Ongoing efforts to find political solution to the festering leadership crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) suffered a huge setback on Thursday.
The court backed National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, stormed out of a peace meeting convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The meeting which was chaired by Jonathan, had about four PDP governors in attendance, including the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin and other notable chieftains.
Sheriff, who came into the Yar ‘Adua Centre venue of the meeting long after Jonathan, the governors and other prominent party chiefs had taken their seats, stormed out of the meeting at 4:25 p.m.
The party chairman disagreed with Jonathan on the meeting, saying he (Sheriff) remained the most senior member of the PDP and as such, a meeting of that nature ought to have been convened by him.
The visibly agitated Sheriff was more piqued by Jonathan’s refusal to allow him address the meeting in his capacity as the national chairman of the party.
According to him, the meeting was at variance with the recommendations made by a reconciliation committee, headed by the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson.
Speaking with journalists shortly after he stormed out the meeting with his team, Sheriff said he would not be party to any arrangement that seemed to deviate from the recommendation of the Dickson committee.
He said, “We were here for PDP stakeholders’ meeting and the PDP has only one national chairman, which is Ali Modu-Sheriff. There is no PDP meeting that will take place under whatever arrangement that I will not open the session as national chairman. Today, I am the most senior member of this party.
“I think Governor Dickson made a proposal for reconciliation. And we have accepted. Some people want to deviate from this programme, to bring agenda which was not part of it.
“And as national chairman of the party, what I have told you people in my office when Dickson brought the report is the only thing that we have agreed at this moment. And I will not be party for anybody using me to do another programme. I’m not going to be part of it.”
Asked if he had not disrespected Jonathan by storming out of the meeting, Sheriff said he respects the former President but that respect must be reciprocal.
According to him, Jonathan should not have called the meeting without consulting him.
He added: “Well, I respect him but calling for the meeting. He was a former President. But as of today, I am the most senior member of the party.
“Therefore if I respect him, the respect must be reciprocated. You can’t call me for a meeting of PDP and say I cannot address the meeting as national chairman of the party.”
Asked on the way forward, Sheriff said he was sticking with the Dickson recommendation, which proposed a national convention under his watch.