The National Leader and caretaker chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Markafi, is in a closed-door meeting with the former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, in Abeokuta.
PDP leader Ahmed Makarfi says Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress is bleak, the leader of the leading opposition party in the country said on Sunday.
“We have said it before and we stand behind what we said earlier. The APC is an alliance of strange bedfellows,” said Ahmed Makarfi, the national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party.
“We don’t see it lasting as a political party.”
The APC was formed in 2013 after the then opposition parties Action Congress of Nigeria, Congress for Progressive Change, the All Nigerian People’s Party and few other smaller parties formed the so-called mega-party.
A few governors who were members of the then ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party, defected to the APC and were joined by more people from the different parties, significantly from PDP, who were displeased with the government of Goodluck Jonathan.
Muhammadu Buhari, the APC presidential candidate in the 2015 general election, riding on the wings of his promises to defeat Boko Haram insurgents ravaging Nigeria’s northeast and stamp out endemic corruption and growing disenchantment with the government of the day, was voted into power, bringing PDP’s reign from 1999 to an end.
The party is currently ruling in the majority of Nigerian states and constitutes the majority in the Nigerian Senate and the House of Representatives.
But Makarfi, who has been a member of the PDP since its formation, insisted the APC was hurriedly formed and would soon fall apart.
He said the PDP was ready to depose the APC in 2019, noting that his party had put its “teething problems” behind it. The ruling party, he said, had become unpopular with Nigerians.
“We are more than ready. If we are ready to go to polls today, we are confident that PDP will return elected,” Makarfi said.
By Shina Abubakar
The ongoing measures to resolve the dispute ravaging the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the State of Osun might not be the ultimate solution, as the caretaker committee inaugurated to pilot the resolution may have integrity crisis among the stakeholders of the party in the state.
It would be recalled that the PDP had set up a caretaker committee in some states with Hon. Sarafadeen Isola from Ogun State heading the Osun team to pilot the party out of the crisis by organising a congress to usher in fresh executive for the party in the state ahead of the forthcoming governorship primary election.
It was gathered that prior to the constitution of the committee, the warring factions stands on each other’s throat insisting on the appointment of the committee members from their camps.
Although, since the arrival of the committee, the gladiators have to a large extent sheathe their swords hoping that their supporters in the party would influence their victory in the congress to be organised by the committee on a date yet to be schedule.
While the committee operates from the Ogo-Oluwa Secretariat of the party, the other secretariat at Biket area of the state capital is still operational as the faction is not totally letting go of its guard.
Meanwhile some members of the party belonging to Adagunodo-led faction have started suspecting that the Sarafadeen-led caretaker committee is in the state to position Faforiji, who is believed to enjoy the support of Senator Iyiola Omisore and by extension the Abuja caucus of the party.
This, a source said, has been propelling the other faction to be preparing for the worst.
According to Mr Alao Adeolu, a close associate of Soji Adagunodo, there are no factions in Osun PDP at present considering the fact that the National Secretariat has dissolve both side with a view to ensuring that peace reign in the party.
He added that those in the Adagunodo faction believed that the caretaker committee has the capacity to organise a free and fair election that would produce an acceptable executive committee for the PDP in the state.
“If the committee organise a free and fair election, we, in the Adagunodo faction would accept the outcome of such election but if the process is not fair we would resist any act of injustice. However, we are confident of victory in a free and fair election”.
Similarly, a source close to the camp loyal to Dr. Bayo Faforiji disclosed that the PDP knew those that are loyal to its course and would not leave the party at the mercy of those that would devour it opportunities.
The source further disclosed that everyone is free to claim to have the majority in the party but the congress to be organised would eventually decide the side that hold the majority of supporters in the party.
Findings revealed that members of the two factions in the party are still loyal to the parallel executive committees of the camps they belong to prior to their dissolution and it is the reason the two secretariats are still functional even as a caretaker committee is in place.
The Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democracy Party, Ahmed Makarfi, on Thursday in Ibadan visited the former governors of Oyo State, Rashidi Ladoja, and Adebayo Alao-Akala, the Social Democratic Party governorship candidate in the last general election, Seyi Makinde, a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Jumoke Akinjide, and some other members of the party in the state in their various homes.
Makarfi assured former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja and other aggrieved members of equal right and level playing field in the PDP.
With him on the visit were a former governor of Ogun State, Gbenga Daniel, a former member of the House of Representatives, Mulikat Adeola, chairman of the party in the South-West, Eddy Olafeso, Senator Hosea Agboola, a member of the House of Representatives, Senator Femi Lanlehin and a former Minister of Information, Jerry Gana.
The Accord members who welcomed Makarfi included Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, Dr. Nureni Adisa, Dr. Nureni Adeniran and members of the state House of Assembly on the platform of Accord party.
Ladoja, who is the National Leader of Accord party, however asked for a level playing field for him and his men.
He said equal opportunity and rights is the only condition for joining the party.
He said: “I don’t want to leave PDP. We were forced to leave PDP. Myself, Ngige and Fayose.
“Mr. Chairman, what are the terms? If the terms are right and the term is that equality of everybody.
“Ladoja is not coming to PDP, Ladoja and his people are coming. My colleagues in Accord, they are here, some members of Oyo State House of Assembly are here, have I spoken. We won eight seats in the state Assembly. That shows how strong we are.
“I can say within the next two days, even next two hours, we can say come and raise our hands.
“When we left PDP, we got a lot of offers. That is why we are in Accord. I want to assure you that it is the desire of everybody to send this government away.
Makarfi said: “Politics is dynamic. The convention we planned, there is going to be constitution amendment to address the issue of internal democracy. Only last week, during the primary of our party in Anambra, we granted waiver to a gubernatorial aspirant. These issues you have raised.
“Don’t nurse any fear, let’s start together. We have a committee which seeks to harmonise everybody; let’s start afresh.
“You have not committed any offence to get amnesty. We want to integrate you back. It is better they get integrated under our leadership before the convention. The earlier the better.”
Makarfi said that at the election convention of the party coming up in December, there would be constitution amendment that would address all the issues that Ladoja and Makinde raised.
He noted there were injustices that must be corrected for the party to bounce back stronger.
The 2017 Special National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has extended the tenure of the Sen. Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee by four months.
The convention, which is holding at Eagle Square Abuja, also dissolved the state executives of the party in Osun, Kwara, Adamawa, Borno, Kebbi, Lagos and Ogun states and set up of a Caretaker Committee to manage the affairs of the respective states pending when the election will be conducted.
The caretaker committee was constituted on May 21, 2016 at the party’s National Convention in Port Harcourt, after the dissolution of the Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff-led National Working Committee.
Its mandate was to organise an elective convention within 90 days, but the tenure was extended by 12 months in another convention in Port Harcourt on Aug. 17, 2016 following leadership crisis that engulfed the party.
Minority Leader of the Senate, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, who moved the motion for the new extension, said that it would enable the committee to organise an elective convention that would produce elected national leaders of the party.
The motion which was seconded by a former governor of Jigawa, Alhaji Sule Lamido, was unanimously adopted by the convention delegates.
The delegates also ratified the dissolution of the factional executive committees of the party in Anambra, and authorised Makarfi’s committee to set up a caretaker committee in the state.
The motion on the Anambra issue was moved by Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, and in adopting it, the delegates mandated the national caretaker committee to organise congresses at all levels in the state as soon as possible.
The convention also ratified and reaffirmed the election of the party’s executive committees in zones and states where congresses were successfully conducted.
The motion on this was moved by Prof. Jerry Gana and supported by Chief Emeka Ihedioha, a former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives.
OVER 3,000 delegates from across the country are expected to converge in Abuja on Saturday for the non-elective national convention of the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
It is the first of such gathering since the party survived a protracted leadership crisis only recently brought to an end by the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) led by Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi.
The convention has as its main agenda the extension of the NCC’s tenure to enable it to execute an elective national convention as well as approving a number of proposed amendments to its constitution.
The Eagle Square, Abuja venue of the event is already wearing a new look with the necessary dais mounted along with other venue decorations.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, confirmed at a world press conference in Abuja on Friday that over 3,000 delegates would attend the convention.
He said the various committees had completed their work and the party was ready to celebrate its survival.
Adeyeye said: “Tomorrow (Saturday) by the grace of God, it’s going to be a carnival-like atmosphere the like of which we have never seen before.
“PDP members are coming to Abuja to celebrate, to tell Nigerians that this party has been reawakened and the party is poised not only to challenge for power but again, to begin a new era of good governance come 2019.
“Our members have started arriving from various states of the federation and we are expecting over 3,000 delegates and all the foreign missions and international observers have been invited.”
He added: “And we have every cause to celebrate. God took us out of a major crisis that almost killed the party.
“The significance of the Supreme Court judgment is not really appreciated by so many people. If that decision had been otherwise, we would not have been here today. There may been no PDP at all as we know it.
“But we give glory to God that with that judgment, the PDP has been given a new lifeline and we believe that we will use that opportunity to reposition the party to do better even better than when we were in government.
“So, we have every cause to celebrate and this is the convention of every member of this party and even Nigerians because Nigerians rejoiced with us when we won at the Supreme Court.
By Shina Abubakar
The seeming leadership crisis in the State of Osun chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new dimension, as the party’s chance of achieving peaceful resolution seems impossible, just as the sacked Ali Modu Sheriff faction is hell-bent on holding on to leadership structure in the state.
The recent pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the legal status of the National leadership of the party was expected to put to rest, all issues regarding the crises confronting the opposition party, but the situation further deteriorated in some of the states where Sheriff’s faction hold sway, especially in the SouthWest.
Prior to the court’s pronouncement, the Osun situation was a bit different as the Soji Adagunodo faction has the majority of members of the party which is made up of the young generation of party followers while the Bayo Faforiji faction was in the minority and only enjoyed the support of Senator Iyiola Omisore before the judgment gave them acceptability.
It would be recalled that the Osun PDP crisis was not without the ambition of Senator Omisore to be the Governor of the state while the young breed and some elders in the party strictly opposed, giving room for division in the party prior to the crisis at the national level.
With the acceptability of Makarfi faction, the National leadership of the party recognised Bayo Faforiji as the party chairman in the state at the detriment of the majority members of the party, who were not favourably disposed to the arrangement.
To persuade the majority faction, a committee was set up to resolve the issue, with a view to maintaining unity in the party, in line with the spirit of the efforts to win the recently concluded Osun West Senatorial bye-election, but the National leadership has always given recognition to Dr. Bayo Faforiji as the chairman.
This situation did not go down well with the Adagunodo faction who believed it has the majority of party members and irrespective of the court judgment should enjoy priority in resolving the party crisis.
However, some of the factors working against the faction is the allegation of receiving N150 million from the Adeleke Family to prosecute the last senatorial bye-election, but a close associate of Adagunodo described the allegation as a figment of the imagination of those spreading it.
Another critical issue the faction is contending with is the role played by the former General Secretary of the party, Professor Wale Oladapo in relegating Senator Iyiola Omisore, as the other faction believed that he would have to pay for it now that the court had sacked him from the post.
But the Adagunodo faction also has strong bargaining power at its disposal, especially as the faction enjoyed the support of many of the young breed of the party and also many of the elders who were against the pseudo dominance of the party and is working towards making statement that the party belongs to the members not an individual.
Another stumbling block on the path of the Faforiji faction is the emergence of Senator Buruji Kashamu and others who rose against the leadership of Governor Ayodele Fayose in the region and would stop at nothing to make sure the arrangement never stand.
OSUN DEFENDER however gathered that the PDP in the state, no matter the compromise may not retain a united house, as a faction in the party is looking forward to move to another party ahead of the 2018 governorship election before it is too late to prepare for campaign.
The Chairman of National Caretaker Committee of Peoples Democratic Party, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, has warned that the party would no longer condone any act of indiscipline from members.
Makarfi gave the warning while inaugurating a 37-member Caretaker Committee for the Anambra chapter of the party on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the party ’s leadership was already witnessing some form of indiscipline from some members, and warned that any undisciplined act would be sanctioned promptly.
“It is no longer going to be business as usual. What we are saying is that any future act of indiscipline will be immediately dealt with, with appropriate measure.
“We have noticed that and I assure you that without any delay we will take appropriate measure. The Constitution of PDP has stipulated how indiscipline should be addressed.
“Anybody that transgresses and thinks he can act the way he wants will be dealt with. We will no longer allow the party to be abused,” Makarfi said.
He stated that the inauguration of the Anambra’s caretaker committee for the party was important after the dissolution of the hitherto parallel executive committees in the state.
According to him, the inauguration of the new committee is important as the party prepares for Anambra governorship election.
The committee has Prof. ABC Nwosu as Chairman and Mrs Josephine Anenih as Secretary.
Makarfi charged the committee to run the affairs of the party in the state, organise effective structure and campaign for the Nov. 18 gubernatorial election.
He said that subject to the approval of the national caretaker committee, the state committee would also constitute and inaugurate local government and ward caretaker committees of the party across the state.
The chairman also challenged the state committee to mobilize enough to effectively restore PDP ’ s popularity in the state.
“The committee is also to ensure discipline of members in accordance with party ’s Constitution to deal with anti – party activities that shall hinder the successful prosecution of the Anambra gubernatorial election, ’’ he said.
Accepting the responsibility, Nwosu commended the national caretaker committee for the privilege and opportunity given him and members of the committee to reclaim Anambra for PDP.
Nwosu described the state as one of the strongest at the inception of the party.
He assured that his committee would discharge its assignment diligently and restore Anambra to its pre -eminence position in PDP.
“We pledge to abide by the Constitution of the party and enthrone internal democracy, which is one of the founding ideals of our great party.
“We shall endeavour to keep the front door open so as to discourage all who are used to using back doors and other means. Our mantra shall be that the front door works better, ” he said.
He pleaded with members who have left the party to come back so that “ we all shall join hands for the difficult task in the months ahead ”.
According to Nwosu, to defeat an incumbent governor is not an easy task, but PDP can do it.
“ We will do it not by any unfair means but by reconnecting to the people and re- convincing them that PDP provides the best platform for relieving the burden of everyday living of Anambra people.
“ We are certain that we can do this. ”
Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, the National Chairman of the embattled Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said the party’s secretariat in Wadata Plaza will re-open before Friday.
Sheriff, who was recently declared as the authentic leader of the party by the Court of Appeal, made the promise on Wednesday when he received some PDP leaders from South-West.
The party national secretariat had been under lock since after its national convention held on May 20, 2016.
The police said they took the action to avoid breakdown of law and order as a result of the leadership tussle between Sheriff-led and Sen. Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.
Sheriff told the leaders from South West who visited him in his office in Abuja that he had commenced legal process that would allow the party leaders and workers to access the secretariat.
He added that “between now and Friday, we will move into our national secretariat.
“We have transmitted the necessary document to the security agencies; including the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Security Services (DSS) to reopen it.”
The Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt on Feb. 17 ruled in his favour.
He said “my mission is to rebuild the party and bring it back to its 1999 position.
“I am not here to remain as chairman forever. I will leave after the convention.
We will conduct a credible convention and whoever wants to be PDP leader can contest in the convention.”
He urged PDP leaders to go back to their respective wards and work for the party.
He also pleaded with governors to join him in rebuilding the party, saying they were leaders in their own right.
The PDP South West Zonal Chairman, Mr Makanjuola Ogundipe, who led the team on the visit, said they were at Sheriff’s office to express the zone’s support for him.
Ogundipe said the visit was also to advise Sheriff to use his victory at the court to reunite everybody in the party, irrespective of what happened earlier.
He added that “you must see yourself as father to all’’.
“Now that you have been saddled with the leadership responsibility, we want to urge you to make sure that the party is revived within 40 days.”
The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Friday affirmed a former Governor of Borno State, Ali Sheriff, as the authentic Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
The court set aside the judgment delivered by Justice Mohammed Liman of the Federal High Court in Rivers State who recognized former Kaduna State governor, Ahmed Makarfi as the leader of the party.
Messrs. Sheriff and Makarfi lead separate factions of the PDP, Nigeria’s major opposition party.