Senator Ali Modu Sheriff who was on Friday declared the legitimate Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt has stated his willingness to vacate the seat after the national convention of the party, adding that he was ready to ensure the survival of the party and not its destruction.
He made this declaration when a delegation from the party in the Southwest paid him a visit in Abuja. Urging peace among governors elected on the platform of the former ruling party, Sherriff said: “I am ready to leave office as soon as a national convention is held and new national officers are produced.”
The zonal and state officials of the party led the southwest visitors from the six states in the geopolitical zone, except Lagos State.
They comprised five chairmen of the party in five states in the zone, namely Hakeem Taiwo (Oyo); Ajayi Williams (Ekiti); Soji Adagunodo (Osun); Biyi Poroye (Ondo); and Adebayo Dayo (Ogun)
Continuing, Sheriff said, “Ali Modu Sheriff is not here to remain as national chairman. As soon as we hold our national convention, I’m leaving.
“I will make sure that we do a credible convention and we elect leaders that are accepted by the grass roots; that is our mission. I will do that by the grace of God.
“I plead in the name of God, let’s bring peace to the PDP. Let us build this party. If you like and you want to change something, wait for the convention and vote for the person you like and Nigerians and the world will see that you’re are validly elected by the PDP.
“Yes, our governors are very important; they are leaders of this party in their own right. They don’t have to divide the party.
“I will not come down to the level of Fayose. I beg him to respect the PDP; whatever he said about me, posterity will judge him. He should devote more energy and time for the rebuilding of the PDP
“People can vent their anger and say what they want but as a leader and a father to all, I want to make sure the party is united.
“I have no issue to take with anybody. My task is to reposition the PDP and bring it back to its position in 1999,”
Surprisingly, he revealed that there was an agreement between him and the Makarfi faction not to go to the Supreme Court after the appeal court judgment.
“Makarfi and I resolved that whatever was the outcome of the appeal court that we will not destroy our party; that once we get the judgment from the court of appeal that, it would be the final judgment for everybody.
“We spoke to all Nigerians about this; it is on record. But all the same, everybody has the right to do what he wants to do. But it is good to place on record that we had an agreement,” he stated.
Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, the South-West Zonal Chairman of the party appealed to the Chairman to set aside the bitter acrimony of the past and unite the party by seeing himself as a father of all members.
Makanjuola said “South-West is very settled behind you. This is the beginning of the battle, but you must see yourself as the father of all. Bring everybody on board. You won the battle for all members of the PDP,” he added.