The fate of the national convention of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) seems to be hanging in the balance.
A number of aspirants going for the position of national chairman have expressed lack of confidence in the ability of the chairman of the party’s National Caretaker Committee, Sen Ahmed Makarfi to deliver an unbiased convention.
One of the aspirants, from the South East zone, Prof. Tunde Adeniran, has earlier questioned the neutrality of Makarfi in the activities that would lead to the convention.
And on Tuesday, Chief Bode George who also expressed doubt in the ability of Makarfi over the coming convention, slated for Abuja, called on the caretaker committee chairman to resign his position.
The call was made by the Director General of the Bode George for PDP National Chairman Campaign Organisation, Alhaji Ibrahim Aliu, who stated among other things that the body language of Makarfi towards a particular candidate from the South east for position of national chairman of the party were ‘sickening.
Aliu said, “Apparently spurred by personal ambition of contesting the presidential office in 2019, Makarfi is brazenly allying with a particular aspirant in the South-South to deliberately distort the process, muddle equity and invariably destroy the democratic process for transient personal gains.”
“Makarfi’s action, to put it mildly, is sickening, untoward, blatantly tendentious, totally stripped of the typical moral high ground that often defines a well-meaning, God fearing arbitrating leadership.
“Everywhere you look, Makarfi is planting the agents of his favourite South-South candidate to stage-manage warped and skewed congresses in an undisguised mockery of all the normative patterns of our founding fathers whose enduring forte about equity, justice and fairness is now being flung into the gutter.
“In a way, Makarfi is evidently resolved to repeat the farcical malady that characterised the debacle in Port Harcourt last year. We have equally resolved that we will not be led along this ruinous path again. Never!”
According to him, Makarfi needs to resign his position “for the sake of propriety, for the sake of all that is good and meaningful, for the sake of equitable balance and moral appropriateness.”
He added, “We strongly advise Senator Makarfi to resign his position forthwith because he has been severely compromised. He can no longer play the role of a neutral arbiter who stands far above the fray. He is already tarred and soiled in the muddy waters of partisan prejudice.
“Makarfi should now do the most honourable thing by walking away and face his ambition squarely. He cannot use a privilege non-elective position to wangle undue advantages to his own side. It is patently unacceptable.
“We need to redeem our party by being faithful to the great ideals of our founding fathers. We really believe that elders of the party across the nation should summon an emergency summit to deliberate on the right way to reposition our party and rectify the wrongs on the ground.”
This is coming barely 24 hours after Adeniran had sent a petition to the caretaker committee members, including Makarfi, querying the inclusion of some people in the composition of the Adhoc committee set up for the election of delegates to the convention.
He said some members of the ad hoc committee were known supporters of Prince Uche Secondus, another aspirant for the position of national chairman of the party.
Reacting however to George’s call for his resignation, Makarfi simply said “That is politics”.
He advised George to concentrate on his campaign rather than raising what he described as baseless allegations.
Makarfi also dismissed George’s allegations as “ridiculous and unfortunate,” saying that the aspirant might have sensed that he would lose.
Makarfi explained, that George was basing his claim on a letter previously written by another aspirant, where he listed five people in the convention committee alleged to be supporters of a South-South aspirant.
The former Kaduna State governor said the five were insignificant in a committee of about 160 persons who he said had the right to align with any candidate of their choice.
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