The war of attrition between the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party and the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led group shows little sign of abating.
Findings by The PUNCH, in Abuja, on Sunday indicated that none of the two sides appeared willing to nominate members to serve on the Peace Committee.
The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, had after a meeting with both men in his office on Friday suggested the setting up of the committee.
It was suggested that each of the groups should submit the names of four persons to serve on the committee.
Our correspondent gathered that hardliners in both camps were insisting that to accede to the suggestion of the IGP would be akin to accepting defeat.
Our correspondent gathered that when the issue was brought up by members of the Makarfi-led committee, stakeholders within the group resisted.
A source sympathetic to Makarfi’s cause who pleaded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter said, “It was rejected outright. How can we who enjoy the backing of more than 99.99 per cent of our party members negotiate our mandate? The people who brought Sheriff in the first place have come out to say go, your tenure has expired thank you but he wants to stay put you want us to negotiate on what terms?”
A former PDP National Vice Chairman (South South), Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, said if the law was the basis of the argument, Sheriff should be the party chairman because an Abuja High Court whose ruling had neither been appealed or vacated “pronounced him chairman till 2018.”
Ojougboh however said all stakeholders especially the dramatis personae must be prepared to make concessions if the crisis must be resolved in the interest of the party.
He said, “I have always said no one can take it all. All of our members be they the concerned members led by Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Jerry Gana and Ibrahim Mantu must be part of the solution to our problems.
“The governors’ group led by Makarfi now, must be part of the solution; the Sheriff group must be part of it.”
The spokesman for the Makarfi-led committee, Dapo Adeyeye, said the committee was not aversed to peace but that the committee needed to consult widely before knowing its next move on the issue.
“We are consulting. Remember, all the constitutionally-recognised organs of the party including the BoT, the Caucus, and our governors and so on set up this committee and we were given a mandate.”
Speaking on the issue, Sheriff’s Media Adviser, Inuwa Bwala said, “We have not submitted any names. While we welcome all party members who are ready to work with us to rebuild the party, Sheriff is one man who holds the rule of law in high regards.”