Rescue mission on for troubled PDP
The search for peace in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday continued, with Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake-Dickson mediating between sacked National Chairman Modu Ali Sheriff and Caretaker Committee Chairman Ahmed Makarfi.
The two factional leaders are now ready for peace, it was learnt yesterday.
Dickson is said to have spoken separately with them.
According to a source, who was privy to the mediation, the two factions were receptive to Dickson’s overtures.
Some of the issues which may define the reconciliation talks are:
- withdrawal of all cases in court by Sheriff and Makarfi and any of their associates/ loyalists;
- convening an enlarged meeting of the two factions, the PDP Governors Forum and the Board of Trustees;
- harmonisation of offices of the Caretaker Committee and Sheriff’s sacked National Working Committee (NWC);
- keeping to the three-month deadline to hold a national convention to elect party leaders; and
- Sheriff’s demand to remain in charge of the party even if he has to step aside later
The source said: “Dickson is making a steady progress. Besides opening talks with the two factions, the governor has met with the godfather of Sheriff and the backers of Makarfi.
”We have identified cases in court as the major impediments to any meaningful reconciliation. We want to put a stop to the increasing litigation. The first target of Dickson is to see how the groups can settle all matters out of court.
“Once we put an end to cases in court, we would have solved PDP’s leadership problem by 80 per cent.
“After overcoming legal hurdles, the next stage is how to share offices and bring all groups on board in the new executive committee of the party.”
A source in Sheriff’s camp spoke of “a ray of hope in the latest initiative by Dickson, who is a gentleman respected by the two camps”.
“Our group has faith in the peace process because he has been able to identify the causes of the crisis in the party, including the Southwest PDP dimension.
“I think in the next few weeks, we will arrive at acceptable terms to all the groups. All I can tell you is that Sheriff has no personal grudges with Makarfi but the crisis is about vested interests in the party.”
A member of the Makarfi group said: “Having been legally recognised by the court, we are unopposed peace in the party.
“We are aware that Dickson has been involved in shuttles to restore peace to the party. Our mandate is to restore the past glory of PDP and we will do that without favour or ill-will.”