In what looked a political drama on Saturday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ignored proposal for the postponement of its national convention to come up with the former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi as its caretaker national chairman.
The controversial national chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff suddenly found that he had been stripped of the post as he folded his arms on the strength of the proposed postponement of the convention, which the governors of the party and other chieftains defied.
Modu Sheriff who had earlier addressed news men at Le Meridian Hotel in Port Harcourt, citing court orders restraining the party from proceeding with the convention, briefly appeared at the convention but left before the decision was taken to raise Makarfi as caretaker chairman.
Sheriff had said at the news briefing: “if we proceed with the convention, we will be charged for contempt of court. As a responsible party, we have to respect the court orders. We will reconvene as soon as we are able to dispense with the court cases.”
But His directive was ignored as the convention went on as planned with the 12 PDP state governors and other leaders of the party in attendance.
One of the first decisions taken by the convention was the dissolution of the national working committee of the party by a motion moved by former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Austin Opara, and seconded by another former Deputy Speaker, Hon. Emeka Ihediora.
The convention went on to set up a seven-man Caretaker Committee.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Chairman of the party`s National Convention Committee put the question and the motion was affirmed by the delegates.
The convention also approved another motion to set aside decisions taken by the NWC and zoning of its presidential candidate for 2019 election to the north.
The motion was moved by Dr. Babangida Aliyu, a former governor of Niger state and seconded by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.
The convention also set up a seven-man caretaker committee headed by the new caretaker chairman, Makarfi with Senator Ben Obi as secretary.
The committee was given three months to organize a new National Convention to elect new national officers.
The delegates also barred the committee members from contesting any position in the next convention.
Makarfi, in his speech, said he accepted to serve because it was about the unity of the party and progress of the country.
“ I humbly accept this challenge and I do so, on behalf of other members of the committee. Other members of the committee were nominated on trust.”
Makarfi assured that the committee would serve and bring unity to the party.
“I assure you, you will have no cause to worry. None of us is seeking for any office. We are here to serve and bring unity to our party. I call on all aggrieved party men and women to give us a chance to rebuild our party to give hope to Nigeria and black race.”
The other members of the committee were Sen. Odion Ugbesie, Sen. Abdul Ningi, Mr Kabir Usman, Mr Dayo Adeyeye and Alhaja Aisha Aliyu. [myad]