.. APC gave Sheriff Jeeps, $1million says Markarfi
OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, yesterday alleged that the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee has refused political resolution of the crisis because of the N50m subvention grant they got from the governors of the party.
Sheriff who spoke through his deputy, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, also disclosed that the presidential ambition of Makarfi is also a major reason why they have rejected possible political solution to the issues in dispute.
Briefing newsmen at the party’s national headquarters in Abuja, he said the Prof Jerry Gana-led Strategy and Inter-party Committee, is illegal.
But members of the National Caretaker Committee yesterday in a swift reaction dismissed the allegation insisting that they “do not enjoy any remuneration. It is a selfless service. It is therefore a figment of his imagination to say that the governors give the National Caretaker Committee N50 million monthly. The governors are all alive and are free to come forward and declare publicly their level of contributions to the National Caretaker Committee since May 21st 2016.
“Be that as it may, we want to say that the party belongs to all its members – Governors, former Governors, National Assembly Members, former National Assembly Members, Presidents, former President etc. All of them are free to make contribution to its running as it is not a personal empire of anybody or the National Caretaker Committee”.
Ojougboh who lambasted Makarfi over a recent statement on affairs of the party said: “The reason why the caretaker committee is protesting is that they have seen that the table is now crumbling fast under their feet. All the organs of the party are cueing into the reconciliation and when the reconciliation pulls through, they are out and Senator Makarfi can only come as member of the Board of Trustees, BoT and so the N50 million monthly subvention from governors will stop. They get subvention from the governors every month and when reconciliation happens, that subvention will stop.
“Secondly, Makarfi wants a situation where he will tailor-make and tailor-made the convention to suit his interest because he has come out to say that he will be contesting the presidency of the country.
“We are very mindful that we are not going to tie our party around any individual. That is why the national chairman, Sheriff said look, I am going to throw everything open. That is why we are studying the position of the Reconciliation Committee and that is good enough to advance our party.”
Reacting to the allegations, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, spokesperson for the Makarfi faction said that the alleged N50 million monthly subvention “is a lie from the pit of hell and a very cheap and unintelligent attempt at blackmail.
“It is a known fact by all critical stakeholders of the Party and even the staff that the National Caretaker Committee has from inception been hamstrung by inadequate finance, so much so that simple secretariat duties have been a struggle while we have been unable to pay staff salaries of just N18 million a month.
“There is therefore nothing illegal or untoward in receiving contributions from Party members. Our only regret is that these contributions have not been forthcoming as expected, giving the heavy weight of responsibilities placed before us and especially the burden of having to deal with distractions caused by Senator Sheriff and his cohorts.
“Nevertheless, no matter how little, it is better to be funded by our Party members than by the All Progressive Congress (APC) as is the case with Senator Sheriff and his cohorts. Dr. Cairo should tell us which APC Governor, Minister or official bought Jeeps for them? Governor Fayose has also made a public allegation that Senator Sheriff has received the sum of $1 million from the APC to organize a new nonvention. Senator Sheriff is yet to publicly refute the allegation.”
Adeyeye also denied that its faction was against the political settlement. He said: “We accepted President Goodluck Jonathan and the Governor’s comprehensive political solution. It calls for the resignation of Senator Sheriff and the so called NWC and also the National Caretaker Committee to create a level playing field for all, and to build trust among all members. The agreement is then to be submitted to the Supreme Court as the judgment of the Court.
“These would have provided both political and legal solution to the logjam. But Senator Sheriff rejected it, and continues to insist that he would conduct a National Convention – when he does not enjoy the trust and confidence of the vast majority of Party members. It is therefore very clear who has a personal or hidden agenda. And I dare say, it is Senator Sheriff and not the National Caretaker Committee. The blackmail of Dr. Cairo is too cheap and too simplistic.”
He also asked why Senator Sheriff is running away from justice by avoiding service from the Supreme Court.
“This is very unfair from a man who has been using the Court to further his own selfish ends. He should accept service and face his case squarely, if he believes in the merit of his cause,” Adeyeye stated.
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