•  Makarfi denies stepping aside for Sheriff

Activities at the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, came to a halt yesterday as workers deserted their offices following the takeover of the leadership of the party by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
The former governor of Borno State had on Monday reinstated himself as the national chairman of the party, saying the interim court order that sacked him expired last week Thursday.
Our correspondent observed that though the workers reported for work, they stayed away from their offices.
Majority of them were noticed discussing in groups at the improvised car park opposite the Wadata House national secretariat of the party.
Though Senator Modu Sheriff, Prof Wale Oladipo (former national secretary) and Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju (former national auditor) reported for work, they were compelled to leave few hours later because of the cold reception from the workers.
One of the staff who spoke to Nigerian Pilot on condition of anonymity said the workers were angry with Modu Sheriff for invading the premises with hired street urchins on Monday.
He said his resort to hiring thugs to accompany him to the party’s secretariat showed that he had no followership among members of the party.
“If he is a true leader of the party he will not invade this premises with hired thugs.
“If he has the support of members of our party they would have been the ones that will accompany him here and not those thugs,” he said.
As the workers stayed away from their duty posts, the party secretariat was a ghost of its old self as only few individuals were noticed within the premises.
Even praise singers and beggars that are regular faces within the vicinity of the PDP secretariat were conspicuously missing yesterday.
Meanwhile, members of a group called PDP Concerned Rescue Youths yesterday expressed deep sadness over the unabated internal wrangling besetting the party.
They gave the leadership of the party (which includes the BOT, Governors’ Forum, warring groups and other stakeholders) “a 7-day ultimatum to resolve this intractable but avoidable rancour,” warning that “if this is not resolved, we shall be compelled to mobilise all concerned youths nationwide to take over the affairs of the party.”

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Makarfi denies stepping aside for Sheriff
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi last night debunked speculations that he has stepped down for Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to allow him continue as the party’s national chairman.
An on-line media had yesterday evening reported that Senator Makarfi has stepped aside and pledged to work with Sheriff.
The report quoted MaKarfi to have told newsmen in Abuja that if he was fully briefed on details about the crisis in the party and the status of Sheriff, he would not have accepted to head the caretaker committee.
“If I knew that there was a court order empowering Sheriff as the Chairman, I would not have taken the position because my interest is to see that PDP did not disintegrate. If the court said Sheriff is our leader, we will all follow him”, he said.
However, the online medium was silent about the location where Makarfi addressed the media.
Reacting to the report, the Caretaker Committee chairman describe the report as fraudulent.
His words: “That’s very fraudulent. I saw him at the convention of course, but I haven’t sat privately with Modu Sheriff in the last 3 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 from PDP and all the so called court orders, judgment being bandied about aren’t really true.
“We know what the courts have 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 be 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 but 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,” Makarfi said

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