National chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has threatened to arrest old staff of the party secretariat, if they failed to return property in their possession in seven days.
He also threatened legal action against those referring to the National Caretaker Committee, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, as a faction of the party, signaling a collapse of the truce brokered by chairman of the National Reconciliation Commission, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State.
Sheriff, who noted that he had right as chairman of the party to employ staff, said in a statement signed, yesterday, by Deputy Chairman of the party, Dr. Cairo Ojougbo: “We are preparing to complete state congresses where necessary and working hard towards our national convention.
“We will not be distracted from our set objective to return the party to the grassroots by inconsequential issues. “We must prevent anybody with the agenda of killing the party, especially those who were brought to the party by those who have already decamped to other parties.
“We are giving seven days to these old staff, who still have the property of our party in their possession, to return them immediately, or we will be left with no other option than to hand them over to the police.” Makarfi had in a statement by Prince Dayo Adeyeye, last week, reacted to the job vacancy issue, thus: “We wish to state unequivocally that there are no vacancies for employment at the national secretariat of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“All the staff of the party, in line with the Establishment Manual, are intact and standing strong with all the organs of the PDP in its bid to salvage the party from destroyers. “It is sad to note that Professor Wale Oladipo is ignorant on the workings of the PDP, the Establishment Manual and the position of the recent Appeal Court Judgment of February 17, 2017 which ordered the Party to revert to the Status of the Party before May 21st, 2016.
The Publication is, therefore, a ploy by Senator Sheriff and his cohorts to disengage the Establishment Staff of the PDP for acting in line with their constitutional mandate and convictions. “The vexatious publication is a cheap blackmail designed to intimidate our hardworking and highly principled staff. It belongs to the trash bin and should be ignored.” Sheriff also said, by the pronouncement of the Court of Appeal in Port Harcourt, the Makarfi group was no longer in existence.
He noted that an appeal was not a stay of execution, insisting that the Makarfi group was illegal. “Makarfi should behave himself, he should not interfere in our business, because we are not interested in his private business. Any further careless statement from him will force us to reconsider our earlier peace agreement.
“We have already employed staff who are running the bureaucracy efficiently. If Makarfi so desires, he should keep the old staff, just as he is doing now. We have had enough and enough is enough of this,” he said. Meanwhile, chairman of the caretaker committee of the party, Ahmed Makarfi, said, yesterday, that the latest threat by Ali Modu Sheriff to sue anybody who recognises the committee has shown that Sheriff and his group were not reliable.
In a statement by the spokesman of the committee, Dayo Adeyeye, Makarfi said: “Sheriff and his co travelers, especially Cairo Ojuogbo, were never men with whom one can reach any agreement. But we tagged along to avoid being accused of unnecessary intransigence.” ‘’Since the leopard cannot change its spot, it is now very clear that no agreement or political solution can be reached with these bunch of people with huge integrity deficit. “Cairo is a nonentity, an impostor and a rabble rouser in a non-existent National Working Committee (NWC).
Sheriff has no men to constitute an NWC with the required constitutional quorum. He therefore has to surround himself with the likes of Cairo who was neither elected or appointed to the Position. ‘’Cairo’s shameless public parade of himself as Deputy National Chairman is the worst case of impunity in the history of our great Party.
His threat against our hard working staff should therefore be ignored and treated with utmost contempt coming from a lawless impostor. “For the education of Sheriff and his cohorts, our Appeal at the Supreme Court is already on. To that extent, the position and status of the National Caretaker Committee remains completely unaltered. Since they cannot comprehend even very simple matters, we will use a simple analogy.
‘’If a governor loses at the election petitions tribunal and at the Court of Appeal, does he ceases to be a governor even when his appeal is pending before the Supreme Court? And would the civil servants then refuse to serve him? The position of the law is that he would remain the governor and all government employees will be expected to continue to service his government until otherwise determined by the Supreme Court.
“In the light of the above, we urge our loyal Party members and staff to ignore these latest rantings of the APC lackeys. We went out of our way few days ago to reach accommodation with them even when some of our top leaders had serious misgivings about any type of talk with them given their unreliability.
We are happy that we have shown our goodwill and they too have demonstrated their bad faith” he said. He added that the committee “tried strenuously to reach Gov Dickson to report this infraction and deliberate violation of the truce agreement by the Sheriff Group but we were not able to get through to him”.
BY BONI AND ANAS