PDP Crisis: Jonathan clarifies stand on Modu Sheriff

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan and Ali Modu Sheriff

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has clarified his stand on the leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the outcome of a meeting he had with the chairman of the party, Modu Sheriff.

Mr. Jonathan said he only mediated to unify and strengthen the opposition party.

The former president made the clarification in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by his media aide, Ikechukwu Eze, on Tuesday.

He held a meeting with Mr. Sheriff in Abuja on Monday.

Mr. Sheriff’s leadership of the party was affirmed by the Court of Appeal on Friday.

President Jonathan’s spokesperson denied media report that the former leader, during the visit, endorsed Mr. Sheriff as the national chairman of the party.

He said the issue of endorsement neither came up at the closed-doors meeting nor during the interview the former president had with journalists.

He said as a former president and foremost leader of the party, Mr. Jonathan welcomed Mr. Sheriff and some of his supporters to his house, in line with a mediation role he is playing towards unifying and strengthening the PDP.

“As a peace-loving leader of the party, the former President’s interest is to help reposition PDP to enable it play a constructive role in the affairs of the nation, in view of the imperative of deepening the nation’s democracy,” Mr. Eze said.

“I wish to let those spinning this falsehood know that it just doesn’t add up to fly a contrived banner of endorsement in one breath, and in another, concede that the former President explained his commitment in meeting with different interest groups, towards resolving the differences in the party.”

Mr. Eze explained that the former president opened his doors to Mr. Sheriff upon his request, just as he had earlier done to the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee members.

He said Mr. Jonathan was prepared to broker more talks until the issues in the leadership of the PDP were finally resolved.

Mr. Jonathan was earlier quoted as referring to Mr. Sheriff as “My Chairman”.

Mr. Eze did not comment on that.

But he said after the meeting with Mr. Sheriff on Monday, the former president also met with Mr. Makarfi and the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, BoT, Walid Jubrin, later in the evening.

“In deed, it may interest you to know that after meeting with Sheriff, the former President also met with Senator Ahmed Makarfi, leader of the PDP Caretaker Committee, and the party’s Board of Trustees chairman, Senator Walid Jubril, later in the evening,” he said.

Mr. Eze quoted the exact words of the former president, which he said were correctly reported by a section of the media, as follows:

“We (PDP) are not factionalised. We are one. We are solving our problems. There are bound to be differences in politics. 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.”

Mr. Eze further called for fair and balanced reporting of national issues, saying “While we appreciate the interest of journalists in the coverage of the activities of the former President, we urge accurate and constructive reporting, as it is a known fact that we cannot truly develop our nation, if journalists continue to twist and fabricate stories with the intent of misinforming the public.”


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  • Saleh Ngaski

    What is so special about Jonathan supporting anyone in the PDP crisis? He is more of a liability to the party than an asset. He cannot influence anything regarding their acceptability to the people. Anyway they will enjoy his dollar. Go on chief mediator. It is better any other party than PDP in Nigeria. We cannot go back looting extravaganza again. GOD BLESS NIGERIA.

    • concernednigerian

      What are you talking about? Are you following events at all? We are talking about Buhari’s lawyer giving a bribe of some 500,000 Naira to a judge hearing a case about Buhari’s non-possession of the minimum requirement of school certificate and you’re still fuming about Jonathan. Are you alright?

      • Richard Omo

        Is this what you read in this article? Even if the lawyer gave bribes did he do it on Buhari’s behalf?

        • concernednigerian

          Yes. The obsession with portraying Jonathan in a negative light should come to an end. He serve for five years and have left the scene for a President that has disappeared to God knows where yet your problem is the irrelevance of Jonathan to PDP. Do you know the PDP better than those who call on Jonathan? Is PDP not a private political party? Occupy yourself with issues that affect the country such as the bribery of a judge to look the other way over Buhari’s non-possession of school certificate and Buhari’s indefinite absence from office. These should be of paramount concern to you because Buhari is the President of Nigeria while Jonathan is one of numerous former Presidents of Nigeria hence he is not a topical issue.

          • Saleh Ngaski

            Only people like you still believe that Buhari lack a secondary school certificate. Even those who spread that falsehood in the late 2014 knew that they had to do that as a last resort because all the campaigns of calumny against him couldn’t stop his being accepted by most Nigerians. I his days people don’t forge certificates in the north because the number of secondary schools are quite few and almost everyone that attended was known by most people. Buhari was at various times a Head boy, and active footballer. He was a classmate to a former President of the Court of Appeal and a former Inspector-General of the Nigerian Police. Both of them are still alive. In any case there was no way that the white people will enlist Buhari into the Officer Corp of the Nigerian Army without having at least a Division Two then. As for comparing Buhari with GEJ, you are obviously on your own. Even in your heart of hearts you know there is no basis for that.

          • concernednigerian

            You’re laughable. Try harder next time.

    • Emmanuel

      What kind of brain do you have(Saleh)? It might be a chicken brain because i know for sure that it isn’t a human brain. If you think you can come out publicly and insult the best president Nigeria has ever had,hell no! If you don’t have anything better to, you just get a hell out.

      • Tunsj

        Really? “Jonathan the best President Nigeria has ever had”? Hold on a second…I have to get off the floor…fell off my chair from laughter!