Oke left the PDP for him. In choosing a candidate to succeed him, he did not allow the PDP members to buy forms. He mainly anointed Eyitayo Jegede (SAN) who was returned unopposed.
“Party members cried to the high heavens that Jegede is from the Central zone where Mimiko hails from. Their cries fell on deaf ears. On the other hand, the authentic primary was conducted where six (6) participants were involved and Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim OFR emerged.
“Jimoh hails from the South. He campaigned vigorously and convinced the people to vote for him. But alas, Mimiko will not allow him carry the party flag. Mimiko used the instrumentality of state government to overwhelm Jimoh but could not overwhelm the masses and voters. Of course the result is out there for all to see.
“It is of general knowledge that the Governors invited Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff to chair the PDP. When he assumed office, he put in place a committee to conduct a national convention to elect people of good character to run the affairs of the party.
“The question is was it President Buhari or the APC who sourced Sen. Sheriff for the PDP? Was it the APC who chaired the Zoning Committee that zoned the chairmanship to Sheriff?
“The answer is No. We therefore call on all Nigerians to discountenance the idea that Sheriff is working for the APC. Sheriff was offered the senatorial ticket in the last general election after he left the APC. Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff is a complete PDP faithful whose desire it is to reposition the party.
“Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff remains the only and authentic National Chairman of the PDP and the NWC remains the only administrative body authorized by law to run the party.”
Story by Oputah David