I did not congratulate Makarfi over Supreme court verdict – Sheriff

Ahmed Makarfi and Modu Sheriff
Ahmed Makarfi and Modu Sheriff

Sacked factional national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has denied congratulating the Senator Ahmed Makarfi over the recognition of his camp by the Supreme Court as the authentic leadership of the party.

The former chairman distanced himself from series of tweets congratulating Makarfi after the court judgment on Wednesday, saying he has no twitter handle.

Sheriff who also rejected the amnesty offered him and his followers by the Markafi-led PDP maintained that he was rather worried about the future of the party, which he said is now in the hands of some persons known to have criminal cases bordering on fraud, treasury looting and dishonesty pending before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

A twitter handle @SenAliSheriff, with a display picture of Sheriff, had posted a congratulatory message to Makarfi, call on PDP faithful to corporate with the new leadership of the major opposition party to remove the All Progressives Congress (APC) from office.

Checks by our correspondent showed that aside the above mentioned twitter handle traced to Sheriff, there are three other handles which has his display picture.
Makarfi had on Thursday offered Sheriff and his loyalists amnesty, declaring that it was in the spirit of ‘no winner no loser’ disposition of his leadership.

But reacting to the purported tweets from Sheriff, acting national publicity secretary of the Sheriff-led PDP, Hon Bernard Mikko said, “Our attention has been drawn to a fake congratulatory message credited to an imaginary Twitter handle of Sen (Dr) Ali Modu Sheriff, the immediate past PDP National Chairman.

For the avoidance of doubt, Sen Ali Modu Sheriff does not have or own a Twitter account and could not have tweeted any message.

“We therefore view the said message as fake and mischievous and should be discountenanced as that of evil doers. We further warn all mischief makers to desist from trying to exploit the huge political capital of Sen Ali Modu Sheriff for selfish gains”.

Reacting to the amnesty offered Sheriff and his group of loyalists, Mikko said, “I take exceptions to the reckless statement credited to Prince Dayo Adeyeye suggesting the grant of amnesty to Sen Ali Modu Sheriff, his National Working Committee and supporters. Amnesty is a reprieve for those who have committed offence under our statutes. We did not occupy the office illegally or committed any offence.

“Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff was validly elected and was forced to vacate the National Secretariat after a joint meeting of the contending camps with the Inspector General of Police in the wake thuggery attack in the heat of conflicting court pronouncements.

“However the office was officially re-opened for us after we presented the certified true copy (CTC) of the judgement of Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt division to the Inspector General of Police. I am therefore concerned about the future of our party in the hands of some of those who are known to have pending criminal cases bordering on fraud, treasury looting and dishonesty with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Supreme Court of Nigeria is the highest court in our land and we await the copy of the full judgement delivered on July 12, 2017.

“No one owns the party and those making unguarded and reckless statements in the public domain should realise that the solution to the problem of Nigeria is beyond any political association. Unacceptable and unjustifiable means cannot lead to a justifiable and acceptable end”.

In a related development, the immediate past national organizing secretary, under Sheriff’s terminated leadership, Okey Nnadozie, has pledged loyalty to Makarfi’s leadership, describing the Supreme Court judgment as victory for the party.

In a statement issued by himself, Nnadozie said, “I have carefully considered Wednesday’s ruling of the Supreme Court, which in effect ended the regrettable leadership tussle and protracted disagreements among members of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“The unfortunate tussle, while it lasted, saw many loyal and committed members of our great party wittingly or unwittingly on different sides of the divide based on principle and different interpretation of our Party’s constitution. But in all, the verdict is victory for all as it has at last brought us all together again as one big family that we have always been.

“It is on this note that I sincerely congratulate the leaders and members of our party, particularly, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, and members of the National Caretaker Committee, Our Governors, members of the National Assembly, and of course all Nigerians for this important judgment. Indeed, the ruling is a clear pointer to the future of not only our party but also the entire nation”.

Nnadozie contimued: “This development also points to the democratic credentials of our party and the resilience of its undying ideology as a robust and egalitarian platform, irrespective of the challenges it faced.

“No doubt, during and immediately after the 2015 general election, and particularly during the period of this unfortunate divisive leadership tussle, mistakes were made; unguarded statements were made, our party had to bear avoidable pain and loses, but in all, very serious lessons have also been learnt.

“What is left for us now is to put the painful past behind us, forgive and embrace one another and together forge ahead in the onerous charge to reposition our party for the task ahead. In this regard, I wish to commend and thank our leaders who have made comments in this direction.

“As a loyal and dedicated member who has held leadership position at the national level, the PDP remains my home as we once more rededicate ourselves and place the overriding interest of our party over and above every personal ambition or interest”.

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