Makarfi angry with Dickson over convention report
A deal, which Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders banked on to restore their troubled party has collapsed.
Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson submitted a reconciliation report to the court-backed National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff. Dickson is sympathetic to Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee.
He told Sheriff that for peace to reign, a convention had been tentatively planned for June 30, with some conditions, if Sheriff would lead it.
Yesterday, Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi , expressed displeasure with Dickson’s action.
Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose insisted that he and his state’s chapter had nothing to do with Sheriff.
He said he believed that the Supreme Court would break the ice of the leadership crisis, after which “we will know what to do”
He spoke at the International Women Day event in Ado-Ekiti.
The Senate Caucus of the PDP also yesterday turned down an invitation extended to it by Sheriff and opted for wider consultation in resolving the leadership tussle..
Chairman of the caucus, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, told reporters after a meeting of the caucus, that Sheriff extended a letter, dated March 6 to the caucus for a meeting.
He assured that the caucus would continue to push for an out of court settlement regarding the leadership tussle. He however said the meeting would be a better option
Makarfi’s anger at Dickson stemmed from the publicity given the governor’s presentation of his committee’s report Sheriff on Tuesday.
Among others, the report contains recommendations for the conduct of a national convention, tentatively fixed for June 30.
In a statement yesterday, Makarfi faulted the Bayelsa governor for making the report public without consultation with stakeholders.
According to him, the governor spurned advice to circulate the report and consult widely with key organs and stakeholders, adding that the report was still subject to review and amendment.
Makarfi said Dickson presented him with a draft of the report and that he had advised the governor to ensure proper consultation and effect some changes before making it public.
“I am shocked and disappointed that the Governor of Bayelsa made a public presentation of a purported report approved or endorsed by us and other stakeholders as reported.
“He met me yesterday (Tuesday) and I pointed out the problems with his proposals, that it will go against even the Court of Appeal Judgement.
“At the end, I told him as Caretaker Committee, whatever is approved by the organs of the party that we represent, we will work with and I advised him to revert back to his colleagues and other organs. But this is what we are seeing.
“Be that as it may, the Committee never saw any draft report even though he promised coming with it. In any case, as personal advice, I referred him back to the organs of the party and the Goodluck Jonathan Committee. There was nothing before us from organs of the party to accept or reject.”
The said report had conceded to Sheriff powers to preside over the proposed convention and to select 12 members into the Convention Planning Committee, in consultation with party stakeholders.
Among those listed as members of the Convention Planning Committee are seven governors, seven senators, 12 members of the House of Reps, six members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and six national vice chairmen.
Others are 18 zonal chairmen, six speakers of state assemblies; six former governors, former presiding officers of the National Assembly, six prominent women leaders, six youth leaders and six former ministers.
Also yesterday,some members of the Kaduna State chapter of the PDP stormed the national secretariat to pledge their loyalty to Sheriff.
The supporters, who came under the aegis of Zone III PDP Solidarity Group, said Sheriff had demonstrated an uncommon respect for the rule of law. Doing otherwise, they said, would have put the party in greater jeopardy.
The leader of the group, Mr. David Kajid, observed that there had been surreptitious moves by some groups and individuals to further divide the party following Sheriff’s victory at the Court of Appeal.
He called party supporters and aggrieved members to respect the rule of law and also appealed to the leadership under Sheriff to explore dialogue and peaceful resolution of contentious issues.
Sheriff called on members to join him in building a stronger PDP, adding that partisan politics required unity to thrive.
“I want to make it clear that in the Appeal Court judgment, there is no winner and no loser. Politics needs unity. I pledge to carry everybody along and I am willing to work with everybody. I call on other members of the party to join me in building the party to a greater height,” the chairman said.