Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) remain divided ahead of the party’s December 9 convention.
The convention, which is billed as the panacea for the multifarious crises rocking the party, seems to be a harbinger of another major disagreement.
Prof. Tunde Adeniran, a chairmanship aspirant, has petitioned the party over the list of the panelists who will conduct the ward delegates’ election, saying they are Uche Secondus’ men. Secondus is also running.
Another aspirant, Chief Olabode George, yesterday advised Caretaker Chairman Ahmed Makarfi to resign “forthwith” because “he has been severely compromised … he is already tarred and soiled in the muddy waters of partisan prejudice. He can no longer play the role of a neutral arbiter”.
George’s campaign organisation, in a statement, accused Makarfi of destroying the PDP for personal gain.
But Makarfi urged George not to blame his frustration on him, adding that it is because he had not done George’s bidding that he launched an attack against him.
The statement signed by Director-General of the George Campaign, Alhaji Ibrahim K. Aliu, said: “Apparently spurred by personal ambition of contesting for the Presidential office in 2019, Makarfi is brazenly allying with a particular aspirant in the Southsouth to deliberately distort the process, muddle equity and invariably destroy the democratic process for transient personal gains.”
“Makarfi’s action, to put it mildly, is sickening, untoward, blatantly tendentious, totally stripped of the typical moral high ground that often defines a well-meaning, God-fearing arbitrating leadership.
“Everywhere you look, Makarfi is planting the agents of his favorite Southsouth candidate to stage manage warped and skewed congresses in an undisguised mockery of all the normative patterns of our founding fathers whose enduring forte about equity, justice and fairness is now being flung into the gutter. In a way, Makarfi is evidently resolved to repeat the farcical malady that characterised the debacle in Port Harcourt last year.
“We have equally resolved that we will not be led along this ruinous path again. Never.”
“Makarfi should now do the most honourable thing by walking away and face his ambition squarely. He cannot use a privileged non-elective position to wangle undue advantage to his own side. It is patently unacceptable.
“ We need to redeem our party by being faithful to the great ideals of our founding fathers. We really believe that elders of the party across the nation should summon an emergency summit to deliberate on the right way to restrategise our party and rectify the wrongs on the ground.
“All the elders across the zones must take it as a priority that this party can only be redeemed and restore to its winning ways when we are all sincere, genuine, and anchored on the path of salvaging righteousness”.
Accusing George and Adeniran of crying wolf where there is none, Makarfi, in an sms to our correspondent’s enquiries, said George and a few other chairmanship aspirants mounted pressure on him to micro zone the chairmanship to the Southwest to favour them but that he resisted.
“I have refused to do so because I don’t have the power. Only the National Executive Committee (NEC) can do that.
“I saw a letter today alleging that five out of about 160 congress committee members are aligned to a particular candidate.
“Assuming that is so, then how about the remaining 155 members? Who are they aligned to? They should just campaign hard to win.”
Power brokers in the PDP may have resolved to mobilise support for Prince Uche Secondus based on some political calculations.
A party source who spoke with our correspondent in confidence on Tuesday, said key stakeholders were of the strong opinion that a national chairman from the Southwest would easily be overwhelmed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) machinery in the zone.