PDP state chairmen back Sheriff, Dickson over convention

PEOPLES’ Democratic Party (PDP) State Chapter’s chairmen have thrown their weight behind the national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Sheriff and the recommendations made by the Governor Seriake Dickson’s reconciliation committee, for a unity national convention to hold not later than August this year.

A group of the party chairmen under the leadership of Bayelsa state PDP chairman, Moses Cleopas, met in Abuja on Thursday night and expressed concern over the ongoing leadership crisis. That if the crisis in the party was not resolved quickly, it would jeopardize the party’s immediate future, especially as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released the 2019 election timetable.

In the communique issued at the end of the meeting which was read by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) PDP chairman, Yunusa Suleiman; the chairmen said as supporters of the rule of law, they have decided to back Sheriff following his affirmation by the recent Court of Appeal judgement.

Noting that their support for Sheriff was without prejudice to the ongoing appeal lodged by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party, at the Supreme Court, the chairman promised to abide by any decision from the apex court.

They insisted that the political solution being proffered by former president Goodluck Jonathan was the best wau out of the crisis.

The party chairmen said they were worried that the lingering leadership crisis was causing the former ruling party to lose its members to the All Progressive Congress (APC) across the country.

The communique added: “The Peoples’ Democratic Party Chapter Chairmen are very concerned about the crises engulfing the party, as it is degenerating into several members decamping from the party across the nation.”

“Bearing in mind the upcoming Presidential Election timeline recently announced by the INEC, as well as other elections fast approaching, as key political actors of the polity, we cannot sit back and allow our party denigrate to this level and has thus decided to come forward and proffer solutions to this crisis.”

It further said: “In line with the only template presented by the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of our party headed by Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, we wish to state that we support the recommendation that a political solution is the best and only solution to our crisis without prejudice to the ongoing judicial processes.”

“We are also in support of the committees’ recommendation of an all-inclusive unity convention to be held as soon as possible.”

“We therefore suggest that every organ of the party, group or individual, who has anything to add to the aforementioned recommendations should present same for consideration and deliberations, as we believe this will deepen our internal democracy and support for an all-inclusive regeneration of the party.”

“We, as legitimately elected Chairmen, wish to state on the grounds of clarity that we shall never be in support or be a part of any thought of tinkering with the option of leaving the PDP and forming another party.”

“We shall at all times align ourselves to any judicial pronouncement of a higher jurisdiction on this matter. We call upon all party leaders and member to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure the survival of the party at this critical period of our history.”

“We also call upon the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sherriff and the National Working Committee (NWC) to abide by the recommendations of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee for the sake of our great party.”

“As a group we shall continue to engage the party leadership and all relevant stakeholders with a view to having a hitch-free convention, and call upon all leaders and party members to work towards the realisation of this objective.”

“The Chairmen appreciate the efforts of the former President, Governors, the Peace and Reconciliation Committee, past leaders and elders of the party for their untiring efforts at resolving the ongoing crisis in the party. Thank You and God bless.”

The communique was signed by 23 participants at the meeting.