by Azeez Adeniyi
Just days after a ceasefire pact was signed by the two factions of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), National Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff has described the Makarfi faction as an illegal entity.
Sheriff, in a statement by his deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh on Sunday warned that the Makarfi’s group should not be referred to as a faction of the party anymore.
He said the Court of Appeal in Rivers State had pronounced Makarfi’s National Caretaker Committee dead.
He gave a seven-day ultimatum to the party administrative staff to return the party’s property still in their possession or face police action.
He warned Makarfi to stop interfering in the affairs of the party.
Sheriff also said he declared vacancies to fill positions since old staff of the party have refused to resume work despite his plea.
He said, “Makarfi should behave himself, he should not interfere in our business, because we are not interested in his private business.
“Any further careless statement from him will force us to reconsider our earlier peace agreement. We have already employed members of staff who are running the bureaucracy efficiently.
“If Makarfi so desire, he should keep the old (members of) staff, just as he is doing now. We have had enough and enough is enough of this.”
In his reaction, Makarfi in a statement by the spokesman for the committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said he knew Sheriff will not abide by the pact reached with the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of the party.
He said Sheriff’s action has shown there cannot be a political solution to the crisis in the party.
He said, “We have always known that Sheriff and his co travellers especially, Cairo Ojuogboh, were never men of honour with whom one can reach any agreement.
“But we tagged along to avoid being accused of unnecessary intransigence. Since the leopard cannot change its spot, it is now very clear that no agreement or political solution can be reached with this bunch of people with huge integrity deficit.”
The statement added that Sheriff surrounded himself with persons who were not authentic members of the party.
He added, ”Sheriff has no men to constitute an NWC with the required constitutional quorum. He therefore has to surround himself with the likes of Cairo who was neither elected or appointed to the position.
“Cairo Ojuogboh’s shameless public parade of himself as the Deputy National Chairman is the worst case of impunity in the history of our great party.
“His threat against our hard working (members of) staff should therefore be ignored and treated with utmost contempt coming from a lawless impostor.
“For the education of Sheriff and his cohorts, our Appeal at the Supreme Court is already on. To that extent, the position and status of the National Caretaker Committee remains completely unaltered.
“Since they cannot comprehend even very simple matters, we will use a simple analogy. If a governor loses at the election petitions tribunal and at the Court of Appeal, does he ceases to be a governor even when his appeal is pending before the Supreme Court?
“And would the civil servants then refuse to serve him? The position of the law is that he would remain the governor and all government employees will be expected to continue to serve his government until otherwise determined by the Supreme Court.”