• Makarfi appeals against judgement, seeks stay of execution

Stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday rejected the hands of fellowship extended to them by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

They described Sheriff as a traitor who can only offer poisoned chalice. “We are not at all deceived by the supposed olive branch being offered by Sheriff, knowing that the only thing that can come from traitors of his ilk is nothing, but a poisoned chalice and a Greek gift,” the party elders stated in their resolution issued at the end of the meeting.

This is as the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the PDP has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court against last Friday’s Court of Appeal judgement that reinstated Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman of the party.

The appeal, which was filed yesterday, also included an application for injunction pending the appeal.

The position was disclosed at the meeting of PDP stakeholders in Abuja yesterday. The meeting, which was originally scheduled at the International Conference Centre (ICC), was later shifted to the private residence of Ekiti State governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose at Asokoro, Abuja as the police sealed off the ICC venue of the meeting.

Yesterday’s expanded caucus meeting, was convened by the Ahmed Makarfi- led National Caretaker Committee to decide on the next line of action following last Friday’s Court of Appeal judgement, Port Harcourt division, which reinstated Ali Modu Sheriff as the party’s National Chairman.

Agitated PDP stakeholders, who attended the meeting, expressed misgivings over what they believed was the muzzling of the opposition by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government.

They passed a vote of confidence on the Makarfiled committee and rejected any plan to impose Sheriff on the party.

Four PDP governors attended the meeting, which also attracted many former governors, National Assembly members, members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and former National Working Committee (NWC) members.

They were angry as the police sealed off of the venue of the meeting, describing it as an assault on democracy. Makarfi described the sealing of the ICC as an aberration, observing that when PDP was in power, it would have stopped the formation of APC if it chose to.

He said the injunction was to allow the caretaker committee to continue in office pending the final determination of the case at the Supreme Court.

Makarfi deplored the Court of Appeal’s judgement, noting that it was only the minority judgement that was type written while that of majority was written with long hand.

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who addressed the meeting, noted that the flagrant manipulation of critical institutions of democracy was not only dangerous, but bad news for the nation’s democracy.

Fayose said the judiciary cannot tell members who should lead the party and warned those whom he said tried to stop the PDP meeting to be careful.

He said the APC-led Federal Government was abusing the constitution it swore to uphold. Meanwhile, the party stakeholders have supported the appeal filed at the Supreme Court against the Court of Appeal judgement. According to the communiqué read by the former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, a vote of confidence was equally passed on the National Caretaker Committee.

“We pass a resounding vote of confidence in the leadership of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the PDP and pledge our unalloyed support to it as it pilots the affairs of the party in this critical transitional period of the party’s life,” the communiqué added.

Meanwhile, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff continued his consultations with PDP elders with his visit to former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The former president, who noted that there are bound to be differences in politics, called for amicable resolution of the crisis in the party.

“We are not factionalised. We are one. I have met with Sheriff. And I have met with others. I will meet with others, so that we will be able to do what is expected of us as a political party,” Jonathan stated.

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