Sheriff, Makarfi spurn governors, proceed with peace deal
Determined to scale all hurdles before them and attain the desired peace and unity that has eluded the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) since the 2015 general elections, the arrow heads of the crisis – Senators Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi, have upped the ante in their peace deal.
Contrary to the opposition from some PDP governors, both gladiators met in Abuja Tuesday, at the Maitama office of the Sheriff to consolidate on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they endorsed last week.
Some governors including Nnyesom Wike of Rivers state and his Ekiti state counterpart, Ayo Fayose have been opposed and critical of any further dealings with Sheriff. Both governors were said to have truncated an earlier peace initiative brokered at the Taraba Governor’s Lodge before the MoU was arrived at.
Fayose actually spurned the MoU on the grounds that the PDP Governors were not briefed as well as the fact that the party crisis were before the court and should be left to the court to resolve it.
His words: “I was not briefed. I am not the only person in the party, but I think I have a stake. But my opinion is the Court of Appeal must resolve this matter.
“I am not against anything called resolution within the party but everybody must wait for Court of Appeal to resolve this matter … Matters are in court, nobody has withdrawn any matter and they are resolving. What are you resolving?”
However, some state Governors comprising Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Darius Ishaku of Taraba welcomed the development.
For instance, Ikpeazu who noted that the lingering crisis has impacted negatively on the party said it was a step in the right direction that would result in victory for the party and Nigeria at the end of the day.
He argued that it would provide PDP with new opportunities to become stronger stressing: “In every crisis there are downsides because nobody will wish and pray for the crisis. I think also that moment of crisis are also opportunities for strength, renewed vigour and to reinvent our vision.”
Despite the opposition from some governors, Makarfi who is the chairman of the national caretaker committee of the PDP visited Sheriff at his office where they held a closed-door meeting.
Details of the meeting were not made known but The Guardian learnt that it was meant to work out the specifics of the agreement that would form the final document of the reconciliation between the two factions of the party.
Contacted, the spokesman for Sheriff’s faction, Mr. Bernard Mikko declined to comment on the meeting but insisted that Sheriff was determined to ensure that the crisis comes to an end as soon as possible.
According to him, this would be done in collaboration with Makarfi and every party member that believe in the rule of law and supremacy of the party.
“Senator Sheriff and Senator Makarfi will forge a genuine reconciliation and political solution within PDP Constitution and the rule of law that will reposition the party for greater electoral gains.
“In this regard, the political system will be strengthened for national development where political parties will form government and not otherwise. The basic objective of Senator Sheriff is to reposition the PDP, remove impunity and give the party back to the people,” he stated.
Mikko asserted that Sheriff is inclined to political solution to resolving the PDP crisis because the current economic depression in the country could not be handled by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He noted that the APC has not really come to terms with governance and that there was need for PDP to give the ruling party apprenticeship on governance and how to manage the economy.
“There’s an apparent distrust and resentment against the old PDP faction in APC in favour of the old Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in APC. This distrust is affecting effective governance, productivity and national development.
“My appeal to those governors that are still opposed to peace in our party is that they should join hands with Sheriff and Makarfi to create the kind of party which will bring development to our country because we are in a political system,” Mikko stated.
Furthermore, he said the apprehension that Sheriff would punish those that opposed him should not arise because every decision and action would be guided by the rule of law and the party’s constitution.
Last week, the two leaders, met in Abuja and declared that it was time to heal the wounds and bring a united, focused opposition that can ensure sanity to the democratic process.
While declaring that a joint committee will be set up to ensure a holistic reconciliation of all aggrieved segments of the party across the country, they stressed that the peace resolution is without prejudice to all outstanding matters in court.