Despite losing last Saturday’s governorship election in Ondo State, there seems to be no let-up in the crisis besetting the Peoples Democracy Party as the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party says that the leader of another faction of the party, Senator Modu Sheriff, risks imprisonment.
This came just as the Sheriff faction said that the candidate of the party in the Ondo State governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), would lose at the tribunal.
Spokesperson for the Makarfi group, Dayo Adeyeye, in a statement, on Tuesday, said court judgments obtained by the group had barred Sheriff from parading himself as the national chairman of the party.
He said, “The National Caretaker Committee, which has been confirmed variously by courts as the authentic body saddled with the task of providing leadership for the party, pending the hosting of an elective convention, would have ignored the ranting of these men of dishonor, but leaving them to continue deceiving Nigerians at this time would not be in the interest of democracy.
“First and foremost, we wish to state categorically that in consonant with the judgments of various courts, which Modu Sheriff and his team of confused travellers have not bothered to appeal, the former Borno State governor is not the chairman of our party, the PDP.
“His consistent claim to the office is a continuation of their plans to sustain mayhem in our party, but nature and fair justice have taken care of his desperation.
“We wish to draw the attention of all Nigerians to the judgment delivered by Justice Valentine Ashi of the FCT High Court, which states clearly that Senator Modu Sheriff was never and is not the PDP national chairman.”
He maintained that as the Sheriff-led faction did not appeal the judgments, they (judgments) were binding on it.
Adeyeye added, “However, those who wish to spend the rest of their lives behind bars may continue to utter heresy against the court. We hope their children would be proud to bear the family names of convicts,” he warned.
He blamed the role played by a former candidate of the party in the just concluded governorship election in Ondo State, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim, whom he alleged scuttled the party’s campaign for the election.
Adeyeye said further, “We also know those who pushed him forward for the hatchet job. We are amused that the agents of darkness, used by the All Progressives Congress to cause confusion and frustrate our campaign for the Ondo election, can accuse the national caretaker committee of impunity.
“However, we simply want them to define what impunity is, using their acts of betrayal as a case study. What they are doing is the worst form of impunity and avarice.”
Responding to the allegations, the Sheriff faction accused Adeyeye of playing to the gallery as a result of his alleged determination to pick the party’s governorship ticket in Ekiti State.
Sheriff’s deputy, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, who spoke with our correspondent, said that Adeyeye was merely hallucinating and that such a dream would not scale through.
Ojuogboh also accused Makarfi of not saying the truth in the case of leadership tussle, adding that the courts would soon make pronouncements on the matter.
He said, “Adeyeye is shining the shoes of Governor Ayodele Fayose so that he would be awarded the Ekiti State governorship ticket. Let him kiss Fayose’s backside till thy kingdom come, Fayose will not play ball.
“The party will do what needs to be done about Adeyeye, according to our party’s constitution at the appropriate time.”
Meanwhile, the faction of the party led by Sheriff said in Abuja on Tuesday that the call on Jegede to proceed to the election petition tribunal by the Senator Ahmed Makarfis-led national caretaker committee was ill-advised.
The faction, which said that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria would fail at the tribunal, maintained that Jegede’s journey to the tribunal would amount to a waste of his hard-earned money.
Sheriff was responding to the directive by the Makarfi faction, which asked Jegede to challenge the victory recorded by the All Progressives Congress candidate, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), against the PDP and Jegede during Saturday’s election.
Apart from saying that the result of the election was not acceptable, the Makarfi group had also said that it was fraught with many irregularities.
Spokesperson for the national caretaker committee of the Makarfi faction, Dayo Adeyeye, had said that Jegede should proceed to the tribunal, saying that the election was rigged in favour of the APC and its candidate.
Ojuogboh said that if Jegede listened to the other faction, he would be defeated at the tribunal.
He said since Jegede’s “godfather, who is also the Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, has congratulated the winner of the election, then Jegede would be pursuing a lost battle.”
He called on Jegede to use the money he would pay his lawyers to rebuild the party in the state.
Ojuogboh said, “It is better for Jegede to sit up and face the reality. He has been defeated and that’s the truth. If he says he is going to court as being misadvised by Makarfi people, he would again be defeated. He would lose his money, time and the position he’s seeking.
“Rather than waste such money on such a journey that won’t bring a positive result, he should channel it towards rebuilding the party in Ondo State in order for it to prepare for the general election in 2019.
“This is the message we have for him. If Mimiko, his godfather, has congratulated the governor-elect, who is he to say he would challenge the outcome of the election?”
He also said that there was no way members of the faction would act as witnesses for the candidate of their party.
Ojuogboh, a former member of the House of Representatives said, “No, we won’t support him at the tribunal. What for? We won’t back him.
“We will also not agree to be his witnesses at the tribunal if he would not listen to us. For the interest of the party, he should go back and rebuild the party that has been destroyed in the state.”