The Bayelsa State Governor and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reconciliation Committee, Seriake Dickson, on Saturday called on key actors in the party to sheathe their swords and embrace peace to move PDP forward.
According to him, it would be unhealthy for both Ahmed Markafi and Modu Sheriff to be trading words at this critical period when all hands should be on deck to resolve the lingering crisis that has robbed the party of its leadership status.
In an interview with journalists in Abuja, Mr. Dickson said the report of the committee submitted to the national chairman of PDP, Mr. Sheriff was to unify, strengthen and reposition the party, contrary to misconception.
He said the PDP, having lost its leadership status to the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) should be a formidable opposition party but regretted that the reverse had been the case as a result of internal crisis.
“Dialogue, consultation and meetings formed part of the recommendations of the committee as they remain panacea to the lingering crisis. I am therefore calling on the leadership of the party to put aside their personal interests and work for the interest of PDP. In order to salvage the situation, there is need for consultation and dialogue; that is part of the recommendation of the committee”, Mr. Dickson said.
He said the committee, having examined the ongoing crisis in the party, decided to present a template that is engaging the tools of politics being misconstrued by Mr. Markafi and some of his followers.
The governor added that politics was all about dialogue, engagement and meetings, saying this is the only way to get out of the present imbroglio and reshape the party ahead of subsequent elections.
He added that without prejudice to the appeal filed at the Supreme Court to challenge the verdict of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which ruled in favour of Mr. Sheriff as the acting chairman, the committee in its report recommended the holding of unity convention.
“You need to engage Sheriff before you lose the party and the only way to achieve this is the adoption of the recommendations of the National Reconciliation Committee which include engagement of political tools and holding of unity convention,” the governor said.
Mr. Dickson said, “I wasn’t happy with what happened in Edo and Ekiti States and in order to prevent its re-occurrence, we started meeting with notable leaders of PDP including the former President, Ibrahim Babangida, Gusau to mention but few.
“It will surprise you that when Gusau advised the two factional chairmen to resign in the interest of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff willingly obliged but Makarfi refused. If I were him, I would have jumped at the opportunity and put an end to the unwarranted crisis.
“This event happened before the Court of Appeal judgement. I still maintain my position that you deploy a political means to resolve a political problem. You cannot come out of the court and be smiling. I am a lawyer but Makarfi is not.
“Some people are of the opinion that Makarfi is having the support of the majority, politics is not like that, every soul matter. That is why we need to deploy political means which is consultation to resolve this matter.”