Home FEATURES PDP Splits Into Pieces: Governors, Jerry Gana, Sheriff, Elders Go Different Ways

PDP Splits Into Pieces: Governors, Jerry Gana, Sheriff, Elders Go Different Ways

new-pdpThe erstwhile self-acclaimed largest political party in Africa, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has split into four factions, with governors being led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi even as former information minister, Jerry Gana, the controversial chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, and elders also go their different ways.

The factions sprang up following t he national convention of the party which ended in confusion on Saturday in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State.

While Senator Modu Sheriff announced the postponement of the convention due to court injunctions, a former Governor of Kaduna, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, was elected the party’s caretaker national chairman by a group of PDP governors backed by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

Earlier in the day, a splinter group led by Professor Jerry Gana gathered in Abuja to hold a parallel convention after the pro-Sheriff group insisted on its plan to organize the convention in Port Harcourt.

The Professor Gana group is said to be favourably disposed to the idea of putting in place a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the party, pending the conduct of an acceptable national convention.

Professor Gana’s parallel national convention which was held at the M & M Event Centre, started by 10 am and ended by 12 noon. It adopted a former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu and Professor Tunde Adeniran as coordinators of the party pending when the next national convention of the faction would be held.

Although the date for their next convention was not announced, the convention also ratified a 57-member steering committee that would administer the affairs of the party nationwide.

A member of the steering committee, Chief Dubem Onyia moved a motion that “in compliance with the court order, Mantu and Adeniran should run the party until the next convention.” Mantu and Adeniran were upheld as the co-chairmen of the party.

This was even as some leaders of the party loyal to the Jerry Gana-led faction have dismissed the caretaker committee set up Saturday by the party in Port Harcourt as “unconstitutional,” saying only the party’s Board of Trustees is legally mandated to take over the party whenever there is a vacuum.

The leaders spoke at a press briefing at the residence of a former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu, in Abuja.

At the briefing, which was addressed by Mantu and Tanimu Turaki, a former Minister of Special Duties, the leaders said they had been vindicated by what happened in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

They warned that the decision to set up a caretaker committee instead of allowing the BoT to pilot the affairs of the party could further deepen the division within the party’s ranks.

“At this point in time, the only legal organ body conditionally empowered to actually takeover the affairs of the party is the BoT,” Mr. Mantu said.

“After watching events at Port Harcourt convention, it’s necessary for us to react to some of the things we saw there. First and foremost, we want to thank our members throughout the nation for giving us support that has actually led us to achieve some of the goals we have set for ourselves.

See also:  Corruption: You Can't Close Shop To Chase Criminals - Peter: There'll Be No Shop If Thief Steal All Things In It - Osinbajo

“We were opposed to the zoning and indeed the zoning has been cancelled or set aside.

“We also opposed to the convention taking place and the convention did not take place courtesy of the court.

“Again, we were opposed to the way the Congresses have been conducted, that, they fell short of our expectations. Now these congresses and conventions have been set aside.

“This group can confidently say that we have achieved all the targets we set to achieve,” Mr. Mantu said.

Turaki also said the party had been clearly vindicated.

“We here have sat down and reviewed the happening in Port Harcourt very carefully and the decisions that came out have clearly vindicated our position which is based on principles. We had taken a position that things were done wrongly and unconstitutionally. Things have been done without due regards to processes and procedures.

“It is now for the BOT to step in and take charge. It is there in our Constitution that in a situation like this, which is unprecedented, that the BoT, the conscience of the party, as the fathers of the party should step in immediately,” Mr. Turaki said. “There shouldn’t be any vacuum and we are concerned that what is coming out of the party from Port Harcourt may likely deepen our disagreement.”

Yet, a group of elders of the party have said that the Board of Trustees should take over the affairs of the party in place of dissolved National Working Committee.
The Co-Chairman of the group – Concerned Peoples Democratic Party Stakeholders – Senator Ibrahim Mantu, who reacted to the developments from the National Convention of the party held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State said that elders group have rejected the caretaker committee and that the only constitutional organ to run the affairs of the party in a situation as had arisen was the leadership of the BoT.
“There is a body that is constitutionally mandated to take over the affairs of the party and that body is the conscience of the party called the Board of Trustees,” he said.
Mantu said the development in Port Harcourt was a clear vindication for the group’s demands and principles.
“We were opposed to the zoning and indeed the zoning has been cancelled or set aside.
“We were also opposed to the convention. And the convention did not take place courtesy of the court.
“Again, we were opposed to the way the congresses have been conducted, that they fell short of our expectations. Now these congresses and conventions have been set aside.
“This group can confidently say that we have achieved all the targets we set to achieve.” [myad]