The faction of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has insisted that it is the only faction recognized by law to field a candidate for the September 10 governorship election in Edo State.
The Sheriff faction earlier this week gave the party’s governorship ticket to Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, thereby contradicting the candidature of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was elected governorship candidate in a primary conducted by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee.
At a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the deputy national chairman of the Sheriff faction, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, insisted that the former Borno State governor remained the only recognized national chairman of the PDP.
“We have a point blank court judgment affirming Sheriff as the recognized PDP chairman that is allowed to submit names of governorship candidates for the Edo and Ondo States governorship elections”, Ojougboh said.
He dismissed calls by the Makarfi camp for Sheriff’s arrest by the security agencies, saying if there is anyone to be arrested at all, it should be Makarfi and his group members.
Ojougboh pointed out that the Port Harcourt court judgment, for which the Makarfi group accused Sheriff of contempt, had been appealed and that a stay of execution had been filed in respect of the said judgment.
A federal high court in Port Harcourt had on Monday, upheld the removal of Sheriff as PDP national chairman at the botched May 21 national convention of the party and had also recognized the Makarfi committee as the authentic leadership of the party.
But Sheriff ignored the judgment and had gone ahead to conduct a parallel primary election in which Iduoriyekemwen emerged as the candidate for the Edo governorship election.
Dr. Ojougboh stated that Sheriff‘s group has been making efforts to reconcile with the Makarfi camp adding however that the caretaker committee must be ready to recognize Sheriff as chairman before any reconciliation can take place.
“Arrangements are being made for reconciliation with the Makarfi camp. But Sheriff must be given recognition as chairman for any progress to be made in the reconciliation efforts.
“Recognition for Sheriff is the only panacea for peace in the PDP. Sheriff is ready to address the party’s flawed state and local government congresses that led to the crisis in the PDP”, Ojougboh said.