Factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has expressed readiness to return to the negotiating table with the party’s National Caretaker Committee.
Sheriff said he was now ready to resolve the leadership crisis in the party.
The former governor of Borno State said this in Abuja, yesterday, when he received a faction of the PDP who paid him a solidarity visit in his office in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He, however, said the dialogue would take place if chairman of the caretaker committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, was also willing to return to the negotiation table.
A peace process between the two factions broke down, recently, when they could not agree on the terms for reconciliation.
Sheriff said as part of his commitment to resolving the leadership crisis that has rocked the PDP since May 2016, he suggested that Makarfi and himself should step down to allow for the emergence of a new leadership for the party. He disclosed that Makarfi spurned the idea.
The PDP leader said with the rejection of his suggestion that Makarfi and himself relinquish their positions so as to end the crisis, both factions would have to wait for the decision of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court to resolve the leadership crisis.
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“Permit me, therefore, to state that I have, in all sincerity, tried to resolve this party crisis.
“I have offered that both the caretaker committee and the National Working Committee be dissolved to give way for a new, independent leadership.
“But, the caretaker committee has refused to agree to anything except recognise them and let the caretaker committee run the party till 2018.
“We have, therefore, resigned our fate to the decision of their Lordships of the Court of Appeal and Supreme Courts. However, we are ready to return to the negotiation table today if Senator Makarfi sees reason to do so. I have been blackmailed to the extent that I am alleged to be sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to build a one party system. Also, I have been accused, at the same time, of staying on to stage my emergence as the presidential candidate of the PDP. This is the extent to which the illegal caretaker committee can go to hold on to power. Blackmail has been their stock-in-trade,” Sheriff told his visitors.
The former Borno governor, who described himself as “the agent of change for multiparty democracy in Nigeria,” said his struggle is to change the way things are done in PDP.