PDP crisis: Modu Sheriff disowns peace deal
Senator Modu Sheriff

Why I dumped him – Buruji

EMBATTLED ousted national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff yesterday dismissed plans by leaders of the party to organise a fresh convention in Port Harcourt on
August 17, and gave conditions for peace to return to the party. Speaking while receiving some members of Abia State PDP led by one Honourable Chidi Nwosu, Modu Sheiff said the caretaker committee must be disbanded and he must be given due recognition as the authentic chairman of PDP before any convention could hold. Senator Modu Sheriff also declared that rather than Port Harcourt, the new convention must hold in Abuja as the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, had taken side in the PDP crisis. According to him, during a peace meeting last week held at the Taraba governor’s lodge, Abuja, organised by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, it was agreed that the caretaker committee should be disbanded because the committee “is alien to the PDP constitution.” Sheriff, who maintained that his tenure would expire in 2018, said governors of Taraba and Gombe States, Darius Isiaku and Ibrahim Dankwambo, and 30 others were at the meeting where it was agreed that the caretaker committee be dissolved to pave way for the return of peace to the party. He declared that the people needed to know that he was not the problem but some persons who wanted to make the PDP their personal property, as against the essence of the founding fathers of the party who envisioned it to be powered by the people. He added that beside the sack of the Ahmed Makarf- led Caretaker Committee, he must be allowed to nominate the chairman of the convention committee and 10 others while he would accept another 10 members for the committee from the Makarfi group. “I told them that the convention should hold in Abuja, away from Port Harcourt.” He insisted that any convention held in Port Harcourt was a nullity as his NWC did not approved of the venue. These he said were the conditions to be met before he would speak to other members of his National Working Committee. According to him, “Yes we have met and issues were discussed but all the issues I put forward for them was for the Makarfi Caretaker Committee to resign. “Since it is an aberration as far as our party constitution is concern. I told them that I am not ready to be a permanent chairman but I want the party to be placed in proper stead. “If he resigns tomorrow I will
ask the members of my NWC whose tenure still lasts to 2018, including myself, and set up a convention Committee in Abuja and put respected members of leader in the World as members of the committee. “In that convention I will give away my mandate that does not expire until 2018 and I remain the national chairman of this party until 2018. “If the leaders of our party felt that we can find a solution without exhausting the Court then I am open to it we can find a political solution. “Nothing like what has been reported. If you do not stand on the truth, the end result will be a serious distraction. “If I go to the convention and say that I don’t want to continue to 2018 it is okay, that in the sight of law is allowed but as it is now I remain the chairman till 2018. “I have given the people opportunity to see that Sheriff is not the problem. The problem is that some people want to make the party their personal property. And that will not happen under Sheriff.” Why I dumped Sheriff – Buruji Senator Kashamu Buruji yesterday declared that he did not dump former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Modu Sheriff, but only crossed over to the expanded caucus of the party chaired by Ahmed Makarfi to “support the reconciliation process in order to move the party forward.” Explaining his role in the PDP crisis, Senator Buruji, who was one of the strong supporters of Sheriff, said he was fully involved in the marathon meetings held last week to resolve the crisis in the party. He declared that the meeting actually agreed to conduct a fresh national convention where new leadership of the party would emerge. Senator Buruji added that he saw the determination and sincerity of the leaders of the party to resolve the impasse in the party and that informed his decision to attend the expanded caucus meeting of the party in Abuja last Thursday, where some far-reaching decisions were taken. “It was at this stage that I
decided to attend the expanded national caucus meeting and join hands with other well- meaning leaders to see through the reconciliation process. As a true party man, I could not but support the reconciliation process in order to move the party forward. “One thing I took away from the many reconciliation meetings and diplomatic shuttles is the fact that the PDP is blessed with many good leaders among who are Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.” While describing Modu Sheriff as a “revered leader of the party,” he appealed to him to give up the fight and allow the reconciliation process to scale through since he had already declared that he was no longer interested in contesting for the chairmanship of the party. “Let me clarify that no one has dumped anyone. We are members of the same party. When I was asked by our leaders to support our revered national leader, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, as the national chairman, none of the leaders told me that they had changed their mind. Therefore, my support was to maintain the dignity and respect for the office of the national chairman. “Disputes and disagreements are part and parcel of any dynamic organization. But while we disagree, we must not throw away the baby with the bath water as true party men and women. There must be room for resolution of the disputes and disagreements. “Therefore, I can only plead with our great leader, Senator Sheriff, who has been hurt, to soft-pedal and let go, in the interest of the party and our teeming members. He has shown that he is a principled man and a courageous person. “Since he and Senator Makarfi have said they are not interested in contesting for the office of National Chairman of the party at the National Convention, he should encourage all his people to participate in the process leading to the rescheduled National Convention.” Buruji also cautioned Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, whom Modu Sheriff appointed his deputy national chairman, to stop fueling the crisis in the party.