The Peoples Democratic Party caucus in the Senate has rejected an invitation by the party chairman, Ali Sherrif, and said it would instead support broad consultation to resolve the leadership crisis in the party. Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, disclosed this to journalists, after the opposition lawmakers met at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
Mr. Akpabio said Mr. Sherrif extended invitation to the caucus on March 6, but added that the request would not be honoured because doing so meant “sectionalism”. Mr. Sherrif was affirmed authentic chairman of the party in February by the Port Harcourt division of the Court of Appeal, defeating his challengers grouped under the Ahmed Makarfi faction.
The Makarfi faction rejected the judgement and headed to the Supreme Court for redress. But Mr. Akpabio said the caucus preferred out-of-court resolution; and to that end, would meet with both factions and the Board of Trustees. He said: “We held this meeting because there was a letter from Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff to the caucus and we had to meet first to know whether this is the right time.
“Whether the meeting is right or not, what we agreed is that the leadership meets first and thereafter we meet with the Sheriff group, the Makarfi group and the BOT. “When this happens, we will then see whether all can come to a consensus and not just the caucus running to the party office to meet Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff. That will look like sectionalism.
“As a caucus, we believe strongly in peace and we believe in the unity of the Peoples Democratic Party so that Nigeria can have a robust democracy. “We believe that without the PDP being strong and united, Nigeria may slide into a one party state and democracy may be in peril.” He said the plan of the caucus “could even be a major way out, instead of continuous processes in court.”