I’m not aware of PDP convention – Sheriff

CLAIMANT to the office of the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Sheriff, has said he is not aware of the plan by the party to have its repeat national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

The convention organised by the National Caretaker Committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi comes up on Wednesday to elect new members of the National Working Committee (NWC).

It is a follow up of the May 21, 2016 convention at the same venue, which removed Sheriff from office and set up a national caretaker committee.

The convention is coming against futile effort to reach a common ground between the caretaker committee and Sheriff who has continued to insist that he is the national chairman of the party till 2018 despite the confirmation by a high court judgment of the caretaker committee as the authentic leadership of the PDP.

The latest meeting convened by party stakeholders to resolve the lingering leadership crisis met a brick wall on Saturday as Sheriff demanded that the national caretaker committee be dissolved.

The party has now decided to ignore Sheriff and go ahead with the convention in the Rivers State capital.

However, Sheriff has written off the convention, saying that he would go ahead with his own plan of “fixing” the party.

Speaking to Tribune Online on phone on Sunday, Special Assistant to Sheriff on media and publicity, Inuwa Bwala, said Sheriff was not interested in the convention as he was busy doing other things.

He said the former Borno State governor was watching to see if Makarfi would succeed in his objective but declined to say whether he would attempt to stop the convention.

He said: “We don’t have to be reacting. He is doing his convention; we are doing some other things. They are putting us on the defensive and that will not sell.

“We are not part of it, we don’t know about it and we will not even comment about it.

“Let’s just wait and see whether he will have his way.

“We are fixing the party. We are trying to bring aggrieved members on board so that we can move the party forward.”

When pressed on what Sheriff might do next, Bwala stated: “I said we are not going to react to any convention because it is not our business. We are not going to be on the defensive. They should react to our own.”

When asked when the Sheriff faction would organise its own convention, he said: “when we want to have our own convention, we will call you.”