By Chukwudi Nweje The Nigerian Third Force Movement has rolled out its action plan for the 2019 general elections. Prominent members of the group include former Cross River State governor, Donald Duke, former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Charles Soludo, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba, Tafawa Balewa, and Prof. Pat Utomi….
•Suspend reconciliation till after S’Court ruling –Bode George
•You can’t speak for PDP, Sheriff tells Adeyeye
From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa, Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja and Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
The Bayelsa State Governor and Chairman of the Reconciliation Committee of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Seriake Dickson has vowed he would not allow some elements led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi destroy the PDP to justify the formation of a new political party.
Dickson spoke in an Africa Independent Television (AIT) programme, Focus Nigeria, monitored in Yenagoa, while justifying the reconciliation report he submitted to the National Chairman of PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff. He said the report would unify, strengthen and reposition the party, contrary to the misconception of some leaders of the party.
He expressed regrets that since the committee submitted its report, Makarfi, rather than show leadership, “has embarked on a campaign of blackmail and name calling at a critical period when all hands should be on deck to resolve the lingering crisis that has robbed the party of its leadership status.”
Dickson accused Makarfi and others of frustrating all peace moves and prolonging the crisis so as to pave the way for the formation of a new political party to be dominated by PDP members and aggrieved politicians from other political parties.
“PDP needs to re-invent itself to take on the President, his party and government policies. Makarfi has not shown leadership. Before the Appeal Court judgment, General Aliyu Gusau had called both Sheriff and Makarfi and told them to step down, Sheriff agreed, but Makarfi refused. Makarfi is not showing leadership; he wants to be an undertaker of the PDP. They want to prolong the crisis so the party can disintegrate and they can justify the formation of a new party, and I say no to that plan,” he said.
The Bayelsa State governor said dialogue, consultation and meetings formed part of the recommendations of its committee as panacea to the lingering crisis, and called on the leadership of the party to put aside personal interest and work for the interest of the party.
The PDP, according to him, having lost power to the APC, should be a formidable opposition, but regretted that has not been the case “because of self interest of some people who have refused to engage the tools of politics.”
“You need to engage Sheriff before you lose the party and the only way to achieve this is the adoption of the recommendations of the National Reconciliation Committee, which include engagement of political tools and holding of unity convention.
I wasn’t happy with what happened in Edo and Ondo states and in order to prevent its re-occurrence, we started meeting with notable leaders of the party, including the former President, Ibrahim Babangida and Gusau, to mention but a few.”
Meanwhile, former Deputy National Chairman (South) of the PDP, Chief Olabode George has cautioned the leadership of the party against further reconciliatory move till after the Supreme Court ruling on the authentic national chairman of the party.
George, who spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, at the weekend, said no reconciliation could be meaningful at present.
The PDP boss, who belongs to the Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party said previous efforts at reconciling the two factions of the party failed because of selfish interests of some individuals.
George described PDP as the biggest in Africa despite its current challenges and said the party would soon overcome its challenges and emerge stronger than it was before.
For the party to return to its glorious era, George said all bad elements, who he said are working for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), should be flushed out.
“The rascals in the PDP, who are being used by the APC to cause crisis in the party, should have a rethink for the sake of history and posterity. We will overcome all these challenges one day, but, history will never forget those behind the crisis, and posterity will judge them in due time,” George said.
He said the peace committee set up by the party should exercise patience till the supreme court rules on the appeal before it, stressing that “any move to reconcile the warring factions now will amount to a waste of time because we have an appeal pending before the
Regardless, Sheriff has warned the spokesman of the party’s national caretaker committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye to stop speaking for the party. In a statement issued in Abuja yesterday, by the PDP acting National Publicity Secretary, Bernard Mikko, the PDP leader said Adeyeye cannot speak for the party or use its logo and franchise without permission from the national leadership.