From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
AS the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) lingers on, 23 state chairmen of the party have called for an end to the leadership tussle, which has plagued the opposition party in the past 10 months.
The chairmen, who expressed support for the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, urged him to step up efforts to end the crisis.
The state chairmen, who met in Abuja on Friday night, also expressed support for a political solution to the crisis, noting that if the leadership crisis were not resolved early enough, it would affect the party’s fortunes in the 2019 general election.
A communique issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the Bayelsa State PDP chairman, Moses Cleopas, his Federal Capital Territory (FCT) counterpart, Yunusa Suleiman, and 21 others, said their support for Sheriff was in respect of the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt division, which pronounced him the leader of the party.
The communique, which was read by Suleiman, added that their support for Sheriff was without prejudice to the appeal filed by the PDP National Caretaker Committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi against the judgment at the Supreme Court.
The communique read: “The Peoples Democratic Party Chapter Chairmen are very concerned about the crisis engulfing the party as it is degenerating into several members decamping from the party across the nation.
“Bearing in mind the upcoming Presidential Election timeline recently announced by the INEC as well as other elections fast approaching, and as key political actors of the polity, we cannot sit back and allow our party denigrate to this level and have thus decided to come forward and proffer solutions to this crisis.
“In line with the only template presented by the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of our party headed by Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, we wish to state that we support the recommendation that a political solution is the best and only solution to our crisis without prejudice to the on going judicial processes.
“We are also in support of the committees’ recommendation of an all inclusive unity convention to be held as soon as possible.”
The chairmen further noted: “We as legitimately elected chairmen wish to state on the grounds of clarity that we shall never be in support or be a part of any thought of tinkering with the option of leaving the PDP and forming another party.
“We shall at all times align ourselves to any judicial pronouncement of a higher jurisdiction on this matter. We call upon all party leaders and members to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure the survival of the party at this critical period of our history.
“We also call upon the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sherriff and the National Working Committee (NWC) to abide by the recommendations of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee for the sake of our great party.
As a group, we shall continue to engage the party leadership and all relevant stakeholders with a view to having a hitch-free convention and call upon all leaders and party members to work towards the realisation of this objective.”