The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said it found a recommendation by the Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson-led reconciliation committee, for the faction to resign “shocking and embarrassing”.
Mr. Dickson had advised the party to recognise Modu Sheriff, and not Mr. Makarfi, as chairman of the party, in obedience to an Appeal Court ruling.
The governor said while he was not initially in support of Mr. Sheriff, backing him based on the ruling of the court, would help the party quickly resolve its lingering leadership crisis.
The call effectively demanded the resignation of the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee.
The Makarfi faction, in statement by its spokesperson, Dayo Adeyeye, said the statement coming from one of the “most respected Governors is to say the least shocking and embarrassing”.
Mr. Adeyeye said the committee did not appoint itself.
He said it is a creation of the national convention of the party which held at Port Harcourt last year.
“As the Governor admitted in his statement, the NCC was put in place and enjoys the support of over 80 percent of members of the Party.
“That being the case, the proper thing to do if Gov Dickson wants the NCC to be disbanded is to persuade and convince the 80 percent of the members on the merits of his point of view,” Mr. Adeyeye said.
He said the Makarfi-led executive is merely the agent of the party. He said the principals are the organs of the party and the 80 percent of members that Mr. Dickson alluded to.
“The NCC has no choice than to obey the command of its principals,” he said.
He also said it was unfair to cast aspersions on members of the caretaker committee. He said Mr. Dickson should “know where to direct his efforts”.
“He should convince our principals who are the organs of the Party on the need for the NCC to resign. We cannot and will not do his job for him.
“As men of integrity, we have said it countless number of times, and we are repeating it now for emphasis sake, that the NCC members will quit office immediately the Party organs that put it in place ask us to disband. We are no sit tight like Senator Sheriff.
“Nigerians are aware that former President, Goodluck Jonathan had suggested the resignations of Senator Sheriff and that of the NCC as a solution to the crisis in the context of finding a suitable political solution to the crisis.
“While the NCC agreed to step down in the interest of peace, Senator Sheriff has bluntly refused. Who should we blame for the lingering crisis in the light of this? Definitely not the NCC. It is therefore most unfair to say that the NCC is averse to finding a political solution to the crisis,” Mr. Adeyeye said.
Mr. Adeyeye said for Mr. Dickson to successfully accomplish the task of reconciliation, it is important for him to be seen by all sides as an impartial and honest broker.
“We are worried that Gov Dickson has seriously undermined the work of his committee by taking sides with Sheriff.
“We are even more concerned about his open declaration of war on the NCC. Rather than reconciling, the party is being further pulled apart,” he said.