At least five of the 11 governors in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, are openly engaged with the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff leadership of the party.
The gains by the Sheriff tendency in the party came as Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State asked factional chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, to step down his claim upon the reality of the Court of Appeal judgment upholding Sheriff as national chairman.
Besides Governor Dickson, who is the chairman of the party’s Peace and Reconciliation Committee, Governor Dave Umuahi of Ebonyi State, Governor Ben Ayade and the party’s two Northern governors were also said to have tilted support towards Senator Sheriff.
Governor Umahi was said to have technically given recognition to Sheriff after he got the later to endorse the party’s candidates for the forthcoming local government elections in Ebonyi State. Besides a statement from Cross River State chapter of the party endorsing Sheriff, Governor Ayade has also openly appeared with Sheriff in public engagements.
Meanwhile, Governor Dickson who asked party leaders to accept the Court of Appeal judgment vesting leadership on Sheriff, in an interview in Abuja, said the crisis rocking the party was fuelled by the selfish desire to control the party ahead of the 2019 elections. He warned that the interest of the party should be placed above selfish ambitions.
The governor, who has been attacked by the Makarfi faction for turning the report of his committee to Sheriff, pointed out that it would have been wrong for his party to have done otherwise given the legal status vested on Sheriff by the Court of Appeal judgment.
Dickson pointed out that though he was not a supporter of Sheriff, he said he was compelled by the rule of law to accept him as the national chairman based on the court order and in the overall interest of the PDP.
The governor said it was appalling for many leaders in the party, who claimed to be democrats to treat the court verdict recognising Sheriff as the national chairman of the PDP with disdain, pointing out that such disposition would lead to the collapse of the party, if not checked.
Sheriff moves to stop Makarfi from challenging PH ruling
In a motion for discontinuance filed by Senator Sheriff and Professor Wale Oladipo, secretary of the party, the duo argued that Makarfi lacked the legal ground for such appeal.
He has, therefore, applied to the apex court for the withdrawal of an appeal filed in the name of the party by the Ahmed Makarfi-led faction.
Senator Makarfi had in an appeal with number SC.133/2017 filed on February 27, 2017, challenged the February 17, 2017 judgment of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal which restored Sheriff-led executive as the authentic leadership of the party.
Sheriff’s motion of discontinuance, which was filed through their lead counsel, Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi (SAN), noted that by virtue of the Court of Appeal’s judgment, Makarfi and other members of his faction were not the alter ego of the party and as such, were incompetent to institute any legal process in the name of the party.