LEADERS of the two major factions of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, commenced a public campaign to woo the support of the party base, with Governor Ayodele Fayose, saying Senator Ali Modu Sheriff prostrated before some governors to be made national chairman at the botched national convention in Port Harcourt.
The bid for support came as former President Goodluck Jonathan disclaimed Tuesday’s newspaper reports that he endorsed Senator Sheriff as national chairman when Sheriff team visited him, Monday.
In repudiating the reports, Jonathan also disclosed that he also, Monday, received the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led executive and the Board of Trustees in his ongoing efforts to mediate in the crisis.
Senator Makarfi’s spokesman, Prince Dayo Adeyeye and Governor Ayodele Fayose, representing the Makarfi mainstream and Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Deputy National Chairman, representing the Sheriff faction, were among the leading factional leaders who went on a circuit of the morning chat shows in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Protagonists on the side of the Makarfi executive reiterated their allegation of the involvement of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in the crisis in the party, alleging a plot by the administration to kill opposition in the country.
The assertion was dismissed, yesterday, evening by the APC which in a statement, denied any role in the crisis in the opposition party and also in the barricading, on Monday, of the International Conference Centre earlier slated for the meeting of the Makarfi group.
Dr. Ojougboh subsequently told Vanguard that Sheriff was ready to offer the Makarfi side their desire for a fresh national convention as soon as possible.
Governor Fayose speaking to AIT’s Focus on Nigeria programme, yesterday, morning, said governors fell out with Sheriff on the eve of the convention after they confirmed his alleged role in a court case instituted to stop the conduct of election into the offices of national chairman, national secretary, and national auditor.
He said Sheriff’s aim was to ensure that if he lost the election on the convention ground, he could well use the court order to retain the post.