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    Sunday, 22 May 2016

    PDP crisis ‘nothing unsual’ — Ekweramadu

    The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has dismissed reports of the existence of factions in the Peoples Democratic Party, describing them as “false, baseless, and misguided”.
    He spoke on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on arrival from Port Harcourt, where he attended the Saturday national convention of the party.
    The convention sacked the National chairman of the PDP, Ali Modu Sheriff and appointed a former governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, as chairman of a caretaker committee to run the party for three months.
    Mr. Sheriff, who spoke through his spokesperson, Inuwa Bwala, rejected his sack, saying he was betrayed.
    Another convention conducted by some party elders who called themselves Concerned PDP Stakeholders also held in Abuja the same day.
    Mr. Ekweremadu, who was in the company of Mr. Makarfi, said the PDP only has “contending interests” and that there was nothing abnormal such developments in any political family.
    “For the purpose of clarification, there are no factions within the PDP family as I speak,” he said.
    “What we have are contending interests. Such is common in any party. Yes, there were some disagreements, but the good thing is that we have not allowed such disagreements to degenerate into a major crisis that would warrant factions.”
    The deputy senate president said what happened in Port Harcourt further confirmed “PDP’s capacity to resolve issues in favour of laid down precepts and in the overall interest of the great party and the nation.”
    He stressed, “I’m sure what happened in Port-Harcourt remains a disappointment for those who were expectant of major crisis and factions in the PDP because we emerged from the convention more determined to change the change, to save our economy, re-position the electoral process, and make life more bearable for the suffering masses of Nigeria again”.
    Mr. Ekweremadu said there were no legal or judicial encumbrances to the convention or the emergences of the interim NWC.
    According to him, the convention did not conduct any elections, but simply acted within its constitutional powers as the highest decision-making organ of the PDP to appoint an interim NWC to oversee the affairs of the party and also conduct elections into the NWC positions within 90 days.
    While congratulating the interim NWC, the deputy senate president, expressed strong confidence in Mr. Makarfi’s leadership qualities and those of the members of his team.
    He enjoined them to make the reconciliation of all aggrieved and divergent interests within the party their priority.
    “Distinguished Senator Makarfi is a quality leader, a pan-Nigerian, and someone I have worked with for many years in the Senate,” Mr. Ekweremadu said.
    “He also served on the PDP Post Election Review Committee, which I chaired; I am sure his team is already reaching out to reassure all interests and amicably resolve any outstanding issues ahead of conducting a free, fair, and credible election of NWC members in line with the mandate handed to them by the party in Port-Harcourt.”

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