Former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has described the handover of leadership of the party to the chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Markarfi, as “null and void.
Also, the party prayed for President Buhari’s health, maintaining that although PDP is in the opposition, the party does not wish the president any harm.
In a surprise move, the PDP former National Working Committee, NWC, led by the former deputy national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, and the Board of Trustees, yesterday formally handed over the leadership of the party to the Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee in line with the resolution of the May 21 national convention.
Reacting to the takeover of the leadership of the party by Makarfi, however, Senator Modu Sheriff said in a statement signed by his special assistant on Media, Inuwa Bwala, that Prince Secondus did not have his mandate to hand over the leadership of the party to the Caretaker Committee since the matter was still pending in court.
The statement read: “Our attention has been drawn to the activities at the national secretariat of the PDP to the effect that some individuals masquerading as leaders have handed over to Ahmed Mohammed Makarki under a contraption called caretaker committee.
“We state as a matter of fact that going by proceedings still pending in the courts to the effect that Senator Ali Sheriff remains the national chairman, whatever transpired was null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
“Sheriff has not mandated anybody nor was his authority obtained by Uche Secondus, who has been parading himself as acting on behalf of the national chairman.
“While we await the verdicts of the courts, we wish to state that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is and remains the national chairman of the party until otherwise declared by the courts.
“We allowed the charade to go on at the secretariat without any form of challenge in strict obedience to careful pronouncement on the matter, but we must also state that there is no gathering of groups or individuals, however powerful such groups or individuals may be, that can be said to take precedence over the law.
“For the avoidance of doubts, we state categorically that what took place at the PDP secretariat on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, was a total disregard to court orders, and an extension of the impunity for which the party has been accused of and which has taken the party to where it is today.”
Yesterday, the immediate past NWC formally handed over the leadership of the party to the chairman of the Caretaker Committee, CTC, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
In a brief ceremony at the secretariat marking the handover of the leadership of the party to Makarfi, Prince Secondus said he was handing over the leadership of the party to Senator Makarfi on behalf of other NWC members in line with the resolution of the national convention.
This was done in absence of his former boss and former national chairman, Senator Modu Sheriff, who was reported to be outside the country.
After Secondus handed over the leadership of the party to the caretaker committee, the chairman of the BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin also handed over the party’s assets and liabilities to Senator Makarfi.
The resolution of the crisis followed a joint marathon meeting of the BoT, serving and former governors of the party and their serving National Assembly members held at Ondo Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, on Monday night.
Meanwhile, the opposition party prayed for the quick recovery of President Muhammadu Buhari during the handover ceremony.
The short prayer session was led by Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
Justifying their prayers for President Buhari, Senator Makarfi said though PDP is in the opposition, it had never wished Buhari any ill luck and would not play bitter politics.
Senator Makarfi said: “As opposition, it doesn’t mean that we are heartless or inconsiderate. We pray for our nation; we pray for our leaders. I am sure our National Assembly members cooperate with the federal government when there is need to cooperate.
“I am sure our governors in cooperate with the federal government in the council of state meetings when there is a need to cooperate but that doesn’t mean that we have differences.
“That doesn’t mean we should not advertise our differences so that Nigerians can make a choice between us and those in government.”
Makarfi commended PDP members in public offices for their contributions to nation building, saying “this should be the new spirit.”
He advised members of the All Progressives Congress to desist from blaming the PDP for all the country’s woes, especially those who defected from the PDP to the APC.
“Those who spent the greater part of their political life with us before they moved, when they are talking they should think twice.
“When they talk sometimes they say 16 years of the PDP rule, they should add including them and I hear these more from those that left PDP a year ago or two years ago,” Makarfi said.

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