STATE chairmen of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, debunked the claim by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee that they have endorsed the committee.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja and signed by Chief Adebayo Dayo, Ogun State chairman of the party, on behalf of others.
“Our attention has been drawn to reports in a section of the media suggesting that the chairmen of state chapters of our great party, the PDP, met with and endorsed the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee.
“We want to state in very clear terms that this is false and a complete misrepresentation of our position on the current challenges in our party, as the state chairmen had, at no time, endorsed the said caretaker committee.
“What happened was that some state chairmen were in Abuja for a routine meeting on Monday, June 27, to brainstorm ways of finding a lasting solution for the challenges in our party.
“At the meeting, it was resolved that a discussion should be brokered among the critical stakeholders. However, as we were leaving after the meeting, the Senator Makarfi group was coming in for their own meeting at the same venue and had brief discussion with some of us.
“We wish to state that at no time in that discussion did the chairmen endorse the caretaker committee as being circulated by some quarters.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we know that there is no provision for a national caretaker committee in the PDP constitution and as such we cannot in anyway whatsoever endorse such.
“We are aware that the May 21, 2016 scheduled national convention of our great party did not hold, following the pronouncement of the court, leading to the suspension of the national convention by the National Working Committee (NWC).
“As leaders of the party, we pledge our loyalty to the provisions of the constitution of our party and the ruling of the court, which have continued to recognise Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the national chairman of the PDP.
“As at today, Senator Sheriff holds office as the national chairman of the PDP and any claim by the said caretaker committee remains, to the extent of our constitution, a complete nullity.” the statement read.
Meanwhile, state chairmen of the party loyal to the leadership of Senator Sheriff met in Abuja, on Tuesday, and passed vote of confidence on him as the authentic chairman of the party.
Prince Boroye Biyi, Ondo State chairman of the party, while moving the motion for vote of confidence on behalf of the chapter chairmen, said the decision was based on the fact that PDP had come back to life since Sheriff became the national chairman.
The motion was seconded by Alhaji Lawal Gana, Yobe State chairman of the party.
Senator Sheriff, who earlier addressed the chairmen, said those present were authentic state chairmen of PDP, while he accused the chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Alhaji Yunisa Suleiman, of lying to the chairmen that he was not around to receive them.
Sheriff admitted that he received a call from the FCT chairman but denied that he told him (Suleiman) he would not be around to receive the chapter chairmen.
According to him, 18 state chairmen were present at the meeting, while two called that they would not make it.
Sheriff dismissed the claim that 24 party chairmen endorsed Makarfi, adding that only 14 chairmen endorsed him (Makarfi), going by the available records at his disposal.
Boboye explained that the chairmen had resolved to meet with both Makarfi and Sheriff so as to resolve the leadership crisis in the party.
In another development, Senator Sheriff has appointed Dr Cairo Ojuogboh as the acting national deputy chairman of the party.
Ojuogboh is the immediate past vice chairman (South-South) of the PDP, whose tenure was brought to an end by the May 21 national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
His appointment was conveyed to him in a letter signed by Sheriff and former national secretary of the party, Professor Olawale Oladipo.
“Please, be informed that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party, in a meeting held on the 28th of June 2016, and having received nomination from the Concerned PDP Stakeholders (Abuja Convention Group) and major stakeholders in the South-South, has appointed you (Ojuogboh) as the acting deputy national chairman of the party, pending the conduct of election to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of the erstwhile deputy national chairman.
“This appointment takes immediate effect,” the letter read.
It urged Ojougboh to discharge his function with dedication, to ensure the progress of the party.