THE leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under Senator Ali Sheriff has accused the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the party of not wanting the current leadership crisis to end because of the N50 million monthly convention his collects from PDP governors to run the party.
Acting Deputy National of the party, Dr Cairo Ojuogboh, who made the accusation on behalf of Sheriff at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, also said that the National Caretaker Committee was crumbling under Makarfi because, according to him, all party organs had bought into the ongoing reconciliation move.
Ojuogboh also accused Makarfi of wanting an opportunity to tele-guide the national convention of the party to further his own presidential ambition.
The deputy national chairman similarly disowned the chairman of the party’s 2019 Strategy and Inter-Party Affairs Committee, Professor Jerry Gana, for going around on behalf of the party, saying that the National Working Committee (NWC) does not recognise his committee.
Gana’s committee which was set up by the National Caretaker Committee has recently turned in its report on how to reposition the party in time for the 2019 general elections.
Talking tough, Ojuogboh said the fact that the NWC was “waving an olive branch does not mean that we are weak. It’s not position of weakness, it’s a position of strength. Because we want to carry everybody along. ”
He defended his own position as the acting deputy national chairman even though his appointment had not been ratified by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party as required by it constitution.
He said: “The table is crumbling and crumbling fast under their feet. All organs of the party, they are all keying into reconciliation and when reconciliation happens, they are out.
“Makarfi can only come in as a member of the Board of Trustees. And so, N50 million every month from the governors will stop. Call it anything. They get subvention every month. When reconciliation happens, that subvention will stop.”
When asked how many governors contribute to the subvention, he replied: “I don’t know. I don’t know.”
He added: “Makarfi wants a situation where he will tailor-make a convention because he has come out to say he is contesting the presidency of Nigeria. Yes. He has come out to say and we are very mindful that we are not going to tie our party around any one individual.
“That is why the National Chairman said ‘look, I am going to throw everything open. We have studied the position of the (Governor Seriake Dickson) reconciliation committee and that is open enough to regenerate and re-advance this party.
He defended the reconciliation committee against accusations for the Makarfi group that it released its recommendations prematurely without input from the party organs, saying that the committee submitted its report because it wanted to be open and transparent.