PDP Crisis: Jonathan backs Sheriff as Chairman

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday declared support for Ali Sheriff as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.

The former president spoke after a meeting with Mr. Sheriff and some members of his group in Abuja.

Mr. Sheriff, was affirmed the party’s national chairman by the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, last week.

Those at the meeting held behind closed doors at the former president’s home in Maitama District of Abuja were the Deputy National Chairman, Cairo Ojougbo, the National Secretary, Wale Oladipo, the acting National Publicity Secretary, Benard Mikko, the Financial Secretary, Adewole Adeyanju, and the National Youth Leader, Dennis Alonge-Niyi.

The meeting held while the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party met at the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge in Abuja where it resolved to challenge the judgement of the Court of Appeal.

Mr. Sheriif had on Sunday met with a former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, in Minna, the Niger State capital.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Jonathan, who had referred to Mr. Sheriff as “my chairman,” said there were no factions in the party though members could have disagreement.

“We are not factionalised. We are one. There are bound to be differences in politics. We cannot run away from that,” he said.

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and Ali Modu Sheriff
Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and Ali Modu Sheriff

“It is the way we resolve these differences that make us human beings and that is what makes us leaders. I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others. I will still meet with others, so that we will be able to do what is expected of us as a political party.”

Also speaking, Mr. Sheriff said he and his team were at the home of the former president as part of the moves to unite the PDP with a view to providing credible opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

“We are putting everything together to ensure that the party is united,” he said.

“We are not fighting and this is no time to join issues with people. We want everybody to come back to the party. Very soon I will get back to you when I finish my consultations. I won’t tell you anything before I finish consultations.”

(he national chairman insisted that the party’s constitution does not have a place for a caretaker committee, saying, “There is only one PDP and there is only one national chairman. A group of people has the right to sit and discuss as only a group of people but not as PDP. If I go down to their level to exchange words with them, then I would not be different from them.

“We don’t have anything like caretaker committee in our party. As father of the party, I will make sure everybody is united. I will make sure that everybody gets what they want in PDP.

“By the time I finish my convention, Nigerians will know that we mean well for the party.”

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