The Ahmed Makarfi faction of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has rejected the allegation made by the Ali Sheriff faction that the former receives a monthly subvention from governors elected on the platform of the party.
Mr. Sheriff’s deputy, Cairo Ojougbo, at a press conference on Monday said the Makarfi faction does not want the crisis in the party to end because of the N50 million subvention it allegedly receives.
But, in a swift reaction, the spokesperson of the Makarfi faction, Dayo Adeyeye, who also called a press conference said such allegations are “a lie from the pit of hell and a very cheap and unintelligent attempt at blackmail.”
Mr. Adeyeye said it is a known fact by everyone in the PDP that the National Caretaker Committee headed by Mr. Makarfi has from inception been hamstrung by inadequate finance, “so much so that simple secretariat duties have been a struggle while we have been unable to pay staff salaries of just N18 million a month”.
He also said members of the National Caretaker Committee do not enjoy any remuneration.
“It is a selfless service. It is therefore a figment of his imagination to say that the governors give the National Caretaker Committee N50 million monthly. The governors are all alive and are free to come forward and declare publicly their level of contributions to the National Caretaker Committee since May 21st 2016,” he said.
Attacks Cairo Ojougbo
Mr. Adeyeye also asked Mr. Ojougbo to stop parading himself as Deputy National Chairman of the PDP, saying his doing so smacks of “an extreme act of impunity”.
He said Mr. Ojougbo was neither elected into the position nor appointed into it by the National Executive Committee, NEC of the party.
“He was not a member of the NWC that existed prior to May 21, 2016. Reverting to Status Quo Ante prior to May 21, 2016 cannot be a reversion to the NWC that will include Dr. Cairo Ojugboh,” he said.
Mr. Adeyeye alleged that Mr. Ojougbo was one of the most “avid opponents” of Mr. Sheriff prior to the May 21, 2016 National Convention in Port Harcourt Rivers state.
“That was the time Sheriff still enjoyed the support of the majority of the Governors and when it was virtually a fait-accompli that he will be elected Chairman at the Convention.
“The moment Sheriff was rejected by the Party, Dr. Cairo crossed over to him – showing a complete lack of principle.
“The only thing that matters to Dr. Cairo is his own selfish personal interest to be Deputy National Chairman at all cost. If he is offered that position today by the party, he would not think twice to abandon Sheriff. He has no locus to speak or act on behalf of the party,” Mr. Adeyeye said.
Mr. Adeyeye also said the PDP belongs to all its members and various organs, all of whom are free to make contribution to its running as it is not a personal empire of anybody or the National Caretaker Committee.
“There is therefore nothing illegal or untoward in receiving contributions from party members. Our only regret is that these contributions have not been forthcoming as expected, giving the heavy weight of responsibilities placed before us and especially the burden of having to deal with distractions caused by Senator Sheriff and his cohorts,” he said
He also said no matter how little, it is better for PDP to be funded by its own members than by the All Progressive Congress, APC, “as is the case with Senator Sheriff and his cohorts”.
Mr. Adeyeye challenged Mr. Ojougbo to tell the world “which APC governor, minister or official bought jeeps for them?”
He said the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Ayo Fayose, has also made a public allegation that Mr. Sheriff received $1 million from the APC to organise a new convention.
“Senator Sheriff is yet to publicly refute the allegation,” he said.
Makarfi ready to resign
Mr. Adeyeye also said the Ahmed Makarfi faction accepted a proposal by President Goodluck Jonathan and some governors to the crisis.
He said the proposal called for the resignation of Mr. Sheriff and his NWC and also the National Caretaker Committee headed by Mr. Makarfi “to create a level playing field for all, and to build trust among all members”.
He said the proposal was to then be submitted to the Supreme Court to form part of the judgment of the court.
“These would have provided both political and legal solution to the logjam. But Senator Sheriff rejected it, and continue to insist that he would conduct a National Convention – when he does not enjoy the trust and confidence of the vast majority of party members.
“It is therefore very clear who has a personal or hidden agenda. And I dare say, it is Senator Sheriff and not the National Caretaker Committee. The blackmail of Dr. Cairo is too cheap and too simplistic,” he said.