The national chairman of a faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has expressed his support for a new peace effort aimed at resolving the lingering crisis in the party.
A sign that all is not yet entirely well for the PDP came when Sheriff insisted that his faction’s governorship candidate in Ondo State, Jimoh Ibrahim remained the candidate of the party.
Speaking to journalists at his temporary office in Abuja, Sheriff said that the ongoing peace plan had his backing and that both him and Senator Ahmed Makarfi had discussed and agreed to form a 28-man reconciliation committee to fasttrack efforts at final resolution of the crisis.
“Myself and Makarfi met some time ago to discuss the ways forward after founders and leaders of the party have spoken to us asking us to find lasting solution to the crisis in the party. That is why when we issued the statement stating that without prejudices to the ongoing court cases.
Sheriff who said that he had been away for more than two weeks told journalists on Friday in Abuja, that the peace plan is on course and that both he and Senator Makarfi would be inaugurating a 24-member peace and reconciliation committee on Tuesday.
He also said that none of the contending parties in the dispute was making any special demands, but that the national secretary of his faction, Prof. Wale Oladipo will be interfacing with the Secretary of the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ben Obi to draw–up the framework for engagement before the Tuesday’s inauguration.
While giving an assurance that the peace initiatives would pull through this time around, Sheriff said that almost every stakeholder of the party was interested to see an end to the crisis.
Sheriff said that both sides were at the moment compiling lists of those that would make up members of the peace committee.
“It is true that we have agreed to find a lasting solution to PDP crisis. Before I traveled we had agreed on somethings and that was why Senator Makarfi went to speak with some members of the National Assembly on the new peace move. Whatever was contained in that statement is a true reflection of what we discussed and agreed upon. We are going to set up a 28-man committee, 14 each from both sides. The committee will be inaugurated next Tuesday. Their mandate is to fashion out the modalities and ways of moving the party forward,”
“Everybody is interested to see the PDP back on its feet. There is no political party that is like the PDP. It is the lack of internal democratic practice that has put the country in its present position
” For now, no one has taken position yet, we are still discussing and we have asked the national secretary draw our own list, while the caretaker committee is drawing its own. It is the reconciliation committee that will come up with modalities for reconciling everyone.
“It is because of the lack of internal democracy that brought the party to where it is at the moment. We must give the party back to the people who own it and we must allow people to choose their leaders. All the problems that we have been having were caused by neglect of internal democracy. Unless we do what is right, this country cannot get it right. We want to get things right and with that the party can return to winning elections,” he said.
On the role of the BoT under the new peace deal, the former Borno State governor said the organ was the driver of the present initiative because they failed to play their role as unbiased umpire, adding that the party may consider involving some of the BoT when constituting the reconciliation committee.
When we are constituting the committee, we take every interest into consideration, including the governors. We are not going to isolate anyone under the new arrangement.