By Abdulkareem Haruna
Former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, has accused “some individuals” at the party’s national secretariat of conducting a “secret handing over” of his position as chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party to Ahmed Makarfi who is to function as the caretaker chairman.
The party’s former deputy national chairman, Uche Secondus, had earlier handed over the reins of office to Mr. Makarfi at a brief ceremony held at the Wadata Plaza in Abuja.
The opposition party has been dogged by crisis over the chairmanship position.
Powerful party organs have rallied behind Mr. Makarfi who, himself, was appointed under controversial circumstances. Mr. Sheriff who had been in charge of the party for months, insists he remains the chairman.
The two men had secured favourable court injunctions restricting either of them from parading themselves as national chairman and or caretaker chairman of the party respectively.
Mr. Makarfi said the former Borno governor would have attended the party’s meeting on Monday night if he had not travelled out of the country.
But in a press statement issued Tuesday evening, Mr. Sheriff, said through his spokesperson, Inuwa Bwala, that he was still in charge.
Read his full statement:
The statement reads in full: “Our attention has been drawn to the activities at the National secretariat of the PDP to the effect that some individuals masquerading as leaders have handed over to Ahmed Mohammed Makarki under a contraption called “caretaker committee”.
“We state as a matter of fact that going by proceedings still pending in the courts to the effect that Senator Ali Sheriff remains the National Chairman, whatever transpired was null, void and of no effect whatsoever.
“Sheriff has not mandated anybody, nor was his authority obtained by Uche Secondus, who has been parading himself as acting on behalf of the National Chairman.
“While we await the verdicts of the courts, we wish to state that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is and remains the National Chairman of the party, until otherwise declared by the courts.
“We allowed the charade to go on at the secretariat without any form of challenge in strict obedience to careful pronouncement on the matter, but we must also state that there is no gathering of groups or individuals, however powerful, such groups or individuals may be, that can be said to take precedence over the law.
“For the avoidance of doubts, we state categorically that what took place at the PDP secretariat on Tuesday June 7, 2016 was a total disregard to court orders. And an extension of the impunity for which the party has been accused of and which has taken the party to where it is today.
“The public should disregard all the actions and pronouncements,” Mr. Bwala said.
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