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Friday, 14 July 2017

Sheriff group splits over PDP amnesty offer

Sheriff group splits over PDP amnesty offer

Ali-Modu-SheriffTWO members of the defunct leadership of the Senator Ali Sheriff National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have disagreed over the general amnesty offered by the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) of the party to loyalists of the former National Chairman.

The National Organising Secretary of the group, Okey Nnadozie and the group’s acting National Publicity Secretary, Bernard Mikko, gave opposing positions in separate press statements issued in Abuja on Friday.

While Nnadozie congratulated the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led NCC over the Supreme Court judgement which restored it to leadership and pledged his support to the PDP,  Mikko expressed anger over the offer of amnesty and described the party leadership as made up of people with pending criminal cases.

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While noting that PDP remained one big family, the former NWC member said he was congratulating the leadership after carefully considering the ruling of the Supreme Court, “which in effect ended the regrettable leadership tussle and protracted disagreements among members of our great Party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).”
Nnadozie regretted that mistakes were made during the crisis but urged the party to embrace every member and forge ahead.

He added: “The unfortunate tussle, while it lasted, saw many loyal and committed members of our great party wittingly or unwittingly on different sides of the divide based on principle and different interpretation of our Party’s constitution. But in all, the verdict is victory for all as it has at last brought us all together again as one big family that we have always been.

“It is on this note that I sincerely congratulate the leaders and members of our party, particularly, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and members of the National Caretaker Committee, Our Governors, members of the National Assembly, and of course all Nigerians for this important judgment. Indeed, the ruling is a clear pointer to the future of not only our party but also the entire nation.

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“This development also points to the democratic credentials of our party and the resilience of its undying ideology as a robust and egalitarian platform, irrespective of the challenges it faced.

“No doubt, during and immediately after the 2015 general election, and particularly during the period of this unfortunate divisive leadership tussle, mistakes were made; unguarded statements were made, our party had to bear avoidable pain and loses, but in all, very serious lessons have also been learnt.

“What is left for us now is to put the painful past behind us, forgive and embrace one another and together forge ahead in the onerous charge to reposition our party for the task ahead. In this regard, I wish to commend and thank our leaders who have made comments in this direction.

“As a loyal and dedicated member who has held leadership position at the national level, the PDP remains my home as we once more rededicate ourselves and place the overriding interest of our party over and above every personal ambition or interest.”

But in his statement, the former factional spokesman, took exception to what he said was
“the reckless statement” credited to the NCC suggesting the granting of amnesty to Sheriff, his NWC and supporters.

He observed that amnesty was a reprieve for those who have committed offence, saying: “We did not occupy the office illegally or committed any offence. Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff was validly elected.”

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He said he was concerned about the handing over of the party to those he referred to as criminal suspects, adding: “I am therefore concerned about the future of our party in the hands of some of those who are known to have pending criminal cases bordering fraud, treasury looting and dishonesty with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“The Supreme Court of Nigeria  is the highest court in our land and we await the copy of the full judgement delivered on July 12, 2017.

“No one owns the party and those making unguarded and reckless statements in the public domain should realise that the solution to the problem of Nigeria is beyond any political association.

“Unacceptable and unjustifiable means cannot lead to a justifiable and acceptable end.”
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