• As Sheriff kicks
From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
The leadership tussle rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) may soon be resolved as two parties in the impasse yesterday agreed to work together.
At a peace meeting brokered by the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the main opposition party, the Concerned PDP Stakeholders, led by former deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu and former Education minister, Tunde Adeniran, agreed to submit to the decision of the national convention held in Port-Harcourt last weekend, which created a caretaker committee with former Kaduna State governor, Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ben Obi as chairman and secretary, respectively, with five others.
Secretary of the BoT, Chief Ojo Madueke, read out resolutions of the expanded caucus of the party to newsmen at the meeting which lasted over five hours. Present were members of the BoT, National Assembly caucus, PDP Governors Forum, Concerned PDP Stakeholders and former PDP Ministers Forum.
Former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, whose National Working Committee was dissolved at the Port-Harcourt convention, stayed away from the meeting. But, Daily Sun gathered that he was invited to the BoT meeting held in the morning alongside Makarfi and both honoured the invitation.
In the resolutions, the meeting urged the Makarfi-led committee to expand the scope of its work to accommodate members of the Concerned PDP Stakeholders led by Mantu.
The meeting also resolved to set up a high powered committee for speedy resolutions of all contending issues.
Daily Sun further gathered that Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, would lead the team to meet with Sheriff’s group while chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jubrin will head the trouble-shooting delegation to meet with Senator Buruji Kashamu and his faction in the South-West.
The meeting also resolved that all groups that have initiated litigations be directed to withdraw them from the respective courts.
Madueke expressed confidence that all litigants would abide by the decision and noted that the party has its internal mechanism for resolving disputes.
“We have a rebranded PDP and we expect that our members would not ignore the party constitution. What shall we do, if they refused? We cross the bridge when we get there!”
Also speaking, Mantu told newsmen that his group will abide by the decisions. “We are in agreement with the caretaker set up by national convention in Port Harcourt. The committee has agreed to expand the scope of work to accommodate members of concerned stakeholders. So, we are now working together.”
Senator Jubrin dismissed insinuations that Sheriff deliberately stayed away from the meeting of the expanded caucus. He also said all the statutory organs of the party were fully involved in the peace move.
“All parties were fully invited. I am sure Sheriff was contacted, through his contact person. He isn’t here but he would be reached and everything would be in order. We were fully in touch with the governors’ forum through their chairman, Olusegun Mimiko. The governors were fully engaged but have sent their commitment to abide by whatever decisions we reach. We have the National Assembly here, represented by Ekweremadu and Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor and they made useful contributions. Eight members of the NWC are also here.”
Meanwhile, Sheriff has kicked against the resolutions. Sheriff, who spoke last night through his media aide, Inua Bwala, insisted that by the declaratory judgment of Justice Hussein Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos of Tuesday, he remains the authentic chairman of the party
“The matter is already in court. So, whatever step taken is an affront on court pronouncement. By the party’s constitution, he is the chairman and he hasn’t called a meeting. He has made up his mind to explore the court process. So, whatever decision they take is a nullity.”