Respect for the court ruling that affirmed Ali Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party is the “only way” to salvage Nigeria’s troubled opposition party, Ben Bruce has said.
Mr. Bruce, a PDP Senator from Bayelsa State, disclosed his position on the party’s leadership crisis during the weekend via a one-paragraph statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.
The Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal had on Friday annulled the May 21, 2016 national convention that gave birth to the national caretaker committee led by Ahmad Makarfi, a former Kaduna Governor, and backed by the PDP Governors’ Forum and Board of Trustees.
The Makarfi faction has opposed the ruling, indicating intention to head to the Supreme Court.
“I am supporting Ali Modu Sheriff because it is the only way to preserve the party,” said Mr. Bruce, adding that: “We will work with Ali Modu Sheriff and go to a convention.”
“Right now, PDP is on a course towards destruction and abiding by the judgement of the court is the only thing that can save us.”
PDP lost Nigeria’s presidential election in 2015 after 16 years of control.
Since its fall, the party has failed to offer serious opposition to the All Progressives Congress government of Muhammadu Buhari, leaving civil society organisations, activists and concerned citizens – with the power of social media – to offer criticisms amid worsening economic crisis and cases of deadly violence like the killings in Southern Kaduna and Agatu, Benue State.
“I therefore call an end to the fighting. And I am supporting Ali Modu Sheriff because it is the only way to preserve the party. Right now, what Nigeria has is a one-party state – there is no opposition. Enough is enough. The is the time for PDP to unite, we are a formidable force!
“The current bickering is childish and irrelevant. I am not in support of anymore litigation,” said Mr. Bruce.
The Sheriff faction also has the backing of Buruji Kashamu, a fugitive Senator from Ogun State.
The Makarfi faction has slated for Monday, a meeting at the International Conference Centre to discuss “crucial party matters” in the wake of the ruling that went against its leadership.