Following the alarm raised by Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff that some members of the party were behinds moves to register a new party, the Advanced Peoples Democratic Party, the aggrieved faction of the PDP led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi has said members are free to form or join any part.
The sacked caretaker committee led by Makafi said any member that took such action was expressing his or her freedom to associate and organize.
Though he denied that any of the members of his sacked committee were involved in the alleged plan to form or join the APDP, he however stated: “We, however, acknowledge and recognize the right of party members to seek alternative platform to actualize their political dreams, which is an inalienable right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
In a statement that was read by the spokesman of his faction, Chief Dayo Adeyeye, Makarfi said his faction would seek the legal and political means to resolve the leadership crisis plaguing the party rather than abandon it for Sherrif.
Adeyeye further stated “National Caretaker Committee has no hands in the purported planned registration of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Party.
“We state clearly and without ambiguity that the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP is not, in any way, involved in the plans to register any party by the name of APDP or any other party for that matter.
“It is unthinkable that the National Caretaker Committee, which, without any doubt, enjoys the support of all the recognized organs of the party, will contemplate such a move.
“Whatever decision that will be taken on the PDP brand shall be taken by the owners of the party – the party members – at a properly constituted national convention, and not by a few individuals, no matter how highly-placed.
“For the records, no decision has been taken that the PDP should be abandoned and a new party formed out of the current structure. At least, no such proposal is before the National Caretaker Committee as of this moment.
“We reiterate our belief that the issues before the Supreme Court will be resolved on the side of truth and justice will be served in the interest of peace.”
Sheriff who was granted the leadership of the party by an Appeal Court ruling in Port Harcourt recently had raised the alarm at the weekend, alleging that the Makarfi faction was intent of destroying the party through the registration of a fake APDP.
National Secretary of the party, Prof. Wale Oladipo, had in a statement on Friday, said:
“It is disheartening that they are asking members or encouraging them to go and form another party or even join existing ones.
“Since we can’t stop them from exercising their constitutional rights, they should not steal the franchise of our party.
“Makarfi, as a person, may not be part of those angling to leave, but he should help us tell them not to use the name of PDP in any form.”
Last week, ex-President Goodluck Jonathan intervened in the party crisis and asked Sheriff and Makarfi to sheath the sword and seek a political solution to the trouble