From Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The lingering crisis rocking the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) may be taking its toll as the Deputy National Chairman of the Ali Modu Sheriff’s faction, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, is pushing for a political solution.
The national secretariat, popularly called Wadata Plaza, has remained shut 120 days after it was sealed up by the police over the leadership crisis.
Former national chairman, Senator Sheriff and chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, are laying claims to the leadership’.
The two groups operate from two different offices in the federal capital.
When Daily Sun visited Wadata Plaza yesterday, two men in mufti, who may be security operatives, sat inside the desolate secretariat. While at the access road to the secretariat by Algiers Street, two operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were keeping guard. A security van belonging to the security agency was positioned strategically at Algiers Street end of the secretariat.
However, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh told Daily Sun that his group is praying fervently to God for leaders of the party to see the need for a political solution to the leadership crisis so that they can return to the secretariat.
He confirmed that talks are ongoing between the feuding groups, noting that once the party leaders which include the governors, Board of Trustees (BoT) members and other top shots agree to a political solution, the leadership crisis would be resolved to the satisfaction of all the interest groups.
“We are praying to God that our leaders should listen so that we can reach a political solution and soon as that is done, we shall move back to the secretariat. We are talking at all fronts. We are praying too that all our leaders would listen and see the need for a political solution,” Ojougboh said.
Asked how soon the political solution would crystallise, he said it could be this week.
The leadership crisis broke out on May 21 this year when the PDP National Convention in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital sacked the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Sheriff, who is also a former governor of Borno State and it up the Makarfi Caretaker Committee to replace the dissolved NWC.
However, Sheriff dismissed his sack, insisting that he remains the National Chairman of the opposition party. Thus, the party was broken into two factions. Consequently, on May 22, the police sealed up the secretariat, cordoning off one of the traffic lanes leading into the complex.
Makarfi, who is also a former governor of Kaduna State is backed by the Board of Trustees (BoT), governors and some other party bigwigs across the country, while the former National chairman enjoys the support of a few party chieftains in the country.
However, Sheriff, who is a former Borno State governor, armed with a Federal High Court judgment, Abuja, gained entry into the party’s national secretariat after four failed attempts.