Why Supreme Court should accelerate hearing on PDP leadership crisis
Mr Simon Arabo, a lawyer and member of the House of Representatives, has urged the Supreme Court to accelerate hearing on the PDP leadership matter.
“The Supreme Court should ensure accelerated hearing on the matter so as to resolve the lingering dispute “in the interest of democracy,” Arabo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Jos.
NAN reports that the former ruling party has been embroiled in a national leadership crisis that had torn it into two factions – a National Caretaker Committee led by Ahmed Makarfi, and another group led by former Borno Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff.
A recent Court of Appeal ruling recognised the Sheriff faction as the authentic group, but the Makarfi group is challenging that ruling at the apex court.
Arabo (PDP, Kauru), who described the PDP crisis as “very sad, unfortunate and regrettable”, said that it had robbed Nigeria’s democracy of the critical role of a strong opposition toward ensuring good governance.
“The PDP is busy fighting itself and giving the ruling party a free roam; there is no opposition voice to point out inadequacies and call the government to order,” he said.
He said that an accelerated hearing to quickly resolve the issues was very important so that members of the party would know their fate “as quickly as possible”.
“It is very important for us to know our political fate within this year.
“The court should consider the huge number of Nigerians affected by the case and resolve it quickly so as to reduce political tension and allow those involved to decide on the next political step,” he said.
Arabo said that there were many options for members of the PDP, but declared that a lot depended on the Supreme Court’s final word.
“People will decide after the judgement. No one can force any marriage on anyone. There are many options, but we shall wait for the Supreme Court.
“But time is very important. It waits for no one because it is a perishable commodity. So, a quick judgement will help us to know where and how we can deploy our minds and our time,” he said
The lawmaker, however, advised the two factions to “work out a political solution” to the dispute, pointing out that the two groups needed each if they were serious about serving as a credible alternative that could wrestle power from the ruling party.
He particularly advised Makarfi and Sheriff to put the interest of the party above their personal considerations and reminded the duo that the overall interest of the party was always supreme.
Arabo criticised Sheriff for walking out of the peace parley organised by former President Goodluck Jonathan, last week.
“That Sheriff stormed out of that meeting leaves a sour taste in the mouth. It creates doubts as to his commitment to genuine reconciliation.
“In a political reconciliation, people should not get fixated by their positions. There is the need for flexibility.
“The court has recognised him as chairman of the party, but the crux of the matter is that key stakeholders and the party’s membership see Makarfi as the leader; so we must consider these factors and seek a meeting point.
“Many people have been sceptical of Sheriff and his role in the crisis that has enveloped the party, but some are still ready to give him the benefit of the doubt. Such doubts will evaporate if these negative tendencies continue,” Arabo said.
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