Undertakers know themselves – Adeyeye
By Abdulrahman A. Abdulrauf and Emeka Nze, Abuja
Chairman , Reconciliation Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party and Governor of Bayelsa state, Henry Seriake Dickson, has described the Chairman, PDP Caretaker Committee , Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi as an ‘undertaker’ whose sole mission is ensuring the party’s annihilation.
Dickson spoke against the backdrop of the criticism that greeted his committee report, which recommended a political solution to the current crisis confronting the opposition party.
Besides, the report also canvassed a Unity Convention that would see the two groups ceding power to the new leadership produced by the convention.
But while the report was embraced by the legally recognised National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the Makarfi group however opted to pursue the full legal circle by appealing the judgement recognising Sheriff, at the Supreme Court.
Specifically, Makarfi accused Dickson of not consulting with party stakeholders before making the report public, and vowed to test the law at the apex court.
But speaking on Focus Africa, an AIT current affairs programme, monitored recently in Abuja, Governor Dickson insisted that his action was done in the interest of the party’s survival and larger PDP stakeholders.
He said: “Makarfi wants to be an undertaker of this party, and to that I say No. I must tell you that there are tendencies within the party who are dissatisfied and want to team up with the dissatisfied
tendencies in the other party (APC), and then work on some leaders of our party to leave the PDP to form another party. And have you ever heard Makarfi coming hard on this government as a major figure in the opposition?
“For us in Bayelsa we won’t allow that because Nigerians, through the PDP platform, gave us the opportunity to serve the nation at the highest level.”
Asked what he discussed with top leaders of the party like former President Goodluck Jonathan, former Military President Ibrahim Babangida and General Mohammed Gusau, all of whom he visited upon the completion of his committee’s assignment, he said: “ I had discreet meetings with all of them, but what we discussed I won’t say it here, but all I can tell you is that Nigerians want PDP back because of the many ills of the APC-led government .
“I know what I passed through during my re-election in Bayelsa. I was alone during my election. Come and see the way people are being harassed, called all manners of names and picked up in the creeks, all because we are in the opposition. I am not happy with what happened in Edo and Ondo. We lost these states for no just reason.”
On botched moves to reunite the party, the governor recalled that the peace parley called by Gen Gusau , was allegedly bundled by Makarfi.
“Makarfi and Sheriff were both invited by General Gusau and he discussed with both of them and persuaded them to resign for peace to return to the party. While Sheriff said, ‘bring the paper, I m ready to resign, Makarfi refused.
“I am a lawyer, Makarfi is not. If I have the benefit of a political solution to an issue, I won’t go to court. It is important I say here that the Gen Gusau parley was called when the case was in the Appeal Court. Okay, assuming we won at the Supreme Court, is Makarfi not going to call a Convention? So, why allow this situation to degenerate and the party dying day by day.
“Remember, he (Makarfi) was even quoted as saying that even if former President Jonathan asked him to resign , he won’t.” Dickson further claimed.
In his reaction, spokesman of the Sheriff group, Dayo Adeyeye, said those who are undertakers known themselves.
Adeyeye, who initially doubted if the governor ever said, however said those involved in the talks should be reached by our correspondent.
He further said: “Sheriff cannot be trusted to lead the party, we cannot. Look at how he worked against the PDP in Ondo and Edo states governorship elections.
The National Caretaker committee is working to deliver the PDP from Sheriff. Those who are undertakers know themselves. Those working for APC know themselves. If there is anybody who wants to kill the party, it is Sheriff.”
On the allegation of his group working towards floating a party, Adeyeye denied, saying, “we are not floating any party and we have explained this several times. Those who want to form another party know themselves.”