By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
Ahead of the Supreme Court judgment on the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), there is apprehension within the opposition party as both camps of the warring factions led by Sen Ali Modu Sheriff and Sen Ahmed Makarfi are running from pillar to post on the next step to take after the verdict.
LEADERSHIP gathered that anxiety among party faithful is becoming intense as they await the outcome of the apex court verdict.
Although the offices used by the camps have seen less activity in the course of the crisis, a handful of party workers were seen discussing the possible outcome when our correspondent visited the two camps yesterday.
There had been isinuations that some governors and PDP stalwarts were planning to leave the party in the wake of the emergence of new political parties.
This was compounded by a directive by the Makarfi leadership which directed state chapter of the party to decide on alternative platforms to use for elections pending judgment on the leadership crisis.
However, the governors of the party, at their last meeting declared their loyalty to the party, adding that they will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court.
But when contacted yesterday by our correspondent, the national chairman of the party, Sen Ali Modu Sheriff, who expressed confidence that justice will be served by the apex court added that the party will be stronger, whichever way it goes.
Acting national public secretary of the party in Sheriff’s camp, Bernard Mikko said, “The leadership of the party is very confident that justice will be served, and the party will come out stronger whichever way the judgment goes”.
Responding to a question over the impact of the victory in uniting the party, he said “The outcome of the Osun West Senatorial District election was an apparent referendum on the leadership of Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff”.
On his part, Sen Ahmed Makarfi declined to comment on the judgment. The national publicity secretary of the Makarfi-led PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, simply said “Please, I can’t talk about the judgment”.
On whether the by-election has helped to unify the party, the spokesman said, “It was a great attempt at unifying the party. I am happy about the cooperation of the other side and this is to show that if we cooperate this way we can achieve a lot.
“That victory has shown that despite our differences, if we can come together, we can achieve a higher purpose for the greater good of our country and our people”.
After a meeting of former PDP minister last week, former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, had declared that there was no way they would work with Sheriff. “There is just no way we will work with him. We just can’t”, he stated.
But former Minister of Health and a chieftain of the party, Prof ABC Nwosu, told LEADERSHIP yesterday that PDP will get it right after the Supreme Court judgment.
Defending the decision of most party members to align with Makarfi’s leadership, he noted that Sheriff shouldn’t have gone to court to force himself on the people who had rejected him in Port Harcourt.
Nwosu said, “PDP will get it right. Let’s wait for the decision of the Supreme Court. Mercifully in less than a week, the Supreme Court will give a decision. In 72 hours, you will get the members of the PDP to give you their decisions. I always maintain that it is people who make a party. It is not the party that makes people.
“People have left PDP and they have gone to make APC. Without the people who left PDP there would not be APC today. It wouldn’t be a ruling party today. But the decisions will be taken collectively and you will see them. Within 72 hours decisions will be taken which ever way the judgement goes. One thing I can tell you is that you can take a horse to the stream but you can’t force it to drink.
“I have taken the side of Makarfi. I don’t care whether it helps the other side or not. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong. What is right is that the people have a say in who presides over them. The moment the people objected to Sheriff presiding over them he should not have gone to court to preside over them because the people brought him in and they can say no we don’t want you.
“Having said that, I was also in the PDP reform forum and the chairman of the governors forum whom we objected to was Bukola Saraki. None of us, including Sen Ken Nnamani got expelled. It was President Goodluck Jonathan that asked for us to be reinstated. So, we have a consistency that was right is right and what is wrong is wrong”.