Although the factional leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Makarfi are making frantic efforts to close ranks, indications are rife that their efforts to jointly take over the party has started upsetting some of the state governors of PDP who now appeared boxed into a corner.
The PDP governors who had earlier aligned with the Makarfi’s faction to reposition the PDP are now to constitute the new opposition within the party on their resolve to frustrate a peace deal between Makarfi and Sheriff.
Both factional leaders, contrary to opposition from some PDP governors met in Abuja Tuesday, at the Maitama office of the Sheriff to consolidate on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they endorsed last week. Rivers State governor, Nnyesom Wike of Rivers state and his Ekiti state counterpart, Ayo Fayose had opposed a peace deal between Sheriff and Makarfi.
Both governors were said to have truncated an earlier peace initiative brokered at the Taraba Governor’s Lodge before the MoU was arrived at. Fayose had spurned the MoU on the grounds that the PDP Governors were not briefed as well as the fact that the party crisis were before the court and should be left to the court to resolve it.
He had said: “I was not briefed. I am not the only person in the party, but I think I have a stake. But my opinion is the Court of Appeal must resolve this matter. “I am not against anything called resolution within the party but everybody must wait for Court of Appeal to resolve this matter … Matters are in court, nobody has withdrawn any matter and they are resolving. What are you resolving?”
However, some state Governors comprising Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Darius Ishaku of Taraba welcomed the development. For instance, Ikpeazu who noted that the lingering crisis has impacted negatively on the party said it was a step in the right direction that would result in victory for the party and Nigeria at the end of the day.
He argued that it would provide PDP with new opportunities to become stronger stressing: “In every crisis there are downsides because nobody will wish and pray for the crisis. I think also that moment of crisis are also opportunities for strength, renewed vigour and to reinvent our vision.” Despite the opposition from some governors, Makarfi who is the chairman of the national caretaker committee of the PDP visited Sheriff at his office where they held a closed-door meeting.
The spokesman for Sheriff’s faction, Mr. Bernard Mikko declined to comment on the meeting but insisted that Sheriff was determined to ensure that the crisis comes to an end as soon as possible. He said Sheriff was sincere about reconciling with Makarfi in the interest of PDP, while they are being encouraged by well meaning members of PDP.
“Senator Sheriff and Senator Makarfi will forge a genuine reconciliation and political solution within PDP Constitution and the rule of law that will reposition the party for greater electoral gains. “In this regard, the political system will be strengthened for national development where political parties will form government and not otherwise. The basic objective of Senator Sheriff is to re-position the PDP, remove impunity and give the party back to the people,” he stated.