AS part of efforts to resolve the crisis rocking the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its leaders will converge on Abuja today with a view to finding a lasting solution to the crisis.
According to a source at the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, at the weekend, those being expected at the peace meeting are governors, National Assembly caucus, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee and Senator Ali Modu Sheriff group.
The source said all the parties to the crisis have been duly notified about the Abuja peace meeting and had indicated their willingness to attend
It was gathered that the elders were also concerned about the early resolution of the crisis to enable the party to start the process of picking its candidate for the forthcoming governorship in Edo State so as to meet the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s deadline for the submission of the name of its standard-bearer for the poll.
The source said the meeting would take place at the Ondo State governor’s lodge located in Asokoro District Abuja.
When contacted on Sunday, the Director-General of PDP Governors’ Forum, Mr Osaro Onaiwu, said the agenda of the meeting was to resolve the crisis rocking the party and that the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial election would be discussed.
According to him, “the leaders of the party, the Governors’ Forum, National Assembly caucus, BoT, Makarfi group and Sheriff group will meet tomorrow (today) to address the issue in the party. We want to resolve the crisis in our party once and for all. We want to find lasting solution to the crisis. All parties involved are invited for this meeting. The forthcoming Edo election will also be addressed.”
Recalled that after the party’s national convention, held in Port Harcourt, on May 21, where Sheriff was sacked as the national chairman, the party constituted a caretaker committee, headed by former Kaduna State governor, Ahmed Makarfi, to head the party for a period of three months.
Dissatisfied with this development, Sheriff challenged the action of the party, a situation that led to the party national secretariat to be sealed off by the police for days before it was reopened for staff and journalists last week.
However, a source close to Sheriff group told the Nigerian Tribune in Abuja, on Sunday, that the meeting was a mere proposal and that “the law will take its course”since the matter was already in court..
The source ruled out the possibility of the group attending the meeting in the first instance.
However, despite PDP’s BoT’s directive to all parties in the crisis to withdraw their cases from the courts in order to allow the party’s internal organs to resolve the problems, none had so far been known to have obeyed.
It is, therefore, not certain that Sheriff would agree to attend today’s meeting.
The coordinator of the PDP Governors Forum, Onaiwu Osaro, confirmed that the meeting would take place.