The embattled chairman of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Muhammed Makarfi, are currently in a leadership tussle. In separate exclusive interviews with Daily Trust on Sunday, both leaders insist on the legitimacy of their control of the party and how they hope to end the present crisis.
The chairman of the party’s Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Muhammed Makarfi, said the party could collapse if Senator Ali Modu Sheriff prevailed as chairman of the party. He said one of the reasons Sheriff was removed was his ambition to contest the 2019 presidency. Sheriff on his part blames the South-West for the crisis. He also maintained that the Makarfi Caretaker Committee was illegal as the concept was alien to the PDP constitution.
“The quick end to the crisis depends on the first week of July, when we expect a major decision on whether the convention and the decisions therein were valid. If the convention was valid, fine; there is nothing anybody can do except you want to really destroy the party. But if it was not valid, what becomes of the PDP because 99.9 per cent of the party is not willing to accept Sheriff. This means that he would be left with less than 1 per cent of the people in the name of the PDP. And 99.9 per cent would have to look for an alternative,’’ Makarfi said.
Senator Ali Modu Sheriff on his part said, “There is nothing like caretaker in the constitution of the party. I am not desperate to be the chairman of our party, but I will not go against the law. I don’t have any personal problem with Makarfi. The Almighty Allah has given me accomplishments in life. Makarfi is not my problem in anyway and will never be my problem. This is about what is right and what is wrong.’’