From: TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt Hundreds of youths in Rivers State yesterday, staged a peaceful protest in Port Harcourt, condemning the activities of some operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the state police command. Protesting on the platform of Niger Delta Non-Violence Youth Leaders Assembly (NDNYLA), they marched through some major streets in…
From: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has broken his silence on the Supreme Court verdict which affirmed Sen. Ahmed Makarfi as the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with a call to the former chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff and his supporters to team up with Makarfi to build a new party.
It was observed that Sheriff, since the Supreme Court pronouncement, has not congratulated Makarfi. Rather Sheriff had been quoted as saying ‘the PDP has been handed over to treasury looters’.
Governor Dickson, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, said the apex court’s judgement produced ‘no victor, no vanquished’ and called on the contending forces to see it as such.
He advised the Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee and all leaders of the party to deliberately and ‘‘consistently pursue true and genuine reconciliation of all contending parties in the party with the view to organising an all-inclusive National Unity Convention to select the national leadership of PDP. ‘’
According to Governor Dickson true reconciliation and a national unity convention would build confidence in the party as well as ‘‘endear Nigerians to PDP and persuade those who had defected from our great party to return to PDP ahead of 2019.’’
While stressing that the judiciary only adjudicates on matters but never reconciles contending parties, he said now that the Supreme Court has delivered the much expected judgement, the PDP must now reconcile and truly put its house in order to effectively play its role as the leading opposition party in Nigeria.
He appealed to all PDP faithful and leaders to respect the judgement of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter by cooperating with the National Caretaker Committee to deliver reconciliation and an acceptable Unity National Convention within the shortest possible time frame.
‘‘I call on Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and his supporters and all contending parties in our great party, PDP to respect the verdict of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter. I urge all contending parties in the PDP to embrace peace and genuine reconciliation and support the Senator Ahmed Makarfi–led Caretaker Committee of our party with a view to organizing an all- inclusive National Unity Convention . Without such support, genuine reconciliation cannot take place; without such support, the Caretaker Committee will have a herculean task organising an acceptable convention, without genuine reconciliation, the party cannot move forward’’
Dickson who lamented that the prolonged PDP leadership crisis was unnecessary in the first place, expressed optimism that the PDP leaders had learnt their lessons and would take steps to put in place measures to forestall re-occurrence of the needles crisis and litigation