The Governors of Ekiti, Delta and Ebonyi states, Ayodele Fayose Ifeanyi Okowa, and David Umahi have described the Supreme Court judgment affirming Ahmed Makarfi as the authentic chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as victory for democracy and Nigeria.
The Supreme Court in its Wednesday ruling also sacked Ali Sheriff as the chairman of the party.
Mr. Fayose, who reacted to the judgment in Abuja said with the victory, the party can now play its role as a vibrant opposition voice.
Mr Fayose through his media aide, Lere layinka, called on ‘genuine members of the party to come together for its repositioning, repackaging and strengthening.’
He however said all factions must be carried along despite the victory recorded by Mr. Makarfi.
“The ultimate winner is democracy which cannot survive without a virile opposition and the entire people of Nigeria who are already yearning for a return of the PDP, having been short-changed by the APC.”
Meanwhile Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has equally lauded the ruling.
Reacting to the judgement in Asaba shortly after its delivery, Mr. Okowa in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, appreciated the Supreme Court for the ruling which he said has put to an end to the protracted leadership crisis that has bedevilled the party.
“It has been a tortuous journey for the party but, I am glad that the Supreme Court has put the crisis to an end. I congratulate members of our great party particularly the National Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi and members of the National Caretaker Committee for this well-deserved victory. It is a victory for the Board of Trustees, Governors Forum of the party, National Assembly Caucus, State Chairmen’s forum and other stakeholders,” the governor said.
The Ebonyi State governor and Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, also described the judgment as affirmation of the restoration of democracy to the country.
Mr. Umahi in a statement by the Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, further described the judgment as landmark and critical to the restoration of tenets of democracy where the masses would be allowed to choose their leaders, using political platforms as tools.
A former President of the Senate and member of the PDP Board of Trustees, David Mark, also reacted to the judgement.
In a statement signed by his media assistant, Paul Mumeh, he acknowledged that the legal battle could have been avoided “if some of the gladiators heeded wise counsel.”
He however said he was pleased to note that the matter has come to an end and the party is back as one family.
“The disagreement between both sides of the divide was a needed elixir for the unity of the party to face the challenges ahead,” he stressed; adding that he was optimistic that lessons have been learnt which will put the party in a better position for future electoral victories.
“Now we know the authentic leader of our party. It is no longer in doubt that PDP still has the credible and defined road map for the socio-political and economic recovery of our nation”.
In a separate reaction to the development, a former PDP governorship aspirant in Osun State, Iyiola Omisore, called for true reconciliation between the factions in the PDP.
“Today should largely be a day of deep introspection for our leaders in the rejuvenated Peoples Democratic Party. Without doubt, today’s judgement has taken us out of the wilderness but we can only get to the promised land by taking over in 2019, immediate take-over of Anambra in 2017 and Osun and Ekiti in 2018 Governorships if we quickly close ranks and seamlessly move together as one indivisible party.
“In this regard, I’m recommending the peace, unity and reconciliation model we adopted in Osun State which saw the hitherto two factions fusing together to face a common enemy in the disaster known as APC ruling government in Osun State, a state which has been completely grounded,’’ he said in a statement on Wednesday.
In his reaction, the Rivers State governor said Mr. Makarfi’s victory puts the party in good stead to challenge for the 2019 general elections.
He said he believed the warring factions would unite after the judgement especially as Mr. Sheriff had indicated his intention to accept whatever ruling was delivered.
“I urge them to keep their word; all of us will work together to re-position the party; the party will go back to the drawing board to move ahead.
“I don’t see any reason why Sheriff will not be a part of the party; he spoke to me last week that whatever the situation, he will remain in the party,” Mr. Wike said.