National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, yesterday stormed out of the peace meeting anchored by former president Goodluck Jonathan.
A stakeholders’ meeting of the Party was convened by Jonathan, who proposed to chair an enlarged 40-man crisis resolution committee, but it ended in a deadlock as Sheriff insisted on the Governor Seriake Dickson’s Committee Report.
Differences surfaced shortly after Jonathan and the Board of Trustees Chairman, Jubrin Walid finished making their speeches and asked the press to excuse them.
In the closed-door meeting, Ali Modu Sheriff, insisted to be the recognised chairman and that after he speaks, the Chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, should not be recognized or given opportunity to address the gathering.
Sheriff, who arrived at the meeting when Jonathan had finished presenting his speech, left the closed-door meeting, stating he would not be part of anything outside Governor Seriake Dickson’s proposal, a reference to the report of the Reconciliation Committee.
Addressing newsmen, Sheriff said: “The party as at today, has one National Chairman, which is Ali Modu Sheriff. There is no PDP meeting that will take place under any arrangement that I will not make an opening remark as the National Chairman.
“I think that Governor Dickson made a proposal, and we have accepted it. Other people have a programme to bring agenda which is not part of the proposal. And as a National Chairman of the party, what I told you people in my office, that I will not be party to anybody using me for his personal agenda. I will not be.”
When asked if he has respect for the former President who convened the meeting, the former Bornu State governor said that he has respected him by flying from abroad to attend the meeting, adding, “We have a programme, which is initiated by Dickson, anything that is outside that, I will not be part of it.”
Earlier in his opening speech, Jonathan had asked the party leaders to make sacrifices, but, however setup a 40-member Committee to look into the crisis.
Jonathan, explained that he will chair the Committee, but if he is not around, the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo or former President of the Senate, David Mark can take the responsibility.
He said: “The larger body of stakeholders as we are now. This body will come up with suggestions on the way forward for resolving the differences that we currently face. A smaller committee of not more than 40 members will be constituted to fine-tune the suggestions of the larger body, to finally resolve all the outstanding issues.”
“I charge our great party leaders to make personal and general sacrifices to ensure the quick resolution of the problems in our party. The PDP is a symbol of democracy. If you believe in the PDP, there is no sacrifice too big for you to make.”
He warned the party members not to allow what happened in Edo and Ondo to repeat itself, when the party lost the governorship elections.
“We have to remind ourselves that the prolongation of the crisis in our party may have cost us so much in election fortunes, in recent time. The loss of Edo and Ondo gubernatorial elections is still fresh in our memory. It goes without saying, that we cannot afford to have a repeat of that in the forthcoming elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun States.
“It is high time we buried the hatchet, suppressed our ego and prepared to make sacrifices in the interest of our party and, indeed the country,” he said.