Again, Jonathan summons Sheriff, Makarfi to peace meeting

Senate PDP caucus backs political solution to crisisAgain, former President Goodluck Jonathan has summoned the factions of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Senator Ahmed Makarfi of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to a meeting in Abuja.

Spokesman of the Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee yesterday confirmed that the caretaker committee members would attend the meeting being put together by ex-president Jonathan.

Also, the national secretary of the Sheriff faction, Professor Wale Oladipo, has confirmed that a strong team to be led by Sheriff will be at the meeting.Ex-president Jonathan had earlier waded into the crisis, during which he reportedly called on both sides to embrace a political solution to resolving the crisis.

The former president was quoted to have implored both Sheriff and Makarfi to step down and allow a neutral body take charge of the party affairs and conduct an acceptable national convention for the party.Sheriff however, denied this, saying such a proposal was never raised at the meeting, whereas the caretaker committee said that Jonathan made the suggestion.Meanwhile, the PDP caucus in the Senate at the end of a meeting held late Tuesday night threw its weight behind seeking a political solution to the crisis.

The meeting, which dragged into the early hours of yesterday, was held at the private residence of Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Senate Minority Leader.The caucus, which also appointed Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe as its spokesman, said in a statement that resorting to political option is without prejudice to the ongoing litigation at the Supreme Court.

Sheriff has repeatedly expressed his unwillingness to quit office as the party chairman until he organised a convention of the party, while the caretaker committee has also insisted that it would not participate in any convention presided over by Modu Sheriff.

While both camps were holding on strongly to their hard stance, the reconciliation committee led by Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson proposed a template for the hosting of a unity convention.

Governor Dickson had met with almost all organs of the party, with the exception of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and the enlarged caucus to present the report of his committee containing the template for the proposed unity convention.

Sheriff and his team in the National Working Committee did not waste time in accepting the template while the other stakeholders in the party as well as the caretaker committee said the proposal would be thoroughly studied before a final decision will be taken on its acceptability.

Governor Dickson’s committee also brokered a peace deal between the two camps during which it was agreed that a ceasefire be observed by both camps in relation to use of foul languages on one another.

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