I can’t be a stooge to anybody in Nigeria – Sheriff

I can't be a stooge to anybody in Nigeria - Sheriff
United Bank for Africa

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reconciliation Committee, headed by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Hon. Seriake Dickson, has harped on the need for the party to hold what it called “Unity National Convention”, as a way putting the leadership crisis that has been rocking the party to an end.

The Court of Appeal recognized National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, said yesterday that the party’s proposed national convention would be held in Abuja very soon after a wide consultation with all leaders and stakeholders of the party is concluded.

Governor Dickson, who led other members of the Reconciliation committee of the PDP on a visit to Senator Sheriff in Wadata plaza, Abuja yesterday, restated the committee’s commitment to the pursuit of a political solution, as the best option for the resolution of the party’s crisis without prejudice to the ongoing judicial processes.

The reconciliation committee, which also has former deputy Senate President, Senator Ibrahim Mantu, among others, as member, resolved that there is  need to provide a template that would culminate into a Unity National Convention for the party.

The reconciliation committee resolved that the Convention Planning Committee of the PDP should consider the following distinguished party leaders:  seven state governors, seven senators including the deputy Senate President,  12 members ‘of the House of Representatives,  6 Members of the Board of Trustees,  6 National Vice Chairmen (One per zone), three state chairmen per Zone (18), 6 Serving Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly and 6 Former Governors.

The committee further recommended Former Presiding Officers of the National Assembly (who are still members of the party), six prominent Women Leaders, six youth leaders of the party, six former ministers of the party and 12 others to be nominated by the National Chairman in consultation with stakeholders as members of the convention committee.

That the Convention Committee, according to the Governor Dickson-led committee shall be responsible for the conduct of the elections to all National Offices the Party including the zoning of such offices.

It added, “that as part of the sacrifice to be made in order to reposition the party, the committee is of the new that all national officers who may claim that their tenure still subsists beyond the proposed convention are hereby requested to relinquish their claim in the interest of the party.

“For the purpose of the convention, all officers elected at the ward, local, state and zonal levels before the first Port Harcourt convention of 21st May of 2016 are deemed validly elected except for the election held in some states that were declared by NEC as inconclusive.

“That the proposed National Convention should hold as soon as possible and not later than 30th June 2017.

“The Committee shall continue to engage the party leadership and all relevant stakeholders with a View to having a hitch free convention and calls upon all and sundry to work towards the realization of this objective”‘ it said.

The reconciliation Committee expressed appreciation to the former President, Governors and other leaders of the party for their efforts at resolving the leadership crises in the party.

Meanwhile, Senator Sheriff has revealed that proposed national convention of the PDP will hold in Abuja, the nation’s capital, with the assurance that he would not contest in the said at the convention.

He assured that all efforts would be made to ensure the emergence of credible members of the party as elected officers at the convention, stressing that he would do everything possible to ensure that PDP is returned to its original owners who at the grass root.

The National Chairman of the PDP further declared that he will not be a stooge to anybody in the country while emphasizing that neither Makarfi nor himself can insist that their will on the people must prevail at all cost.

Sheriff assured the stakeholders that the timetable for the national convention would be ready in the next fewweeks while stressing that the timetable for outstanding congresses in 6 states will be out today.

He spoke yesterday when he received the Patriotic Northern PDP Stakeholders from the 19 northern states, led by Senator Mantu.

Sheriff recalled that  he was invited that to become the chairman of the party when the party was at the verge of collapse.

According to Sheriff,  “As I have always said, I never bargained to PDP national chairman; I was approached because the party was at the verge of going down.

“We were able to do all that and life returned to the party but along the line we had a misfortune. I will not be and I cannot be a stooge to anybody in this country,” he said.

The national chairman stated that tthe Patriotic Northern PDP Stakeholders from the 19 northern states were no mean politicians but stakeholders who had won elections in their constituencies.