Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
Rising from the meeting of the organs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) late Monday, caretaker committee chairman of the party, Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, declared that he is fully in charge and would strive to follow up on aggrieved members of the party to resolve their grievances.
Makarfi said: the PDP is “Stronger and united than it was a year ago and I am fully in charge.”
Markarfi’s position was backed by nine PDP governors while two abstained from the meeting.
The ex-Kaduna state governor also explained that his immediate predecessor, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, was absent at the meeting adding however that the meeting was not called for individual members, but for party organs.
He added that the former chairman of the party, Sheriff would not have made it even if he was invited as he was out of the country, maintaining that the BoT chairman was capable of representing him.
“We had a very fruitful discussion. There is no faction in PDP; maybe aggrieved individuals but they are our members. We would follow them and reconcile with them and bring them back to the fold and it will be great once again for the PDP.
“This meeting was not a meeting to bring individuals or faction; it was a meeting of relevant organs of party, the Governors Forum, caretaker committee, The Board of Trustees and the National Assembly Caucus.
“They represent of all interest groups you can find in any political party”, he noted.
Meanwhile, the party Governor’s Forum, and other organs, have re-affirmed commitment to Senator Makarfi, as the choice of the majority members of the party, to midwife its convention that would produce new leadership.
Makarfi had also, Tuesday, taken over the mantle of leadership of the PDP from the former Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, while the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Sen. Walid Jibril handed over the custody of the party’s assets to the Makarfi.
Gov. Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo state, led the nine governors out of the 12 governors of the party in solidarity to the Wadata House where the National caretaker committee chairman officially took over the secretariat and administration of the party.
Mimiko said Makarfi’s emergence was in consonance with the provision of the party constitution.
According to him, though various groups came up with different approaches to protect the party from derailing, all the groups are however focused on a more united and progressive PDP.
“I speak on behalf of the governors my colleagues that in one accord we support of Sen. Markarfi. We support him because his caretaker committee was properly constituted in accordance with the constitution of the PDP. Any other body by whatever name or pretension can only be illegal.
“I, also with the mandate of the governors, appeal to anybody that feels, in all these resolutions process that he has lost out, to come on board so that together we can build and strong and united PDP. But for now in accordance with our constitution the caretaker committee is constitutionally constituted body to run the affairs of PDP”, Mimiko said.
Speaking after the handover, Prince Secondus said the team of the former NWC members had pledged support for the caretaker committee in its mandate for another convention even as he challenged the party leaders to go to their respective home town and canvass support for the party.
He said it was not enough for party leaders to settle in Abuja and claim they are popular in their respective villages while others will do the work and claim the glory.
“Therefore, on behalf of the former National working committee we are here to make formal hand over to the new caretaker committee who will midwife the convention. And we want to assure you that all politics is local
“We have to restate here, that all politics are local. Our leaders must go back to the grass root. It is not enough to be in Abuja. It is not enough to say I am strong in Abuja. It is not enough to say I am former this; I am former that. I am strong here, I am strong there. You must be able to prove your worth in local politics and popularity.
“We are no longer in government, we no longer have security agencies, we no longer have money. So, what matters is the grass root, the popularity of your person at the grass root to be able to deliver, do not wait for another person to deliver for you and for you to earn all the glory in Abuja. So, go back home and campaign for your party.
“Therefore, on that note, let me formally hand over to the caretaker committee chairman and pledge that we are ready to work with you to make sure that the party is successful”, Secondus said.