The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has said he will leave the decision on whether to run for presidency on the party platform or not in the hands of God.
Sheriff, who maintained that he was out of the race for the chairmanship of the party, however, noted that members of his National Working Committee (NWC) whose tenures are still running still have the right to re-contest for offices at the party’s convention.
The position of the embattled national chairman came just as the leadership of the National Caretaker Committee led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi has condemned the stance of the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson reconciliation committee which it said, is one-sided and in favour of Sheriff.
Sheriff, who spoke at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, noted that every position he had occupied so far in his political career, came from God, adding that it was God that made it possible for him to be leading PDP at the moment.
“Every position I occupy in life, God made it possible. I am a firm believer in the will of God. The issue of the presidency is not for me to decide. I told you I will not run for the chairmanship position, the rest we leave to God,” he said.
The national chairman said as soon as the party concludes its ongoing consultation, it would set up a convention committee which would fine-tune the modalities for organising the event.
He stated that as part of his consultations, the leadership would be meeting with the party’s national ex-officio members from the 36 states while the plans to hold talks with lawmakers from national and state assemblies are also being made as part of political solution recommended by the Dickson committee.
According to Sheriff, he had also commenced talks with the Board of Trustees (BoT) through its Chairman, Senator Walid Jubril, who promised to get back to him in order for them to schedule a formal meeting with the members.
“Everywhere in our party, we are working across board; everybody is working for the party to come back to its position as in 1999. We are for peace, but that does not mean that we are afraid of anybody; we will not be relenting, we need our party back in power and we will carry everybody along that mean well for PDP.
“I assure you that PDP will not be destroyed; PDP is a creation of God and cannot be destroyed by anybody. We are on course and we will go as planned. For anybody who believes that it is not political solution, they are on their own,” Sheriff stated.
Meanwhile, the National Caretaker Committee (NCC) has condemned the call by Dickson for its disbandment, describing it as improper and biased.
In a statement issued yesterday by its spokesman, Dayo Adeyeye, the committee said its attention had been drawn to the position expressed by the Bayelsa State governor where he called for the resignation of the National Caretaker Committee as a way out of the present impasse in the party.
Adeyeye said the proper thing to do if Dickson wants the caretaker committee to be disbanded is to persuade and convince the 80 per cent of the members on the merits of his point of view.
“Our attention has been drawn to a statement by Dickson wherein he called for the resignation of the National Caretaker Committee as a way out of the present impasse in our party. The statement coming from one of our most respected governors is to say the least shocking and embarrassing.
“The National Caretaker Committee did not appoint itself. It is a creation of the national convention of the party at which Dickson as a prominent leader of the party was present. As the governor admitted in his statement, the NCC was put in place and enjoys the support of over 80 percent of members of the party,” he said
Adeyeye said the caretaker committee is merely the agent of the party which was set up by the principal organs of the party and with the support of 80 per cent of members of the party.
He said that former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had suggested the resignations of Sheriff and that of the NCC as a solution to the crisis in the context of finding a suitable political solution to the crisis but that while Makarfi accepted it in the interest of peace, Sheriff has bluntly refused.
He said it was not proper to ask the caretaker committee to surrender the destiny of the party to Sheriff who brazenly and without any remorse destroyed our chances in the Edo and Ondo State governorship elections.
Meanwhile, Adeyeye has responded to the call by Sheriff’s spokesman, Bernard Mikko, for him to desist from speaking for PDP.
“My attention has been drawn to a statement by a so-called Bernard Mikko, who is as an impostor who claims to be the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the PDP wherein he tried albeit unsuccessfully to impugn my character.”
Adeyeye also said contrary to the insinuation made by Mikko that he joined PDP not long ago, he said he joined PDP more than 11 years ago from the Alliance for Democracy (AD) about the same time that Dickson and Hon Cairo Ojuogbo also left the AD for the PDP.
“Like his master and other cohorts in their camp, this clown is a pathological liar. I never even knew he existed until the day of the Appeal Court judgment,” he said.