PDP crisis: Dickson makes U-turn, submits peace report to Makarfi
Bayelsa State Governor and Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Peace and Reconciliation Committee, Seriake Dickson, has submitted the peace plan he developed to steer the party out of lingering leadership crisis to the embattled Caretaker Committee Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.
The submission of the document to Makarfi in Abuja on Wednesday came barely a week after the governor had handed over the same peace document to the court-recognised National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sherriff, an act roundly chastised by the party bigwigs and several governors in support of Makarfi.
But Dickson last week spurned the criticism over his action, claiming that although he was not a fan of Sherriff, he was bound by the court judgment recognising him as the national chairman of the PDP and urge other party members to rise up to the court verdict in the interest of the party.
However, in a shocking move, Dickson approached Makarfi in the company of former Deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, and handed over the document to the former Kaduna Governor, reiterating the need for peace. Dickson explained that he had recommended in the peace documents that in a bid to ensure lasting peace in the party, a national convention should be held before long and that the election of all officials of the party at state and zonal levels before the botched May 21, Port Harcourt Convention should remain valid. The governor explained that the report of his committee which seeks to return peace and cohesion to the party was not “cast in stone” and was open to review by appropriate organs of the party. The governor, along with other members of the committee, also promised to meet with other key organs of the party to present the template for lasting peace in the PDP.
Dickson said, “My committee will also meet with other key organs of the party to present the template. But let me add that this report is not cast in stone”. The submission of the peace report to the factional chairman, comes a day after Dickson had denied media reports allegedly asking Makarfi to step down as the Caretaker chairman of the party.
The governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Francis Agbo, said that it was wrong for such a misleading headline to be cast against Dickson, when he was actively exploring ways and means of bringing about a lasting peace between the two factions headed by Makarfi and former Governor Ali Modu Sheriff.
Agbo stated ment made last night that the governor merely appealed to Makarfi and Sheriff to make sacrifices towards bringing a lasting peace to the party so as to win the next election.
He said, “To set the record straight, Governor Seriake Dickson spoke with a select group of journalists last Saturday in Abuja on the PDP crisis but he never asked Makarfi to step down. “In the said interview, the Governor as a peace maker stated his committee’s role in the reconciliation process and argued that for PDP to bounce back, leaders must make sacrifices.
“He consequently appealed to PDP leaders including Sheriff and Makarfi to make sacrifices for the revival of the party, stressing that the PDP is more than Sheriff and Makarfi and indeed any individual.
“In spite of the blackmail and propaganda scripted to distract Governor Dickson, the Governor and his Committee remain committed to reconciling all interests through dialogue for only a political solution woven around dialogue and sacrifices can engender true reconciliation.