PDP accuses presidency, APC of sponsoring Sheriff to destroy party
• Govs, BoT, NASS caucus meet today
• PDP’s sins haunting it, says APC
As the crack in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deepens, its Caretaker Committee yesterday accused the Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) of sponsoring Ali Modu Sheriff to cause disaffection and ultimately destroy the opposition party.
But in further moves to end the crisis, past and present governors elected on the platform of the party, Board of Trustees and National Assembly Caucus of the party will meet today.
Similarly, some PDP youths called Concerned PDP Youths yesterday in Abuja issued a seven-day ultimatum to all leaders of the party to put an immediate end to the lingering crisis in the party. The youths threatened to take over the party should there be no end to the crisis at the end of the seven days’ ultimatum.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the committee based its allegation on what it called a clear directive to the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Police to assist Sheriff in taking over the party secretariat on Monday.
The press conference which was attended by five of the seven-member caretaker committee was presided over by the committee’s spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, who insisted that no court authorised Sheriff to take over the party.
The committee said: “The order of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice A.M Liman which barred Sheriff from acting as PDP national chairman is still subsisting and has not elapsed contrary to the insinuation of Senator Ali Sheriff. The order will subsist until the determination of the motion on notice which comes up for hearing on Thursday.”
The text of the press conference read in part:
“It is curious that the police claimed to be acting on ‘orders from above’ in allowing Sheriff and his cohorts to gain entry into the secretariat. If we may ask, who is the authority that issued the ‘orders from above’?
“What we are however very certain about is that Sheriff and his fellow renegades are being used by the enemies of the PDP to destroy our party and to prevent it from re-organising itself so as to provide a credible opposition and alternative platform for the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial election and 2019 elections.
“The All Progressives Congress has contracted Sheriff and his cohorts to scuttle chances of the PDP in the Edo governorship elections.”
The caretaker committee further alleged: “We have credible intelligence that Sheriff had a meeting on Sunday night with an APC governor from North West, where it was organised that he would be given full security and financial support to exacerbate the crisis in the PDP with the objective of preventing the PDP from presenting a candidate for the Edo governorship elections, or in the very least to prevent the PDP from offering a serious challenge to APC whose electoral fortunes have continued to nosedived.”
Adeyeye said the caretaker committee would not engage Sheriff in any physical battle over the national secretariat, adding that he would be chased out at the appropriate time. He stressed that the Presidency was clearly involved in Sheriff’s successful entry into the secretariat.
“It is very glaring that the hand of the powers that be is in this matter.
It’s like the case in the Bible where the matter was presented before King Solomon whether he should kill a child or allow it to survive. Sheriff doesn’t mind if that secretariat is burnt down. We have put in a lot to this party. we won’t allow any harm to be done to any person. We are not competing with him in anyway. He can go on and occupy the place illegally but time will tell and he will be chased out.”
On efforts being taken to contact the inspector general of police who Sheriff claimed permitted him to enter the secretariat, Adeyeye said: “We are taking all measures to gain control of the secretariat again. I believe that Sheriff must have given very false information to the IGP upon which he acted. We still want to give the IG the benefit of the doubt. We have intelligence report clearly indicating that the hand of the powers that be is in this matter.
“Those people in the picture with Sheriff are like members of a presidential entourage, those are DSS people. So, even apart from the police, DSS accompanied him to the secretariat yesterday. So, Sheriff is being aided and abetted by the APC who do not want the PDP to have peace because they know the peace of the PDP is their own problem.
“They have messed up the country, Nigeria is in financial paralysis. And they know that the PDP, if it can organise itself, will surely be able to take over power again in 2019. So, Sheriff is being sponsored by the enemies of the party so that this party will not witness any peace.”
Reacting to the allegations yesterday, the national secretariat of the APC described them as baseless . APC said that the PDP was suffering from its sins of the past.
The APC said : “ For the umpteenth time, the APC wishes to state that instead of joining issues with the baseless and laughable allegations, the APC would rather join issues that will bring about all-inclusive development in the country.
However, it should be put on record that the PDP forced on them whatever crisis it is troubled with today due to its politics of imposition and other undemocratic practices which the APC abhors. The PDP should put its house in order rather than playing to the gallery and blaming others but themselves for their sins which have come to haunt them. Also, it is evident that the PDP has chosen to employ diversionary tactics because of its inability to produce credible candidates for the forthcoming elections in Edo and Ondo states.”
Governors elected on the platform of the PDP, the Board of Trustees (BoT) and National Assembly Caucus would today meet to address the latest development in the party.
Other people expected at the meeting holding at Ondo Governor’s Lodge, Abuja are former governors of the party and former principal officers of the National Assembly.On Monday, Sheriff took over the party and insisted that he would be at the helm of affairs of PDP till 2018.
The PDP Governors’ Forum, in a statement by its Director General, Osaro Onaiwu, explained that though Sheriff was not invited to the meeting, the purpose is to find a lasting solution to the crisis bedeviling the party.
He, however pointed out that the party would have no other option than to go to court, if efforts to address the situation fail.At a controversial convention in Port Harourt on May 21, 2016, the party sacked Sheriff and other members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and constituted a seven-man caretaker committee headed by former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi.
But dissatisfied with the development, Sheriff on Monday took over the party, stressing that he never constituted any caretaker committee as the party constitution did not make any provision for such committee.
Sheriff had said: “It is public knowledge that although there was an order by the Federal High Court in Lagos, declaring me the authentic National Chairman of the PDP, I have kept away from taking steps that could jeopardise the law following an exparte order from the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which had given a contradictory order, restraining me from operating as the chairman of our party notwithstanding some further orders from the Federal High Court Lagos, specifically directing the inspector general of police to provide me with adequate security to enable me to carry out my duties.
“Now that the ex parte order given in Port Harcourt has since lapsed on the 9th of June and has not been renewed or extended, it is now my pleasure and privilege to inform you that I have fully resumed as the one and only national chairman of our great party, the PDP.”
Meanwhile, Makarfi declared as false, claims by members of the Sheriff faction that he (Makarfi) held a meeting with Sheriff yesterday morning.
Former National Vice Chairman of the party (South-South), Cairo Ojougbo, had earlier yesterday informed journalists that he had read a story that Makarfi held a meeting with Sheriff to pledge his loyalty.
But in a swift reaction, Makarfi stated: “That’s very fraudulent. I saw him (Sheriff) at the convention of course, but I haven’t sat privately with Modu Sheriff in the last three months, or anybody representing him not to talk of me making such a statement.
“I haven’t granted any press statement. If that is the case, how can it be that the only statement I would make is to apologise to him and express support for him? There is no basis for that, absolutely no basis for that. This is what we are trying to get rid of in PDP and all the so-called court orders, judgments being bandied about aren’t really true.
“We know what the court has said, the court never stopped any convention, of course it said do not elect and we didn’t elect and the order which was said to have been vacated and that’s the Port Harcourt court order hasn’t been vacated and the IGP and INEC till today said it is an existing order.
“So, I really don’t know why they are spreading falsehood. All said and done, I still believe that the path towards resolving political problem is dialogue, accommodation and I am open to that.
“But as I am open to dialogue, accommodation so that we become one strong united family once again, it is very, very unfair to make a fraudulent statement that there is a document purported to have been issued by me. That never, ever happened and I never even dreamt about it not to talk of issuing it.”