I Do Not Recognise Sheriff As PDP’s National Chairman – Ayo Fayose

I Do Not Recognise Sheriff As PDP's National Chairman - Ayo FayoseThere may not be an end in sight to the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as the reconciliation efforts by the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, appears to have hit a stalemate temporarily.

After Thursday’s walkout by the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff, the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Mr Ayodele Fayose, says he does not recognise Senator Sheriff as the party’s leader.

Mr Fayose who was a guest on Channels Television’s political program, Politics Today, said the best way to resolve the matter is to wait for the outcome of the Supreme Court judgement.

“Personally I don’t recognise him as the National Chairman of the PDP.”

According to him, Sheriff is only the party’s Chairman by law, however, “there is an appeal waiting. I do respect what the law says but you cannot force a chairman I don’t want on me.

“For me, we will rather wait for the court to decide the future of this party, when the court says it is Makarfi, we follow him, when the court says Sheriff, we say bye bye – Personally, I will not attend any meeting with Sherriff again.”

On February 17, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, ruled that the caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi was illegal and could not act on behalf of the PDP.

Although the judgement has continued to trigger more controversy within the party, Senator Sheriff, has since resumed work at the National Secretariat of the party.

Members of the Kaduna State Working Committee however, unanimously threw their support behind Senator Makarfi and described the Court of Appeal’s judgement as a ‘miscarriage of justice’.

Governor Fayose had also earlier described the reinstatement of Senator Sheriff as a rape of democracy, stating his confidence in the ability of the judiciary to do justice.

Six Kogi PDP Lawmakers Defect To APC

Six Kogi PDP Lawmakers Defect To APCSix Kogi State House of Assembly members from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).

The lawmakers cited disputes that have bedevilled the PDP in the recent time as their reasons for quitting the party for the APC.

In a letter sent and read at the plenary by the Speaker of the House, Honourable Umar Iman, the defectors formally notified the House of their decision to quit the party for the APC, the ruling party in Kogi State.

Meanwhile, security operatives were stationed at the complex, as there were rumours that the defection might lead to a change of leadership in the House.

After a closed door executive meeting which lasted several hours, the sitting started with Speaker Umar reading the letter written and signed by the six defectors.

“We the undersigned honourable members of the Kogi State House of Assembly elected on the platform of the PDP, wish to formerly notify you of our decision to defect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Our action and decisions predicted on the factionalisation squabbles both at the national and state level, basically with the party having two National Chairmen, in persons of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

“Instructively, the existence of such divisive factions within the party for over 10 months has left us uncomfortable politically and subsequently, rendered us neophyte for effective and people driven representation of our various constituents.

”In view of the unfortunate diversion and the accompanying negative implications, we have no option than to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC), for us to be able to accomplish our campaign promises of bringing government closer to our people,” one of the defectors said.

Greatest Disappointment

However, the message did not go down well with the PDP members in the House as a member from Ogori-Magongo constituency, Godwin Osiyi, bade the six decamping members goodbye.

”These are people who are elected under the Peoples Democratic Party defecting, this is the greatest disappointment. We are in an executive meeting – Mr Speaker I expected that this letter you just read, copies would have been provided for members.

”These are overgrown adults who want to leave a party for party because of some squabbles they claim we have. I congratulate the APC for having more members but remember that anytime you have a problem, they will leave you.

“These are men of very low valour, so gird your loin very properly. Those of us remaining in the PDP are still very resilient”, Honourable Osiyi said.

Also reacting to the action, a PDP lawmaker, Friday Sanni, said the PDP will challenge there defection, noting that the members have to lose their seat.

”I know as a fact that the Peoples Democratic Party will take all necessary action against this abnormality because in the face of the law right now, there is no crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party in Kogi State.

“We don’t have any faction in the party, we have no faction in the PDP State Executive Committee. So describing State Executive Committee as divided, or national, I think it is an erroneous affection.

“Because in the face of the law right now, there is a National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party and as I speak to you, Ali Modu Sheriff operates from the National Party Secretariat of the PDP, you are all aware,” he said.

PDP Crisis: Sheriff Accuses Makarfi Of Frustrating Peace

PDP Crisis: Sheriff Accuses Makarfi Of Frustrating Peace
Mr Cairo Ojougboh

The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has accused his political rival, Senator Ahmed Makarfi of frustrating reconciliation efforts brokered by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Senator Sheriff’s Deputy, Mr Cairo Ojougboh, said the PDP National Working Committee has been talking to the leaders of the party to fix a date for a convention.

According to Mr Ojougboh, the PDP would go on with the convention even as Senator Makarfi’s group awaits judgement from the Supreme Court on the matter.

“The National Working Committee has adopted the position of the reconciliation committee as a working document and a working paper, and it’s not exhaustive.

“Any organ of the party or any person in the party that has any position to submit to the National Working Committee will also be studied.

“If Makarfi and his group feel that they don’t want political settlement and that they want to wait for the Supreme Court, it is their choice.

“But the party cannot remain stagnant waiting for them, so the party must continue.

“When they get to the Supreme Court and they come back, then we will know how to cross that bridge when we get there.

“All organs and 90% of the populace of the PDP including stakeholders have queued into the issue of reconciliation and convention, and the convention must hold,” he said.

Mr Dayo Adeyeye
Mr Dayo Adeyeye

However, spokesman for the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, insisted that Senator Sheriff has been the one frustrating the peace efforts.

“As far as we are concerned, that agreement states clearly that all parties should resign then our lawyers will meet to draw up an agreement that we can present to the Supreme Court as a voluntary judgement that we have fully agreed to before the court.

“This can provide both legal and political solution to the crisis, but Sheriff has rejected that,” Mr Adeyeye said.

Former President Jonathan and other leaders of the PDP have urged the warring factions to settle their dispute out of court.

Ali Modu Sheriff Resumes As PDP Chairman

Ali Modu Sheriff Resumes As PDP ChairmanThe National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has officially resumed work at the national secretariat of the party.

Addressing the Imo State PDP delegation who paid him a visit in Abuja, Senator Sheriff said the party is in its current leadership mess because of the imposition of candidates against the wishes of the people.

He, however, stated optimism that he would return the party to the people.

On their part, the delegation led by Senator Hope Uzodinma pledged to mobilise the support of party members from the southeast region.

It appears the ruling of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State which reinstated Sheriff as the PDP Chairman has continued to trigger more controversy within the party.

This time, the chapter of the party in Kaduna state seems to have been divided over Senator Sheriff’s supporters and those in Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s camp.

Members of the state working committee unanimously threw their support behind Senator Makarfi and described the Court of Appeal judgement as a ‘miscarriage of justice’.

However, some members loyal to Senator Sheriff have come out openly to distance themselves from the position of the party executive in Kaduna State, saying they are not part of it.

The group, led by Senator Musa Bello, said the judgment of the Appeal Court must be respected by every member of the party, hence they are solidly behind Sheriff.

Alleged Contempt: Sheriff Threatens To Jail Makarfi, Others

Ali Modu Sheriff, Ahmed Makarfi, PDP, PDP Crisis
PDP National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff

The crisis rocking the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not appear to be abating, even with the judgement of the Court of Appeal.

The National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has asked the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to jail his rival Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and some of his loyalists over what he described as ‘contempt of court’.

The former Borno State Governor and the PDP National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo, accused Senator Makarfi and others of flouting the order of the court which was delivered on February 17, 2017.

The Appeal Court had in addition to pronouncing Sheriff as the PDP National Chairman, ruled that the removal of the National Working Committee was wrong while the constitution of the caretaker committee was illegal.

Apart from the former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Sheriff also listed three other prominent leaders of the party as those to be jailed by the appellate court.

Others named as alleged contemnors are the two other members of the sacked National Caretaker Committees, Senator Ben Obi (secretary) and Mr Dayo Adeyeye (publicity secretary), and a former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode.

In the suit with APPEAL NO: CA/PH/349/2016, Sheriff asked the court to commit the four persons to prison for one year over the alleged contempt.

Apart from the four contemnors, he also listed a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Emeka Ihedioha; a former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana; Chairman, Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jibrin; and an aspirant to the office of the party’s national chairman, Mr Bode George, as alleged contemnors.

Close Down Factional Secretariat

The PDP National Chairman, however, did not pray the court to commit Ihedioha, Gana, Jibrin and George to prison.

Rather, he asked the court for an order restraining them from “proclaiming or otherwise holding out to the public that the first to third alleged contemnors are national officers of the PDP for any purpose whatsoever”.

Listed as defendants in the case are the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Department of State Services (DSS).

Senator Sheriff and Professor Oladipo asked the court to stop Senator Makarfi and his group from parading themselves as national officers of the party.

PDP, Ahmed Makarfi
Senator Ahmed Makarfi

They also asked the court to direct the IGP and the DSS to close down the factional secretariat being operated by the Makarfi group.

Apart from that, the duo prayed the court not to transmit the records of the court proceedings to Markarfi and his group, saying they didn’t have the permission of the party to get it.

Defy Court Order

Oladipo, who signed an affidavit in support of the claim, stated that on February 17, “soon after the judgment was delivered, the alleged contemnors proceeded to address the media and to comment negatively, contemptuously, disparagingly and contumeliously on the findings and order of the court set out above.

“Rather than accept that the justice of the matter as determined by this honourable court was as expressed in the findings, holdings and order set out above, the fourth to eighth alleged contemnors made statements encouraging the first to third respondents to defy the order of the court and flout the purpose of the court’s judgment delivered on the 17th of February 2017,” he said.

The PDP National Secretary claimed that it was on this basis that the alleged contemnors placed notices in newspapers, where they convened a meeting of what they called “PDP stakeholders.

“The said meeting was held on Monday, February 20, and was attended by the fourth to eighth alleged contemnors, who made further statements encouraging the first to third alleged contemnors to defy the holdings and order of the court”.

Purpose Of The Judgment

The motion on notice for the committal of the alleged contemnors was filed by eight lawyers, led by a former Minister of Justice, Akin Olujimi, who was joined by two other Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Dr. Alex Izinyon and B. E. Nwofor – among others.

“The actions of the alleged contemnors, as shown in the affidavit in support of this application, have the effort of flouting the purpose of the judgment of this Honourable court, which purpose is to properly regulate the exercise of powers by the alleged contemnors against the applicants and first respondent; avoid any further anarchy, lawlessness and deepening crisis capable of heating up the Nigerian polity; and establish the requirements of the rule of law and due process in the administration of justice.

“Although the alleged contemnors were not parties to the action in court, it is our humble submission that they have a responsibility to ensure that they do not aid and abet the disobedience of the judgment order or treat the said judgment with disdain and disrespect,” the lawyers stated.

Senator Markarfi and the other faction of the party are believed to have filed an application seeking for stay of execution of the judgment and leave for appeal.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of Sheriff’s case, which was filed on February 24, 2017.‎

Anti-Sheriff Protesters Storm PDP Secretariat

Protesters Storm PDP Secretariat Over SheriffSome protesters loyal to the Senator Ahmed Makarfi Caretaker Committee, have stormed the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja, calling on the police to stop the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, from entering the secretariat.

The Spokesperson to the Ahmed Makarfi group, Dayo Adeyeye, at a press conference, also asked the police to stop the national chairman from accessing the party’s secretariat.

Senator Sheriff moved into the national secretariat of the PDP on Friday, relying on the Court of Appeal judgement that declared him as the authentic chairman of the party.

He said the reopening of the party’s secretariat would enable him and the National Working Committee to work towards returning the party to its status in 1999.

The group of Makarfi loyalists, have however insisted that the national chairman must wait for the supreme court judgement over who should actually be the party’s chairman.

Meanwhile, the National Deputy Chairman of the (PDP) Mr Kairo Ojougbo, has described both the protests and the call to stop Sheriff as illegal.

The secretariat was reopened on Friday, exactly nine months after it was sealed by the police.

For almost two years, the battle for the soul of the PDP has raged on, defying every seeming solution proffered by its members.

In 2016, PDP had described the Sheriff-led faction of the party as agents of darkness, insisting that the former Governor of Borno State was not the Chairman of the party.

Even after the ruling by the court in Port-Hacourt, the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, described the reinstatement of Senator Sheriff as a rape of democracy.

Ali Modu Sheriff Moves Into PDP Secretariat

PDP Secretariat, Ali Modu SheriffThe National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has moved into the national secretariat of the party, nine months after it was sealed by the Police in May 2016.

Senator Sheriff said the reopening of the party’s secretariat would enable him and the National Working Committee to work towards returning the party to its status in 1999.

He also assured PDP faithful that none of them would be victimised, noting that his goal was to reunite the party and make it stronger once more.

Sheriff had earlier told journalists in Abuja that he had perfected all legal documents required for the reopening of the secretariat.

He added that the PDP convention committee was working towards conducting a national convention that would elect principal officers soon.

The former Borno State Governor was reinstated as the PDP National Chairman on February 17, after a long leadership tussle that shook the party.

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt ruled that the caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi was illegal and cannot act on behalf of the party.

Justice Sanga said that due process was not followed in the decision by the PDP convention to dissolve the Ali Modu Sheriff-led chairmanship and hence, should be disregarded.

Sheriff To Reopen PDP Secretariat After Nine Months

Sheriff To Take Over PDP Secretariat After Nine MonthsNational Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, is set to take over the party’s secretariat next week.

This is coming months after the national secretariat was sealed by the police in May 2016, when the leadership tussle of the PDP started.

Sheriff, told journalists in Abuja that he has perfected all legal documents required for the reopening of the secretariat.

He also stated that the party’s convention committee is working toward conducting a national convention that would elect principal officers soon.

After a long leadership tussle that shook the party, a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, on February 17, 2017, declared Senator Sheriff as the party’s national chairman.

The court ruled that the caretaker committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi is illegal and cannot act on behalf of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The lead Judge, B. A. Sanga, in his judgement said that due process was not followed in the decision by the PDP convention to dissolve the Ali Modu Sheriff-led chairmanship and hence should be disregarded.

Meanwhile, the Chairman has described the court’s judgement as a victory for all, stating that the interest of the party supersedes his office as the National Chairman and is willing to relinquish the position for the party to move forward.

PDP Ministers Meet With Jonathan Over Party’s Leadership Tussle

PDP Ministers Meet With Goodluck JonathanAs the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to linger, former President Goodluck Jonathan has played host to major stakeholders in the party.

This time, it is the turn of the Forum of Former Ministers of the PDP to visit the former president in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Chairman of the forum and a former Minister of Special Duties, Mr Kabiru Turaki, briefed reporters shortly after their meeting with Dr. Jonathan.

He maintained that forum will challenge the judgment of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, which affirmed Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the PDP.

“I am aware that an appeal has been lodged against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division yesterday.

“With the notice of that appeal, I’m also aware that an application for injunction has been filled.

“So the position of the law in situations like this is that unless that application is taken and decided one way or the other that there is an interim stay and interim injunction.

“And so with that therefore, the caretaker committee continues as the organ that is legally charged with propelling the affairs of this party,” he said.

We Are Friends

Mr Kabiru opined that the leadership crisis rocking the party was not uncommon in a democratic setting.

He, however, noted that the Supreme Court was the final arbiter on all disputes and stated optimism that the party would overcome its crisis ahead of the 2019 general elections.

“This is not a war; this is a simple ordinary family feud within the PDP family.

“Even when we allow the court or we get to the point where the Supreme Court will have to make a pronouncement one way or the other, quite literally, we will still need each other.

“We are friends, we are family, we are brothers and sisters.

“So at the end of the day, even between the tongue and the teeth, there could be tense moments but it still does not mean that there will not be reconciliation between them,” the former minister said.

Sheriff Meets Jonathan On PDP Unity

pdpThe National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has met with former President Goodluck Jonathan to seek how to unite the party.

After the meeting held on Monday behind closed doors in Abuja, Dr. Jonathan and Senator Sheriff told reporters that the current leadership crisis in the PDP would soon be settled.

PDP Will Become Stronger

The former president said “the ability of resolving these differences is what makes us human beings and what makes us leaders. I’ve met with sheriff and leaders of the party.

“I’ll meet with others and at the end of the day, PDP will become stronger so that we will be able to do what is expected of us as a political party”.

On his part, Senator Sheriff declared that there is only one party, and that they are working hard in ensuring that the party is united once again.

“There’s only one PDP and there is only one national chairman; so we are putting everything together to make sure the party is united.

“We are not fighting with anybody; it is not time to join issue with people; we need everybody to come back,” said the former Borno State Governor.

It is the second time in one week that leaders of the party are meeting with the former president on how to resolve the leadership crisis in the PDP.

Dr. Jonathan had hosted the leadership and Strategy Review Committee of the PDP at his home in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The visit was to inform the former president of the issues surrounding the party’s leadership and winning elections convincingly under the current leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Dr. Jonathan expressed belief that the loss of power at the centre was only temporary, insisting that the PDP would do better in the next general elections.

PDP Former Ministers Fault Judgment Reinstating Sheriff

turakiThe Forum of Former Ministers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the Court of Appeal judgment affirming Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the party.

The Chairman of the forum and a former Minister of Special Duties, Mr Kabiru Turaki, said this on Friday while briefing reporters shortly after the PDP leaders met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

He said the forum has advised the leadership of the PDP to head to the Supreme Court to challenge the judgment.

Turaki, backed by two other former ministers, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode and Professor Abubakar Suleiman, commended the minority judgment of the Appeal Court upholding the leadership of Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

They appealed to members and supporters of the PDP to remain calm, stressing they the former ministers have resolved to ensure that the judgment is challenged at the Supreme Court.

Rape Of Democracy

Although Senator Sheriff may have won at the Appeal Court in Port Harcourt as the PDP National Chairman, the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Ayodele Fayose, noted that the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee would appeal the judgement.

Sheriff, Ali Modu-Sheriff, PDP, Makarfi,
PDP National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff

Governor Fayose described the reinstatement of Senator Sheriff as a rape of democracy.

He added that the issue was a party matter which must be addressed as soon as possible.

The governor said they would appeal the judgement, stating his confidence in the ability of the judiciary to do justice.

The Appeal Court which reinstated the new PDP Chairman had ruled that the caretaker committee was illegal and cannot act on behalf of the party.

The lead judge, Justice Sanga, stated that due process was not followed in the decision by the PDP convention to dissolve the Sheriff faction, hence should be disregarded.

Makarfi’s Refusal To Step Down Is Hampering Reconciliation – Gulak

ahmed-gulakA chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says reconciliation of the factions in the party was scuttled by the chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, whom he said had not given his consent to a reconciliation requirement.

Giving his opinion on the crisis in the party, Mr Ahmed Gulak, said that Senator Makarfi had, at a reconciliation meeting, refused to accept the condition that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and himself should step down for a fresh start.

The PDP chieftain said that Senator Sheriff, whom he said is still the chairman of the party, had accepted to step down, but Senator Makarfi’s refusal has scuttled the whole process.

He insisted that reconciliation was the way forward.

“We must come together to be able to focus on 2019.

“All members should bury their ambitions and build the party before anybody’s ambition. When the party is strong people can declare their ambitions.

“Sheriff and Markarfi were called and sheriff agreed to step aside but Makarfi refused, saying he must consult with some governors.

“If it is the intention of these governors and Makarfi that this party should remain united, then the needful should be done,” he said.

On the leadership of the party, Mr Gulak insisted that “the authentic chairman of the party as of now is Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

“A court of competent jurisdiction has pronounced that only Senator Sheriff can parade himself as the national chairman of the party. The same court barred Senator Makarfi Caretaker Committee from parading themselves as the caretaker committee acting for and on behalf of the party.

“The simple reason is, no gathering can pass a national convention when there is a subsisting court order barring the party from conducting a convention or electing principle officers,” he explain.

On the chances of the PDP putting a strong opposition against the ruling party in coming elections, Mr Gulak said that “in few weeks, you will see the vibrant opposition that the PDP will give the APC”.

“We are trying to pick the pieces to rebuild,” he added.