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Saturday 18 March 2017

PDP crisis: I won’t quit, Sheriff replies Makarfi

PDP crisis: I won’t quit, Sheriff replies Makarfi

•Says no worthy captain abandons ship midway

The court-backed national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Senator Ali Modu Sheriff yesterday told those canvassing his resignation as a way out of the crisis tearing the party asunder to forget it.

He said he is not sold on quitting because   a worthy  captain does not abandon his troubled ship mid-sea.

“There can be no aircraft without a captain, or a ship without a captain,” Sheriff told reporters after a breakfast meeting in Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State at the country home of his  deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.

“Anybody wanting a captain of a ship to abandon his ship in the middle of the sea wants the ship to capsize. We do not want PDP to capsize .PDP will always get their leaders through a democratically elected process,” he added.

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Some party members believe one viable way out of the crisis is for both Sheriff and his rival, chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee,Senator  Ahmed Makarfi to resign.

But Sheriff recalled that he once offered to do that while Makarfi refused to do same.

His words: “When I offered to resign, just because I wanted the party to survive, the very man talking today said even if I resigned, he will not resign so that he would destroy the PDP.

“But we will not allow him do this.We have said if your intention is to destroy the party, we will not let you do this. The Court of Appeal has made its pronouncement; that whatever he is standing for is not PDP”.

He branded those kicking against the recommendation of the PDP reconciliation committee headed by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State as “agents of destruction” seeking to destroy the party.

He accused Senator Makarfi of having an agenda different from that of the PDP, but vowed that the ideals of the founding fathers of the party will ultimately defeat the forces threatening the unity of the party.

He said: “We set up this Dickson committee even before we envisaged any problem anywhere.

“It was the NEC of the PDP that set up that committee.If it was a committee that was set up under my leadership and all party faithful were present at the NEC meeting; if they make a recommendation that will be a solution for our party why should I reject it?

“ I am here to build the party, not to destroy it. The working committee of my party totally accepted the roadmap that Dickson put out.

“Anybody that kicks against that roadmap; they are the agents of destruction .They have an agenda which they are not letting Nigerians to know. Their agenda is not PDP’s; it is something different.

“ They were sent to destroy the PDP. This party belongs to us.”

Taking another look at the crowd of PDP supporters who had gathered to receive him,Sheriff  said: “Who are the real PDP and those people who want PDP to grow and those that want the party destroyed?

“I can assure you this party that was put together by its founding fathers will remain the greatest party in Africa”.

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On the chances of the PDP in the 2019 general elections following its unending crisis, Sheriff said the party lost the last elections because of the culture of impunity but stressed that the current executive led by him will put an end to the  impunity.

He said:”Why the PDP lost the election to APC at the central was because of the impunity that I am fighting today. “I am working to cancel impunity from the party.

We want the people’s choices to man the offices not the candidates brought by Ali Modu Sheriff. We must allow the party to have their way. Democracy is government of the people by the people and for the people and not somebody who wants to plant a governor in Borno, in Lagos; No. Then it is no longer government of the people.”

Also speaking,Dr. Ojougboh said the

the Ali Modu Sheriff’s camp was against suggestions that both Makarfi and Sheriff should resign, adding that ex-President Jonathan specifically instructed Sheriff after his meeting with the PDP governors to fashion out a strategy for reconciling aggrieved party members and that the conversation never dwelled on both party leaders resigning their positions.

His words, “Anybody who is talking about Sheriff resigning is infantile, discourteous , impunity personified and self- serving, envious of the hard won victory of Ali Modu Sheriff and the fact that Sheriff is putting the party back on track. We are therefore stating very seriously that the issue of Ali Modu Sheriff resigning should never be discussed at any forum.

“ It will not be entertained and we will not listen to it .W are ready for the convention and we are working assiduously to ensure that everybody is carried along for an effective generally acceptable convention that will usher in a new executive that will deliver the PDP in 2019”.

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