The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff has ruled out stepping down as one of the options in the search for political solution to the party’s leadership crisis.
Key stakeholders in the party have been harping on a vague concept of “political solution” without being explicit on details of the concept.
Sheriff was reacting to a media report indicating that former President Goodluck Jonathan had asked him and the rival Caretaker Committee chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi to step down and allow the party’s governors to nominate another chairman.
In a statement Thursday signed on his behalf by his appointed party spokesman, Mr. Bernard Mikko, Sheriff said the issue of resignation did not come up during his meeting with former President Goodluck Jonathan last week.
The statement said, “The general public, PDP members and the media are hereby informed that the issue of the National Chairman’s resignation as the political solution has never been discussed nor was it put up for discussion with the former President and other stakeholders.
“The general public, PDP members nationwide and the media are hereby informed that shortly before the Court of Appeal judgement of 17th February, 2017; all parties and stakeholders agreed that on the receipt of the Court of Appeal judgement, whichever way it goes; members will be prevailed upon and urged to support the judgement and orders of the Court of Appeal and rally round the successful party to conduct; as soon as possible a national unity convention for the election of officers; the modalities of which shall be worked out by all stakeholders of the party.
“As law abiding citizen and advocate of the rule of law, the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff hereby calls on all stakeholders including but not limited to PDP governors; national and state assembly members; Board of Trustee members to make themselves available and give their input on how we can; as quickly as possible conduct a national unity convention where our national officers will be elected. The National Chairman has promised and undertaken not to contest”.
Efforts by our correspondent to get the reaction of the Makarfi camp did not yield results. Repeated telephone calls and SMS messages to the spokesman of the Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye were left unanswered.
Also Thursday, another reconciliation committee of the party, headed by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, met with some party leaders and some PDP National Assembly members in Abuja.
A statement signed by Dickson after the meeting also harped on the need to find a political solution to the crisis, describing it as the best option.
The Dickson committee endorsed the resolution reached by Jonathan and the governors, “without prejudice to the ongoing judicial processes”.
The statement said, “As part of this process, it is imperative that an early convention within the second quarter of 2017 should be held in Abuja, which therefore should be all inclusive and where new national officials of the party will be freely, fairly and transparently elected.
“In furtherance of this, the reconciliation committee shall embark on extensive consultations with all stakeholders with a view to building confidence and necessary consensus toward the unity convention”.
“The committee, however, appeals to all party leaders and members of PDP to exercise restraint and focus on the loyalty to and the overall interest of the party”.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Thursday announced Dr. Ahmed Gulak, a former Political Adviser to former President Jonathan as his Chief of Staff, with the appointment taking immediate effect