Sheriff walks out of PDP stakeholders’ meeting as Jonathan heads fresh reconciliation committee

From left:  Former President Goodluck Jonathan, PDP National Chairman,  Ali Modu Sheriff and Chairman Board of Trustees, Alhaji Wali Jubril at a PDP Stakeholders meeting in  Abuja on Thursday (6/4/17)

02099/6/4/2017/Albert Otu/ICE/NAN
From left: Former President Goodluck Jonathan, PDP National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff and Chairman Board of Trustees, Alhaji Wali Jubril at a PDP Stakeholders meeting in Abuja on Thursday (6/4/17) 02099/6/4/2017/Albert Otu/ICE/NAN

The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Thursday walked out of the party’s stakeholders meeting organised by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Sheriff, who got to the venue of the meeting a few minutes after Mr. Jonathan had delivered his remarks, walked out with members of his National Working Committee at about 4.15 p.m.

Some of the executive members with him were the Deputy National Chairman, Cairo Ojougboh; and the Publicity Secretary, Mikko Bernard.

Mr. Sheriff, addressing journalists before leaving, expressed displeasure for not being allowed to make the opening remarks.

“We are here for PDP stakeholders meeting and the PDP has only one national chairman, which is Ali Modu Sheriff.

“There is no PDP meeting that will take place under whatever arrangement that I will not open the session as national chairman. Today, I’m the most senior member of this party.”

Mr. Sheriff also said that he would not be party to anything outside the reconciliation report submitted to him by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa.

“I think Governor Dickson made a proposal for reconciliation that we have accepted. Some people want to deviate from this programme, to bring agenda which was not part of it.

“As national chairman of the party, what I told you in my office when Dickson brought the report is the only thing that we have agreed to at this moment.

“I will not be party to anybody using me to do another programme. I’m not going to be part of it,” Mr. Sheriff said.

Asked about the way forward for the party, Mr. Sheriff said: “As the National Chairman of PDP, I will move on with the programmes initiated by Gov. Dickson.

“We are continuing with that; anything outside that, I’m not a party to it.”

The meeting, however, continued after Mr. Sheriff’s walk-out.

Mr. Jonathan, speaking on the outcome of the meeting, regretted what happened during the meeting.

According to him, the issues will be addressed once a committee set up comes out with its own recommendations.

Mr. Jonathan said the committee was set up to find a political solution to the party’s leadership crisis.

He said the constitution of the committee was a major outcome of a stakeholders meeting of the party’s members held on Thursday.

Mr. Jonathan, who convened the meeting, said that the committee would be chaired by him and had two weeks to submit recommendations for consideration by the stakeholders.

He said that in his absence, the committee would be chaired by former vice president, Namadi Sambo or former senate president, David Mark.

Mr. Jonathan said that PDP leaders believed that various matters of the party before the courts would be resolved in the next few months but that the party would not surrender its powers entirely to the court.

“We will take some steps to make sure that we will keep our people together and work with all the interested parties to see how we can resolve this difference.’’

He listed members of the committee as six from the Board of Trustees – one per geo-political zone as well as six each from the two groups within the party.

Others members, according to him, are all PDP governors, Deputy President of the Senate, Senate Minority Leader, House of Representatives Minority Leader and Minority Whip.

“We will consult with both groups and take two former governors – one from the North and one from the South; two former ministers, two women, two youths – all will be one from the north and one from the South,’’ he added.

Mr. Jonathan expressed optimism that when the committee met, minor issues experienced during the stakeholders meeting would be resolved.

“Be assured that we are determined to restore our party, and to make sure that PDP becomes stronger and stronger. We are determined to ensure that PDP rises again,’’ he said.

Earlier at the opening of the meeting, Mr. Jonathan had urged PDP leaders to make personal and general sacrifices to ensure quick resolution of the party’s problems.

He described PDP as a symbol of democracy and said that there was no sacrifice too big for anybody who believed in the party to make.

“As politicians with the zeal to lead our people, we must aspire to higher offices or identify the people we believe have leadership qualities and encourage them to aspire to those positions.

“But one thing is very clear, you cannot, as the polity is configured today, be elected into a higher office on the platform of a weak party.

“We must all, therefore, work to rebuild the PDP and strengthen the party in line with the vision of our founding fathers,” he said.

He reminded the members that the prolongation of the party’s crisis had cost them so much in election fortunes, in recent times.

“The loss of Edo and Ondo gubernatorial elections is still fresh in our memory.

“It goes without saying that we cannot afford to have a repeat of that in the forthcoming elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states.’’

He, therefore, said that it was high time the members buried their hatchet, suppressed their ego and prepared to make sacrifices in the interest of PDP and the country.

“We must realise that as they say, everybody is nobody without a platform. So, why destroy the platform?’’

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Walid Jubrin, urged the party leaders to embrace strategies that would regain the party’s lost glory.

“We must be able to bring ourselves together and forget our differences for the sake of the party. We must be ready to do away with selfish interests and ambitions.

“We must also forego blame game and be involved in forecast and formation and never abandoned PDP,” Mr. Jubrin said.

A member of the party, who pleaded anonymity, said that Mr. Sheriff was not allowed to address the meeting because he insisted that the factional chairman of the caretaker committee, Ahmed Makarfi, should not be allowed to address the meeting.

Both Messrs. Sheriff and Makarfi were scheduled, in the agenda of the meeting, to deliver goodwill messages.

PDP members present include Tom Ikimi, Prince Uche Secondus, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, Olisa Metuh, Saminu Turaki, David Jang and Adolphus Wabara.

Also present were some PDP governors, former ministers, and the BoT members.


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  • Frank Bassey

    It is obvious that Sheriff has ulterior motives. If Jonathan convened the peace meeting, it is in order for him to preside over the session. His suggestion that neither of the leaders of the two factions be allowed to play a leading role was in order. Sheriff is APC mole in PDP. He is on a destructive mission. At the end of the day, he will be the biggest loser.

    • Bayo

      Leave APC out of your problem.

  • Peedeepees!!!!

    DEAR EDITOR,

    A laggard will always rue at leisure….

    If it is better late than never Goodluck Ebele Jonathan may now excuse that he was either remiss or lost in trance
    since May 29 2015 as PDP party drifted since 2015 – without sense or direction. Why Goodluck Jonathan waited
    until court cases have been thrown at each other by the warring camps locked in the internecine fights inside
    PDP is what’s now undercut Goodluck Jonathan’s status as an effective or honest broker.

    A honest mediator does not sit on his hands whilst conflict brews or keeps sitting there until bloodletting occurs,
    before stepping up to the plate, even in an amorphous status as the most senior member of PDP judged ex-officio.
    That (presidential) ex-officio status was ripped up by Ali Modu Sheriff who just walked out of Jonathan – despite the
    ‘Jonathan seniority’ if judged by past president’s status.

    Once that presidential status was heckled and ridiculed Goodluck Jonathan lost traction to draw the warring parties
    together since that status is the only basis he could invoke. Had Jonathan woken up from trance two years ago,
    and rallied the defeated PDP party under his control, the PDP would have long begun a gingerly movement to
    reorganization since the year 2015. But alas, a laggard will always rue at leisure.

  • Exeter Buoy

    @disqus_EkZWB7P0Qm:disqus

    DID ALI MODU SHERRIF HOLD A GUN TO ANYONE’S HEAD IN PDP TO BE MADE CHAIRMAN?

    NO, HE WAS VOTED IN BY MORONS (LIKE AYO FAYOSE) WHO MUST STEW IN THEIR JUICES.

    • Bayo

      And mumu Wike.

  • Say the truth

    This confirms the widely held view that Sheriff did not mean well and he is also insincere about the reconciliation in PDP. His walking out on a former president is the height of gansterism and disrespect for status of the former president. He referred to himself as the highest ranking member of the PDP and regarded others as nobody. Sheriff is also digging his own political grave by destroying PDP because APC may not give him what he is looking for after all.

  • Eyo

    Jonah look at like mumu in that picture o. PDP dey coffin -under bottomless pit jare

  • Es3

    “Mr. Sheriff, who got to the venue of the meeting a few minutes after Mr.
    Jonathan had delivered his remarks, walked out with members of his
    National Working Committee at about 4.15 p.m.”
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    It’s very obvious that Sheriff is playing APC cards in PDP?!

    Sheriff walked on a meeting he did not convene or use any organ of the party to cause the gathering to take place? A ,meeting that he was an invitee like others and he wants to deliver the opening address after he and his team arrived late for the meeting commencement???!

    Now that he has become so obvious, he is unraveling very soon and badly at that! Just watch the scenarios unfold!!!

    .

    • Dan Arewa

      Just put your house in order and stop blaming APC for your woes. Shoe-less canoe boy convening the meeting and delivering opening remarks and BH sherif staging a walkout are all PDP problems.

      • Es3

        Whose house? Definitely not mine as I do not belong to any political party!

        But I now believe the insinuations on Sheriff doing the ‘biddings’ of his in-law in Buhari/APC!!!

  • Say the truth

    Now it should be clear to Jonathan and others sympathetic to his cause that Sheriff is not whom they think he is. HE IS AN AGENT OF APC and the other group has consistently cited this as the reason they could not to trust him. Sheriff is out to destroy the PDP before moving back to APC. He arrived when the former president was already making his remarks and walked out on all after that because according to him ‘he is the highest ranking officer of the PDP’. Really. It is a big insult and disrespect to Jonathan and other no matter what the case may be. Fayose, Wike and Mimiko led the party into this mess and they have to do everything to rectify it. Sheriff has taken this too far and should now be treated like a traitor that he is.

  • Okokondem

    Imagine how easily the PDP would reclaim the mantle of leadership in 2019 following the directionless administration and government of Buhari and the APP party, had they delivered good dividend in their previous foray.

    It’s easy and tempting for PDP loyalists here and elsewhere to argue that the country did better under their regime than the current debacle under Buhari/APC. But the word better here is relative. Buhari’s and APC bungling of the economy does not exonerate or excuse the far from optimal performance of the PDP administrations under three different presidents in a 16 year span.

    I don’t think any one of these PDP loyalists can defend that their party for doing nearly as it could to advance the development of the country especially in areas of infrastructure and Power generation, but above all the free reign on abuse of public trust and wholesale embezzlement.

    I believe it’s easy to surmise that I have no allegiance to any political party especially when it is obvious that party membership and affiliation makes no difference to those people in leadership robbing the country.