Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, yesterday, took charge of the opposition party, after the court-declared him the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP),
“This is the first time I am making a statement since the Court of Appeal in Port-Harcourt made its pronouncement; but I have seen and read many stories purported to have come from me against leaders of the party. People should respect themselves and not create more problems for the party,” he told journalists in Abuja.
Having taken over mantle of leadership of PDP as declared by the Court of Appeal, Sheriff have has extended the olive branch to his opponents. The PDP National Chairman, however, extended olive branch to the Makarfi group, saying the court affirmation of his leadership was a “victory for all”.
All the same Sheriff has unfolded a roadmap for the PDP which, according to him, aims at upstaging the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 presidential election. Having been surrounded by, Shehu Umar, a former Special Assistant to Vice President Namadi Sambo; Senator Hope Uzodinwa and Chief Chris Uba, among others, Sheriff in a conciliatory move called on the factional leader
He stated, “The verdict of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt is victory for all. There are no losers and no winners. As a party, we have had some little misunderstanding within ourselves and what happened, yesterday, is beginning of all the good things that will come for the Peoples Democratic Party. Sheriff is not the winner, Makarfi is not the loser.
Earlier Sheriff has called on party members to be mindful of their words against the party. People should respect themselves and not create more problems for the party.”
Sheriff said he was ready to make sacrifices to ensure that the party remains united, strong and ready to go into the next elections better prepared. He stated: All of us are winners. “We are going to unite the party. I was not even in town when the decision of the appeal court was reached. I have come back so that we can put our house in order. I have received many calls from different leaders and I have also made several calls to leaders of the party ever since the verdict was passed. I have received calls from our governors, members of the National assembly and other leaders of the party.”
Continuing he stated, “I am not interested in continuing as the National Chairman of the party. What I am interested in is to unite and rebuild the party to make sure that we have credible leaders that will take us to a successful election in 2019. “Let me put it on record that the survival of the PDP is greater than any one of us. This party is a party that was in government for more than sixteen years. Today marks the beginning of going back to winning elections.”
“As a party we were doing nothing. I want to assure you that this party will come back to the position it was in 1999. All the leaders of the party will be consulted between now and the next one week and we will come out with a roadmap that will culminate in a successful convention”
With these words, The Court of Appeal, sitting in Port-Harcourt, had, on Friday, declared Sheriff as the National Chairman of the PDP after a legal battle for the leadership of the party launched by a faction led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi. Meanwhile, he Sounding conciliatory to the Makarfi faction of the PDP,
According to him, the APC is the one campaigning for the PDP. The PDP leader asked people not look at the PDP crisis as an issue or as a personal problem between him and Makarfi or any leader of the party. “I will formally consult the national assembly, the governors, the Board of Trustees so that we can come out with a proper roadmap. Within the shortest period, we will organise a convention so that people will aspire to whatever position that they want. “Nobody is a victor and nobody is a loser”.