PDP elders begged Jonathan to call peace meeting —Makarfi THE National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected allegations that Governors Ayo Fayose and Nyesom Wike of Ekiti and Rivers states, respectively recruited former President Goodluck Jonathan to organise the last stakeholders meeting of the party for selfish reasons.
Instead, the party revealed that prominent party elders including former Senate President David Mark and former National Security Adviser (NSA), General Aliyu Gusau, prevailed on the former president to convene the meeting in which the national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Sheriff, staged a walkout.
Acting Deputy National Chairman of the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led National Working Committee (NWC), Cairo Ojougboh, had alleged during a press conference in Abuja, on Wednesday that Jonathan was recruited for the meeting by Governors Fayose and Wike for their selfish ends.
But addressing another press conference on Friday, the National Publicity Secretary of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led NCC, Prince Dayo Adeyeye pointed out that the decision to hold the stakeholders’ meeting was taken at a meeting with prominent party leaders and attended by members of the two factions of the party.
“For the record, the last stakeholders meeting convened and chaired by the former president, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, was not sponsored or organised by Governor Wike or Governor Fayose as alleged by Mr Cairo Ojougboh.
“The need for the meeting was agreed upon at the residence of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), General Aliyu Gusau in the presence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Professor Wale Oladipo, Senator David Mark, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ben Ndi Obi. Gusau and Senator Mark were mandated in that meeting to approach the former president to convene an all-inclusive meeting of stakeholders in order to chart a way forward for a lasting peace in the party.
“In the light of the above therefore, it is uncharitable for Mr Ojougboh to allege that the stakeholders meeting was organised and sponsored by Governor Wike and Governor Fayose,” Adeyeye said.
“Indeed, it is the height of lunacy for Sheriff and Cairo to allege that a person of President Goodluck Jonathan standing could be induced by anyone, not the least a governor, to organise the meeting,”Adeyeye said the PDP NCC was tempted to ignore Ojougboh’s claims “since he is not an officer of the PDP,” adding: “but ignoring him may send wrong signal to the unsuspecting members of the public and members of our party, hence the need for this clarification.
“Mr Ojougboh, in recent times, have been making series of unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations against major stakeholders of the PDP especially, those people his renegade group believe are seriously against the evil intention of Ali Modu Sheriff to destroy the only main opposition voice in the country, the PDP.
“However, we are not surprised that Mr Ojougboh would hallucinate and found pleasure in castigating Governors Nyesom Wike and Ayodele Fayose of Rivers and Ekiti states at every turn, but has never been able to utter a single word of criticism against their paymaster, the ruling APC, despite its gross ineptitude and maladministration.”
He continued: “Again, we wish to take serious exception to the baseless allegation made by Mr Ojougboh that Governor Wike bribed the judiciary to get justice on the Rivers State Governorship Election at the Supreme Court.
“This is another high point of rascality by the Sheriff renegade group and we have been reliably informed that the latest accusation against the judiciary is part of their calculated and clandestine plot to blackmail the Justices of the Supreme Court as they did to the Justices of the Special Appeal Panels during the Ondo State Gubernatorial Election case when the panel led by Justice Sankey was falsely accused of collecting over N200 million from former Governor Olusegun Mimiko in November 2016.”
“We believe the Judiciary and indeed all Nigerians are taking note of the antecedence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Co. as we urge the Judiciary not to ignore such weighty allegations by this irritant group.”
Reacting to the recent tour of some south east states by Sheriff, the NCC debunked Ojougboh’s assertion that all PDP governors except Fayose and Wike are supporting Sheriff.
He said party members in the zone are not in support of the former Borno state governor because they cannot partake in illegality.
Adeyeye said: “On the so called campaign by Senator Sheriff in the South-East and South-South zones of the c country, we thank our members and key stakeholders in the regions for not partaking in such illegality.
“The presence of the two Deputy Governors was solely on grounds of hospitality. The PDP is not organizing any campaign or rally around the country at the moment and we urge our members to remain steadfast and continue to ignore any meeting called by Senator Sheriff and his doomsday naysayers.
“There will be no elective National Convention of the PDP as postulated by Senator Sheriff until the Appeal before the Supreme Court is decided. All our state chapters are advised to ignore any purported directive from the renegades.
“For the umpteenth time, we wish to re-iterate that Senator Sheriff and Co. is in defiant of the Court of Appeal Order of Status Quo Ante May 21, 2016 with self-appointed officers like Mr. Cairo Ojugboh.
“Only three officers are with him and therefore, such NWC is non-existent. As for the deputy officers who shamelessly assumed offices as NWC members on false claim of purported resignation of the substantive officers, your comic action against the Party speaks volume.”
The NCC called on all party organs and stakeholders to sustain their support for the caretaker committee, confident that the judiciary will resolve the present crisis in favour of the survival of the party.
He further posited: “We believe strongly in the Judiciary and hope that the pending Appeal at the Supreme Court on the leadership issues in the Party will receive the needed attention. No individual in Nigeria is above the law and the Judiciary cannot be blackmailed by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Co-travellers to compromise its mandate of justice delivery.
“We are also requesting the Supreme Court to find out from Cairo Ojugboh who among its officers that Governor Wike disbursed the USD 5m to as he alleged.
“Let Cairo be informed that he cannot pitch the good people of Rivers State against their loving and performing Governor over his childish and mindless allegation of financial impropriety.
“To this end, we wish to inform our leaders, other members and teeming supporters that the purported NEC Meeting being summoned by Senator Sheriff’s led non-existent NWC on the 3rd of May, 2017 is a total fraud politically and legally.
“Also, ignore the request made by this confused and desperate group to states for the submission of delegates’ lists on or before the 27th of April, 2017.
“The PDP will announce meetings of the various organs of the Party at an appropriate time after due consultation with all the stakeholders. We therefore call on all our members to continue ignoring Senator Sheriff and his co-travelers who are only serving as sparing partners of the APC against the PDP.”