Following the legal victory of the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party over the embattled former national chairman, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff, at the Supreme Court, chieftains of the party across the country have assured the new leadership of their cooperation.
They also described the development as a warning signal to the ruling All Progressives Congress.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed Makarfi as the authentic and valid leader of the PDP, a development which has brightened the hope of the party members across the country.
Some of the party chieftains in different states, who spoke with our correspondent, maintained that Makarfi’s victory at the Supreme Court was already a sign that the party would return to power in 2019.
They also added that the party had already begun to make efforts to bring together once again, its members across the nation ahead of the 2019 general election.
The Ondo State chapter of the PDP said immediate efforts had commenced to bring the party’s bigwigs across the state together for an early preparation for 2019 and the subsequent governorship elections.
Ondo PDP spokesperson, Mr. Ayo Fadaka, maintained, “Sheriff was just a mole that was sent into our party to perpetrate malevolence, but through the judiciary, we have been able to recover our party from them. On 2019, we, the leaders, already know those that are interested in becoming President and we know those interested in going to the National Assembly and even the state house of assembly.
“Of course, you know in Ondo State, there will be no governorship election. We are so confident that our party will bounce back; in fact, the process of recovery has already started
we have gone through one meeting and we are still going through series of meetings in Abuja. It is just on how to re-strategise and reposition the party across the length and breadth of this country. Nigerians have tasted the PDP and they are currently under the APC. The incoherent lies that the APC has been telling Nigerians is that the hardship they are going through today is a fall-out of the PDP regime, which no longer holds. People are yearning for a better change from this obnoxious change that the APC represents.”
In the same vein, a chieftain of the Oyo State PDP, Ismaila Asipa, said that the party in the state was now encouraged to work for an end to the reign of the APC in 2019.
“The leadership tussle has nothing to do with Oyo State and we remain one family even before the Supreme Court verdict. The two leaders approached the court and the Appeal Court declared Sheriff the winner earlier; so the party had to key in to follow the rule of law, to be law abiding. We have to key in to support the law and not necessarily Sheriff. Now that a higher court, the Supreme Court, has spoken, there is nothing Oyo State can do than to key into the arrangement. The PDP remains one family under the umbrella.
“Now that Markafi is the national leader, there is a clear-cut direction for the members of the Oyo State PDP. Meetings will be held, stakeholders will be there, members and leaders will be there. Remember, what happened in Osun State, the leaders will come to hold the leadership meeting. To whom much is given, much is expected. They will come together because we have to come together to win the 2019 election. The end is near for the APC in this state and at the national level,” Asipa said.
Similarly, the Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, said that the party was now back on its feet to sweep the ruling APC out of power in 2019.
“The victory has given Nigerians the opportunity to flush out APC. With this, we now have a full strength to pursue our mandate stolen by APC in the governorship election. Our party will be back in the country, because everyone knows that APC has totally failed,” Orbih said.
Also, a Federal lawmaker on the platform of the party, who represents Oshodi Isolo Federal Constituency II in the House of Representatives, Hon. Tony Nwulu, said, “We are very happy. The National Assembly members and the governors have been on one page. With this development, Nigerians are waiting for us, and we are coming with full force to reclaim our glory in this country.”
The Ondo State PDP candidate in the last governorship election in the state, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede, described Makarfi’s victory at the Supreme Court as a rebirth of the party.
“We are again vindicated through the highest court of the land, an event that brings a definitive end to the factionalisation within our great party, the People’s Democratic Party, and begins a process of genuine reconciliation and self-cleansing, healing and rebirth that will usher in a new season of hope and it’s refreshing for our people.
“While so many wavered at the possibility of redemption, through the processes in court, we tested again the limits of a critical institution and an essential arm of government to safeguard our fledgling democracy and advance the ideals of our founding fathers to provide sound leadership for our people through participatory democracy that is hinged on the freedom of choice.
“Although we were thrown up as sacrificial lamb through the long and tortuous journey, nevertheless we are glad that our fight and experience have since counted for institutional strength and wisdom for our party; we have no regrets,” Jegede said.
In his own comment, the Nasarawa State factional PDP Chairman under the Sheriff camp, Mohammed Sarki Tanko, said that he would support the emergence of Makarfi as the authentic national chairman of the party.
Tanko, however, said that the leadership of a faction of the party in the state under Francis Orogu remained dissolved as recently directed by Sheriff, who appointed him (Tanko) as the PDP state chairman.
He said that he had concluded plans to head to court in order to stop Orogu from parading himself as the PDP chairman in Nasarawa State.
According to him, “What Sheriff did previously was legal. Francis Orogu-led leadership stands dissolved because when I was appointed, Makarfi was not recognised as PDP national chairman. Sheriff conducted all the congresses, which brought in new leadership of the party from the wards to state levels in the country.”