The disputed national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has called for the dissolution of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee as a condition for truce.
He also rejected the choice of Port Harcourt as venue of the party’s August 17 rescheduled National Convention.
The May 21 convention, which was disputed, was held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Sheriff tabled these and other demands as conditions for him to stop laying claim to the national chairmanship position of the PDP.
He told reporters yesterday that he had made it clear to Governors Darius Ishaku (Taraba) and Ibrahim Dankwabo (Gombe) that the caretaker committee was an aberration to the PDP constitution.
He spoke when he received a delegation of PDP supporters from 17 local government areas of Abia State, who visited him in Abuja.
Speaking further on his conditions, Sheriff asked to be allowed to nominate 10 people that will work closely with 10 others that would be nominated by Makarfi, to form the convention committee.
He insisted that the convention should hold in Abuja.
Flanked by his deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh; a former governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim and a new entrant into the group, Barr. Jimoh Ibrahim, as well as Senator Hope Uzodimma, the former Borno State governor noted that unless the conditions he gave were accepted, he would sit tight as national chairman of the party till 2018.
He dismissed claims that he was the problem with the PDP, saying the crisis in the party was being fuelled by some persons who regard the PDP as their personal property.
He vowed to resist such persons, saying “if you don’t stand on the truth, the end result will be destruction”.
Sheriff said: “People are very interested in our party and how the crisis will be settled before the Port Harcourt convention, which was aborted by a court order.
“Yes, we met and issues were discussed but all the issues I put forward to them was for the Makarfi caretaker committee to resign.
“Since it is (committee) an aberration as far as our party constitution is concern. I told them that I am not ready to be a permanent chairman but I want the party to be placed in proper stead.
“If he resigns tomorrow, I will ask the members of my National Working Committee (NWC) whose tenure will expire in 2018, including myself to resign.
“Then, we will set up a convention committee in Abuja and put respected members and leader at the wards as members of the committee.
“In that convention, I will give away my mandate that does not expire until 2018 and I remain the national chairman of this party until 2018.
“If the leaders of our party felt that we can find a solution without exhausting the pending court processes, then I am open to a political solution”.
The leader of the Abia delegation, Mr. Chidi Nwosu, called on Sheriff to look into the flawed congresses in Abia with the view to correcting the anomalies.
Mr. Nwosu said the congresses were conducted by a few powerful men, who sat in their hotel rooms and picked the delegates.