PDP Crisis: Our problems will be resolved within 3 months -BOT Chair
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, on Tuesday got a three-month breather through a peace deal brokered by governors of the party that will enable him to superintend over the affairs of the party before organising a national convention scheduled for May.
But just as the peace deal brokered by the governors was being presented, one of the party’s aggrieved stakeholders – former ministers of the PDP – kicked against the arrangement, insisting that Sheriff must step down along with other members of the National Working Committee (NWC) to make way for a national convention on March 28.
The embattled Sheriff, who has been on the hot seat since his emergence last week, was mandated to work with other members of the NWC to organise the national convention in May.
His emergence has been trailed by widespread outrage from both members of the PDP and other political stakeholders who saw the development as a setback for the opposition party still searching for a way to worm itself back to national reckoning.
However, in a surprise deal reached at the reconciliatory meeting of major organs of the party, made up of the PDP Governors’ Forum, its Board of Trustees (BoT), National Assembly caucus, and the NWC held at the Ondo State governor’s lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, the party agreed to hold a national convention in May that would usher in new executives to superintend its affairs.
Addressing journalists, who thronged the venue of the stakeholders’ meeting, the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, said the party resolved to end the crisis over the leadership of the party and to forge ahead as one family.
“As you can see we are just from a meeting. You are all aware of some controversies generated by the appointment of our new national chairman.
“In view of the recent developments of our party, I want to let you know that all organs of the party – the governors’ forum, National Assembly caucus, BoT have – agreed to stand by our national chairman to ensure that our party moves forward,” he said.
With regards to the position of the other stakeholders like the PDP Former Ministers’ Forum, Mimiko, who was flanked by Sheriff, the governors of Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ekiti States, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekwerenadu and Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, said all the important organs and stakeholders of the party had been reached and all were in agreement to give backing to the new chairman to organise the convention that would usher in a new beginning for the party.
“We have put behind us all the controversies in the last few days and I want to assure you that we are together as a party. We have also mandated the national chairman and the National Working Committee to put in motion immediately the processes of ensuring that within three months, a national convention of our party is held.
“We will brief all our members nationwide within the next two weeks of the timetable in this direction. In the next two weeks, the timetable will be out, all cumulating in our national convention within three months.
“I want to assure all of you that PDP is ready to work as one to move the country forward. We want to assure you that the party is ready to give Nigerians good governance.
“Let them know that as one big family, we are set and ready to move forward and ensure that we give good governance to the country,” he said.
The Chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibril, said his colleagues had agreed to back down on their rejection of the new national chairman and cooperate with other organs to actualise the national convention within the next three months.
He called on all aggrieved members of the party, including former ministers of the party to sheathe their swords and embrace the leadership of the party.
Prior to the briefing, ex-ministers of the PDP met in Abuja and restated their rejection of Sheriff as national chairman of the party due to the illegitimacy that brought him to power.
In their resolution after their meeting, the forum, however, relaxed their stance on Sheriff’s resignation but called for the conduct of congresses at all levels of the party leading to the national convention to be held on March 28, so as to return power to the people.
The forum also condemned all acts of impunity in the running of the party and called for adherence to the party’s constitution.
The forum agreed to continue with consultations with all relevant stakeholders, and noted with dismay the threat to one of its members, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, by Sheriff. It stated that a threat to one of its members was a threat to all.
The chairman of the forum, Mr. Tanimu Turaki, further added that the former ministers felt that the process deployed to appoint the national chairman was flawed.
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