How PDP Elders, Governors Reconcile Makarfi, Sherrif
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) elders and governors elected on the platform of the party met on Wednesday night through Thursday to reconcile the leadership of its two factions, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ali Modu Sherrif.
Informed party sources told TheGlobe.ng that the meeting, which was held at the Taraba State Governor's Lodge in Asokoro, deliberated on the very contentious issues that had set the PDP apart.
Sherrif, who was physically present at the meeting was said to have told the meeting that he should be allow to function as the co-chairman of the party with Senator Makarfi, who chairs the caretaker committee of the party.
But the meeting was said to have told Sherrif that with the last court judgement and the recognition accorded the Senator Makarfi committee by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the party had moved beyond the issue of co-chairmanship.
The meeting was said to have prevailed on Sherrif to work with Makarfi and help build the party as the party leaders were said to have told the former Borno governor that the tenure of the caretaker was far spent and the the party was approaching its national convention.
TheGlobe.ng was reliably informed that the leaders told Sherrif clearly that the position of the national chairman had become southern bound and Makarfi committee will only organize the convention.
The meeting agreed to accommodate convention committee members from the Sherrif faction and he was said have agreed to submit his group's list to the convention committee.
The chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BOT), Senator Walid Jubrin, later on Thursday told journalists who accosted him after the meeting at the Yar;Adua Centre that as part of efforts at reconciliation, he and some other leaders of the party spent the better part of Wednesday's night and up till 4 am Thursday morning discussing peace with the embattled former national chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
He said that the fact that a member of the Sheriff's camp, Senator Kashamu Buruji has accepted to rejoin the mainstream PDP and support the caretaker committee is a clear sign that the crisis in the party is coming to an end.
"If you see Kashamu coming to our side fully , embracing our national caretaker committee, whatever this group says will be acceptable to him. We have been meeting with Sheriff. Even yesterday we spent until 4am this morning. And there is progress with Sherrif. He is human being and I am sure he will follow suit," he said.
On withdrawal of litigation in court and whether final peace could be achieved before the August convention, Jibrin said: "What other kind of concession than for somebody to come on his own to announce that he is in support of the caretaker committee.
"We have been meeting with Sheriff uptill 4am this morning. At the appropriate time Sheriff himself will be with us," he said.
Also on Thursday, the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) fixed August 17 as the date to hold fresh national convention to elect new national officers of the party.
The party, which apparently is making significant progress at ending the crisis that has engulfed it, said that the venue of the fresh national convention will still be Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.
However, just as the national caucus meeting got underway yesterday, a strong member of the factional group and a chieftain of the PDP from the South West, Kashamu, stormed the venue and declare his support for the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.
Makarfi, who addressed journalists shortly after the end of the national caucus meeting held yesterday at the Yar'Adua Centre in Abuja, said the party leaders have also resolved that since the next presidential candidate is to come from the north, the national chairmanship position will now be zoned to the south.
He said the caretaker committee will within the next 48 hours constitute a zoning committee to further handle the zoning of other national offices of the party in line with the constitution of the party.
"We discussed some programmes leading to convention, meaning that the national convention will hold on August 17 where we will elect new national executive officers of the party," he said.
Makarfi also said that the meeting resolved to propose four different amendments to the party's constitution to align it with recent court judgements.
"We have also discussed and agreed on a new amendment to the constitution in view of recent court judgements in order to align the constitution to the judgements that have been delivered by court of competent jurisdiction," he further revealed.
Equally we received reports of reconciliation. You can see by yourself our brother, friend and associate, Sen Kashamu.
"That is evidence of the reconciliation making progress and I can assure you that we will never foreclose full reconciliation with Sen Ali Modu Sheriff and another person that may still be associated with him. What we want is an all inclusive PDP.
"An equitable, fair and just system in the PDP, where the right of everyone commensurate with their own level is protected and preserved.
"We equally have set up a special committee led by DSP Sen Ike Ekweremadu, to further cement the reconciliation within the south west so that all issues that must have led to the division in the south west would be resolved accordingly," he added.
On the issue fresh zoning arrangement, Makarfi said: "We also discussed about zoning. Within the next few days a committee will be set up on zoning. "The convention had set aside the previous zoning arrangement so a new zoning arrangement has to be made. We have agreed that within the next 48 hours, this committee should be put in place and given a week to come out with a new zoning arrangement.
"But of course taking a cue from the decision taken at the Portharcourt convention that the president will come from the north, of course it is incontrovertible that the chairman of the party will come from the South and it will be open to all and not consigned to any geopolitical zone or state in the South," he said.
Among those who attended the meeting were governors Ayo Fayose (Ekiti), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ibrahim Dankwanbo (Gombe), Dairus Ishaku (Taraba), Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu, Senators, Andy Uba, Senator Jonah Jang, Jerry Gana, Senator Adolph Wagbara, Tom Ikimi, Senator Atanatius Achaleonu,
Others were former Governor of Niger state, Babangida Aliyu, Okwesilieze Nwodo, Uche Secondus, Prof. Rufai Akali, Bode George, Ambassador Aminu
Wali, Amassador Wilberforce Juta, Senator Buruji Kashamu, Senator Ibrahim Mantu