Peace moves still on course, PDP insists
Nigeria’s main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has maintained that the reconciliation process undertaken by the two warring factions of the party is on course.
The two factions headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the National Interim Committee, and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, had planned to inaugurate a joint 28-member peace Committee tasked with reuniting all aggrieved members.
The committee was not constituted on Wednesday as scheduled prompting speculations that the peace deal might have collapsed. In fact, sources claimed that the governors elected under the platform of the PDP expressed reservations over the posturing of Sheriff on the matter and may have prevailed on Makarfi to have a second thought.
Specifically, the governors are irked that Sheriff’s decision to raise a parallel governorship candidate for the Ondo election was antithetical to the spirit behind the peace initiative.
Besides, it was learnt that the Makatfi camp is agitated by the inauguration of parallel party executives at the state and councils level in Delta state, after the amity has commenced.
Nonetheless the Sheriff faction equally accused PDP governors of working against the peace panel, asserting that many governors had an agenda to continue the culture of impunity in the party.
The spokesman for Sheriff faction, Mr. Bernard Mikko who denied that the peace deal has come to an end, said those criticizing Sheriff are either mischievous or ignorant of the content of the agreement reached in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) endorsed by both factions.
“What has governorship got to do with reconciliation in the party? The first clause in the MoU is ‘without prejudice to all pending matters in court.’ If they say so, it means the whole idea of reconciliation is deceitful with the intention to acquiesce impunity, which is the major problem in PDP,” he told The Guardian.
He explained that the inauguration of the joint committee was delayed because of some logistical issues that involved the deepening of consultation for attaining genuine peace and reconciliation in the party.
“Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is committed to the reconciliation process and it is irreversible. Party members and stakeholders are advised to be patient as we craft the reconciliation process, while we admonish them to refrain from making utterances that will stoke the embers of discord and disharmony in the party,” he stated.
According to him, Sheriff opted for the reconciliation as a political solution to crisis he met on ground in the PDP, noting that there was an FCT High Court judgment of December 16, 2015 that removed Prince Uche Secondus as acting Chairman which replaced him with Bar Ahmed Ali Gulak from the North East zone.
Mikko said that the party disobeyed the court order and opted for a “jaundiced political solution,” which is the genesis of the quagmire and the problem they are now contending with.
Furthermore, he said: “The reconciliation is therefore about the general interest and wellbeing of the party and not about a cabal or few individuals. If we must succeed, we have to abide by the rule of law and focus on principles and processes rather than individuals, personal or parochial interests.”
Similarly, the Publicity Secretary of the Makarfi-led Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, debunked claims that the rapprochement between Makarfi and Sheriff has hit the rocks.
He said that the peace deal was still in place and that the act of uniting all members of the party was in progress despite some delays.