The leadership crisis rocking the PDP, is far from over and may even polarise the party further, as the latest ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja has split the rank of governors elected on the party’s platform along pro and anti-Sheriff lines.
Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had last Thursday, declared Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the party, declaring the Ahmed Makarfi led caretaker committee as illegal and the Port Harcourt Federal High Court judgment recognising Makarfi’s committee as unknown in law.
According to reports, jolted by the judgment, Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State was said to have held a secret meeting with Sheriff on Thursday night.
Similarly, some members of the Board of Trustees BoT of the PDP are believed to have changed their stands by wooing Sheriff, who may convene a stakeholders meeting later this week.
According to sources, Mimiko’s secret meeting was because of the need to have Sheriff push the candidature of his anointed candidate, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, SAN, for the state governorship election later in the year.
The sources also claimed that Mimiko pledged loyalty to Sheriff while also canvassing for the reconciliation of all camps in the party.
A source close to the meeting said: “The meeting was a follow up to the decision of the court that Sheriff is the authentic chairman of the party.
“It was secret but fruitful. Don’t forget that Mimiko is also the outgoing chairman of the PDP Governors Forum.
“In all honesty, the governor also spoke on how to keep the party united.
“Mimiko actually said he will abide by the Rule of Law on the crisis in the party.
“You know Ondo chapter of the PDP will soon hold its governorship primaries. He does not want the crisis in the party to have spiral effect on the choice of candidate in Ondo as the case with Edo State.”
Another PDP source however disclosed that the PDP governors have broken into two camps on account of the court ruling.
According to the source, the governors of Taraba, Gombe, Enugu, Cross River, and Ondo are backing Sheriff while those of Rivers, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Delta, Abia, Akwa Ibom are against him.
The source however said the Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson, is playing the role of peace maker,working hard at reconciling the factions.
The source said: “We are experiencing a division among our governors because of the ruling of the court. Some are insisting that the party should abide by the rule of law and engage Sheriff.
“Some of the governors said the party should save itself from Sheriff by going through the legal battle from the lower court to the Supreme Court.
“But Governor Dickson is preaching dialogue and reconciliation to both sides because the time element is important for PDP. We need to put our house in order before the 2019 poll.
The source insisted that If Sheriff sticks to his mandate till 2018, the party will remain divided and unprepared for the next election. Alternatively, he said most of the leaders will leave the party.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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