Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Thursday, walked out of the PDP stakeholders meeting organized by Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
According to Sheriff who arrived the meeting venue just few minutes after Jonathan had delivered his remarks, expressed displeasure for not being allowed to make the opening remarks.
He walked out around 4:15pm with his Deputy, Cairo Ojougboh, the Publicity Secretary, Mikko Bernard and other members of his National Working Committee.
“We are here for PDP stakeholders meeting and the PDP has only one national chairman, which is Ali Modu Sheriff.
“There is no PDP meeting that will take place under whatever arrangement that I will not open the session as national chairman. Today, I’m the most senior member of this party.”
“I think Governor Dickson made a proposal for reconciliation that we have accepted. Some people want to deviate from this programme, to bring agenda which was not part of it.
“As national chairman of the party, what I told you in my office when Dickson brought the report is the only thing that we have agreed to at this moment.
“I will not be party to anybody using me to do another programme. I’m not going to be part of it,” Mr. Sheriff said.
Sheriff noted that he will continue with Governor Dickson’s programme and would not be a party to anything else.
“As the National Chairman of PDP, I will move on with the programmes initiated by Gov. Dickson.
“We are continuing with that; anything outside that, I’m not a party to it.”
Mr. Jonathan also regretted what happened during the meeting but however stated that the issues would be addressed once a committee was setup to provide recommendations and a political solution to the party’s leadership crisis within two weeks.
The former President added that the committee would be chaired by him, in his absence, by former Vice President Namadi Sambo, or former Senate President, David Mark.
“We will take some steps to make sure that we will keep our people together and work with all the interested parties to see how we can resolve this difference.’’ Jonathan said
The members of the committee includes six (6) persons from the Board of Trustees (one from each geo-political zone), representatives from the two groups within the party, other members also includes, all PDP governors, Deputy President of the Senate, Senate Minority Leader, House of Representatives Minority Leader and Minority Whip.
“We will consult with both groups and take two former governors – one from the North and one from the South; two former ministers, two women, two youths – all will be one from the north and one from the South,’’ he added.
“Be assured that we are determined to restore our party, and to make sure that PDP becomes stronger and stronger. We are determined to ensure that PDP rises again,’’ he said.
Read below in part Jonathan’s earlier statement at the opening of the meeting;
“As politicians with the zeal to lead our people, we must aspire to higher offices or identify the people we believe have leadership qualities and encourage them to aspire to those positions.
“But one thing is very clear, you cannot, as the polity is configured today, be elected into a higher office on the platform of a weak party.
“We must all, therefore, work to rebuild the PDP and strengthen the party in line with the vision of our founding fathers,” he said.
“The loss of Edo and Ondo gubernatorial elections is still fresh in our memory.
“It goes without saying that we cannot afford to have a repeat of that in the forthcoming elections in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun states.’’
“We must realise that as they say, everybody is nobody without a platform. So, why destroy the platform?’’