‘PDP will emerge stronger from crisis’
Southwest zone expresses confidence in Fayose’s leadership
National Caretaker Committee (NCC) Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has reassured that the party would emerge stronger at the end of its crisis.
Makarfi who gave the assurance when the Forum of PDP State Chairmen visited him in Abuja, admitted that the party has lost some ground politically “but will bounce back stronger as soon as the Court of Appeal Judgment is delivered on February 17.”
According to him, “We have not lost some weight because we know where we are going as a party. We believe at the end of the day PDP will be strong again.”
Meanwhile, the Forum of PDP State Chairmen on has elected the Akwa-Ibom State Chairman, Paul Ekpo, to replace the chairman of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (FCT), Alhaji Yinusa Suleiman.
The group visited Makarfi to present the new chairman along with other members of his executive. Makarfi described the decision to elect a new chairman as a wise one and urged the body to hold meetings regularly at the state and local government levels to make the party more formidable at the grassroots.
He also called on the party chieftains to take a cue from the Jerry Gana-led Strategic Review and Inter Party Affairs Committee and make sacrifices in an effort to rebuild the party. He noted that the committee was expected to have submitted its report, which will be subjected to extensive and thorough analysis by the various organs to enable the party chart a new course.
Makarfi said the NCC had taken note of the chairmen’s requests, adding that the governor Ayo Fayose-led PDP Governors Forum was already discussing the matter.
Ekpo said, “We came in here as foot soldiers. We are here to introduce a new executive and to thank the PDP chairman of the FCT chapter.“We are here to thank the National Caretaker Committee. We support its leadership. We were part of the decision that culminated in its election. As people from the grassroots, we want the NCC to support chairmen who do not have PDP governors in their states. We plead that we be involved in critical decision making that affect the party,” Ekpo stated.
Secretary of the Committee, Senator Ben Obi, appreciated the PDP chairmen for their commitment and loyalty and promised that under Makarfi’s leadership “they will continue to have regular meetings with the state chairmen.”
Meanwhile, the national vice-chairman PDP, South West zone, Dr. Eddy Olafeso has expressed confidence in the appointment of Fayose as the chairman PDP Governors’ Forum.
Olafeso, who spoke with The Guardian yesterday said, “His appointment was a step in the right direction that would eventually lead the PDP out of its current challenges.”
He said the Ekiti State governor has demonstrated enough courage in every ramification noting that since the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) assumed office, “He has constructively engaged every anti-masses policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government without fear.”
According to him, “One of the outstanding courage Fayose has demonstrated was his unflinching criticism of the lackadaisical manner in which the presidency has been dealing with the menace of the Fulani herdsmen that have constituted terror to the southern part of the nation.”
On the illness of the president, the national vice-chairman said it is unfair to wish Buhari death. “I wish him very quick recovery because it is to nobody’s advantage if Buhari dies now.
“Mr. Buhari thought he could solve the problems of Nigeria but unfortunately he has since discovered that he could not. My advise to him and the APC is for them to have a rethink over the recommendations of the 2014 national Conference where great ideas and solutions on how to resolve the crisis facing Nigeria were recommended.”
Olafeso, who belongs to the Makarfi’s faction of PDP, said the party is planning a national and South West reconciliation tour as soon as it gets over its various court cases.
He said, “One of the resolutions we are going to make is that no member of the party should head to court on any matter until every avenue of reconciliation and intervention must have been exhausted.
He lamented that one of the major problems of the party was impunity among members “but we shall ensure that area is appropriately addressed.”Olafeso criticised Senator Buruji Kashamu, who currently represents Ogun East senatorial district, over his activities, which he alleged constituted setback to the development of the PDP, particularly in the South West.
According to him, “Kashamu’s challenges have to do with primitive mindset. You cannot claim to be a leader where a sitting governor is. His Omo Ilu Foundation in Ondo also contributed to the calamities of the party in the last governorship election.”
To those currently defecting from the PDP to APC, Olafeso said it is better for them to remain where they are, where they have political future because the ruling party has myriad of problems that would soon boomerang adding: “APC has no clear cut agenda to move Nigeria forward and it is clear that Nigerians are getting weary of it. All we need do is to provide a credible alternative in 2019.”
According to him, “Our President went around the world labeling us corrupt people. This of course discouraged many foreign investors from coming to Nigeria and aside that his introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA) further worsened the economy.”