The Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi has chided the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff for attacking former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.
Sheriff had, at a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, accused Jonathan of collecting N50 million from Wike to organise last week’s stakeholders meeting to reconcile warring factions in the PDP. Sheriff’s deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh addressed the media briefing.
But at another media briefing in Abuja on Friday, Makarfi said it’s uncharitable for Sheriff and his camp to concoct deliberate falsehood aimed at impugning the character and public perception of the former president.
In the text of the address read by the spokesman of the Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, the faction said it’s the height of lunacy for Sheriff and Ojougboh to allege that a person of Jonathan’s standing could be induced by anyone to organise a meeting.
Makarfi said, “These people are pigs in the mud and they have no qualms in dragging decent people into the pit.
“Our first reaction after reading the concoction put together by Cairo Ojugboh was to ignore him since he is not an officer of the PDP.
“But ignoring him may send wrong signal to the unsuspecting members of the public and members of our party, hence the need for this clarification.
“Mr. Ojugboh in recent times has been making series of unfounded and unsubstantiated allegations against major stakeholders of the PDP, especially those people his renegade group believes are seriously against the evil intention of Ali Modu Sheriff to destroy the only main opposition voice in the country, the PDP.
“However, we are not surprised that Mr. Cairo would hallucinate and found pleasure in castigating Governors Nyesom Wike and Ayodele Fayose of Rivers and Ekiti states at every turn but has never been able to utter a single word of criticism against their paymaster, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) despite its gross ineptitude and maladministration.
“For the record, the last stakeholders meeting convened and chaired by former President Jonathan, was not sponsored or organised by Governor Wike or Fayose as alleged by Mr. Cairo Ojugboh”.
According to Makarfi, the need for the meeting was agreed upon at the residence of a former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Aliyu Gusau in the presence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, Professor Wale Oladipo, Senator David Mark, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and Senator Ben Obi
“Gen. Gusau and Senator Mark were mandated in that meeting to approach the former President to convene an all-inclusive meeting of stakeholders in order to chart a way forward for a lasting peace in the party”, Makarfi added.
The Caretaker Committee expressed dismay at Sheriff’s penchant for blackmailing every available public institution in the country just to mislead the unsuspecting public.
Makarfi continued, “Again, we wish to take serious exception to the baseless allegation made by Ojougboh that Governor Wike bribed the Judiciary to get justice in the Rivers State governorship election at the Supreme Court.
“This is another high point of rascality by the Sheriff renegade group and we have been reliably informed that the latest accusation against the Judiciary is part of their calculated and clandestine plot to blackmail the Justices of the Supreme Court.
“They did the same to the Justices of the Special Appeal panels during the Ondo State governorship election case when the panel, led by Justice Sankey was falsely accused of collecting over N200 million from former Gov. Olusegun Mimiko in November 2016.
“We believe the Judiciary and indeed all Nigerians are taking note of the antecedents of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Co. as we urge the Judiciary not to ignore such weighty allegations by this irritant group”.
The Makarfi camp expressed satisfaction that the ongoing campaign by Sheriff to infiltrate the ranks of party members in the South East and South-South was being spurned by key stakeholders.
He stated that the PDP is not organising any campaign or rally in any part of the country at the moment and urge members to remain steadfast and continue to ignore any meeting called by Sheriff and his “doomsday naysayers”.
According to him, there will be no elective national convention of the PDP as announced by Sheriff until the appeal pending before the Supreme Court is decided. Him advised state chapters to ignore any directive from Sheriff regarding the convention.
He also enjoined stakeholders to ignore the request made by Sheriff for state chapters to submit their lists of delegates on or before the April 27 and his call for the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting on May 3.
The PDP, he said, will announce meetings of the various organs of the party at the appropriate time after due consultation with all stakeholders.
“For the umpteenth time, we wish to re-iterate that Senator Sheriff and co. are in defiance of the Court of Appeal order of status quo ante May 21, 2016 with self-appointed officers like Cairo Ojugboh.
“Only three officers are with him and therefore, such NWC is non-existent. As for the deputy officers who shamelessly assumed offices as NWC members on false claim of purported resignation of the substantive officers, their comic action against the party speaks volume”.
The Makarfi camp called on all organs and key stakeholders in the party nationwide to continue supporting the Caretaker Committee in moving the party forward.
According to him, the only interest of the Caretaker Committee is the survival of the PDP against the “suffocating influence” of the ruling APC.