From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja
There is no letup in the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as supporters of Senators Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi yesterday had an open confrontation in front of the party secretariat, in Abuja.
Policemen detailed to protect the secretariat watched with indifference the machete-weilding supporters engaged in free for all.
Meanwhile, governors and the Board of Trustees (BoT) yesterday lashed out at what they called the forceful ejection of the Makarfi committee from the party national secretariat by Sheriff loyalists.
Addressing newsmen at the end of the meeting held at Ondo State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose and Makarfi restated allegation that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was instigating the crisis.
“We stand as a party to condemn the interference, strategic efforts to destroy PDP in Nigeria.
“We want to make it very clear to the international community, well meaning Nigerians must take note that PDP is prepared to give credible opposition to government in power, that has so far achieved nothing in the spate of one year in office.
“What I want to say very, very clearly is that the effort of PDP to put its house in order is our business and we are doing everything possible, and want to appeal to the security agencies to please, within the ambit of the law allow the PDP to put its house in order. The security agencies should support, without interference, every effort to let Nigerians have a credible opposition as we move forward in Nigeria,” Fayose said.
Makarfi spoke in the same vein, as he alleged that the ruling party was encouraging Sheriff to rubbish the proclamation of the party’s highest organ, the national convention which dissolved the national working committee and enthroned him.
“We reviewed all that have been going on in the party, especially since Monday. You are all witnesses to the thuggery that took place. How thugs were brought into Abuja and some people forced themselves into the secretariat, in the process documents and some property belonging to the party cannot be accounted for.
“This cannot be without some supports from some quarters, definitely not from PDP.
“We have had the former chairman recorded saying that he was going to go beyond Inspector General of Police, (IGP) to gain access into the secretariat.
“We don’t know what he means by beyond the IGP, but all of you are sensible enough to decide beyond the IGP could actually mean. We are at a loss.
“Any illegal action by any party, no matter how highly placed must be checkmated. And those elements that may be interfering in our internal affairs, whether they belong to any particular party or they do not belong to any at all, should allow us to be, as we are not interfering in any other body’s affairs.”
But Sheriff consistently denied the “stooge” tag even as he challenged Makarfi to name the date, venue and names of those in attendance at the so-called meeting he allegedly had with some governors of the APC.
“One wonders how Ahmed Makarfi and his cohorts could tell lies just to divert attention from the real issues at stake. The issues at stake remain the presence of a cabal in the PDP, desperately trying to hijack the structure of the party and continue the perpetuation of acts of lawlessness and impunity, which Ali Sheriff resisted,” said a statement by his spokesman.