How Sherriff carted away his belongings from PDP headquarters
. It’s new dawn, no victor, no vanquished, says Ekweremadu
Ahead of the Supreme Court ruling of Wednesday, July 12, declaring the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) validly constituted, his major challenger for the position of the PDP national chairman, Ali Modu-Sherriff was said to have carted away his belongings at the party’s headquarters in Abuja on Tuesday, July 11.
TheNiche learnt that Sherriff had it on good authority that he would lose the case at the nation’s apex court with the Markafi-led camp and so proceeded to remove all his personal belongings from the Wadata Plaza Headquarters of the PDP a day earlier.
Following the ruling, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu has called for urgent reconciliation, noting that there is no victor and no vanquished in the PDP case.
The Supreme Court’s three member panel led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour in its ruling said Sheriff ceases to be the party’s national chairman and ordered Makarfi to take over the leadership of the party.
Markafi and Sherriff have been at loggerheads since May 21, 2016 when Sherriff was purportedly removed at the party’s convention held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The former Kaduna State governor’s supporters had described the Borno State governor’s camp of the party as “agents of darkness“, insisting that Sherriff is not the Chairman of the PDP.
Matters got to a head when the Court of Appeal in February this year declared the Sherriff group as the authentic PDP leadership, a ruling that jolted the Makarfi faction that enjoyed the support of most of the organs of the PDP, including its founding members.
The PDP noted that the ‘group’, which it described as non-PDP members, had in a statement tried to sustain it’s illegal claim to the leadership of the Party, but insisted that it would not leave them to continue to deceive Nigerians.
When Sheriff officially resumed work at the PDP national secretariat he expressed optimism that he would return the Party to the people, but opposition to his leadership swelled as many Makarfi supporters like the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum and Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, continued to stress that Sheriff could not lead the Party and opted to appeal the judgement at the Supreme Court.
Before yesterday’s ruling, many of the PDP members loyal to Markafi, for fear that Sherriff could be declared winner started to secretly sponsor the registration of other political parties, while others threatened to leave the PDP should he be declared the chairman.
Fayose for instance took that position even though he was later to say that the governors would support whoever the court pronounces winner, and lately, former National Vice Chairman South West of the party, Olabode George who said he would quit politics completely if Sherriff wins.
The pronouncement that Markafi is chairman triggered off wide jubilation, first in Abuja, and subsequently across the country where members of the Party were waiting patiently to hear about the final verdict.
However, a member of the Sherriff group who spoke with TheNiche on Wednesday said Sherriff knew the game was up a day earlier, hence he went to remove his things in Wadata Plaza.
Although the source was not emphatic that the judiciary was compromised on the ruling, he spoke on the need to strengthen the nation’s judicial and banking institutions if “we must make progress.”
“Before we make progress in this country, we must have strong institutions where the drivers must have reason to resist certain pressure no matter where they are coming from,” the source said.
Regardless, he said they are ready to work together with Markafi in the interest of the country and the party.
Meanwhile, Ekweremadu, said the Supreme Court judgment on the PDP leadership crisis, ushers in a new dawn of peace, reconciliation, and recovery for the party.
Reacting to the apex court’s verdict on Wednesday, Ekweremadu said it was a no victor and no vanquished situation for individual party members, but rather a collective victory for the entire party faithful and the nation’s democracy.
He said: “I am happy that the Supreme Court has brought this protracted leadership tussle to an end today. There is no victor and there is no vanquished, but a collective victory for our party and the nation’s democracy. No democracy can prosper in the absence of a virile opposition or under the extreme hardship Nigerians have faced over the past two years. Citizens deserve a viable alternative.
“The ruling party has indeed profited from the prolonged power contest, not just in terms of defections, but also in the unchallenged degeneration of democratic values, rule of law, electoral practice, and the economy because the PDP has been too distracted to keep them on their toes.
“But, it is heartwarming that calm is returning after the storm. I salute millions of our party faithful and Nigerians who stood firm to weather the storm for their courage and loyalty, and sincerely appeal to those who left for one reason or the other to return to our big political family.
“Importantly, I call on our party leadership and elders to immediately initiate an all-inclusive peace, reconciliation, and rebuilding process to reunite everybody under the big umbrella and reinvigorate the biggest party in Africa to bounce back to the rescue of the suffering masses of Nigeria come 2019.”