Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday unanimously rejected the the verdict that declared Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the main opposition party.
Th governor vowed to have nothing to do with Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff moments after the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt reinstated him as the rightful chairman of the party.
The party’s Board of Trustees (BoT) led by Senator Walid Jibrin is similarly not disposed to doing business with the former Borno State governor as party chair.
The Appeal Court, by a split decision, yesterday dismissed Senator Ahmed Makarfi as chairman of the caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party and nullified the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt that established the caretaker committee.
The process that led to the creation of the caretaker committee ,it said, was an abuse of court process.
Senator Sheriff was restored as the rightful national chairman of the party.
Reaction from the PDP Governors Forum to the court verdict was swift in coming.
Its chairman and ardent opponent of Sheriff,Governor Ayodele Fayose, reacting on behalf of the PDP governors in Abuja, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State said the judgement was an assault on the will of the people.
“If the people truly symbolize what a party is, then the machinations of ýdetractors and the anti-democratic forces will not prevail at last”, Fayose said.
The governors however commended the minority judgement on the issue and expressed the hope that truth would prevail.
“Thank God we have another opportunity to seek justice at the Supreme Court, which I believe will not be delayed or denied.
“The party will appeal the judgement as we believe in the ability of the judiciary to do justice”.
On his part,Jibrin said the party was making high level consultations over the judgment and that the various organs of the party would come out with a statement on Tuesday.
“This judgement is not a threat but rather it is going to put us together. I appeal strongly to every member of the PDP to remain calm, not to panic, ýnot to move to any other party as all efforts are on to ensure that PDP remains strong.
“Those who are crying today will laugh; those who are disturbed and worried will smile”, Jibrin declared.
The BoT chair expressed the hope that the matter would soon be resolved by the party
But Sheriff, flushed by the verdict, vowed to restructure the party “such that characters like Wike and Fayose cannot find a way through to attain any position of prominence in our party in the future.”
He was referring to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State both of whom initially backed his ambition to lead the party only to back out a few hours to the commencement of the botched Port Harcourt convention.
The two governors, he said in his first reaction to the court’s ruling, ” have brought shame and agony through the application of their crude and godless politics which is at variance with the principles upon which our founding fathers built our great party. We must find a way to sieve things so that only men of character and integrity can come through for positions of responsibility at all levels of our political engagement in the country.”
Makarfi in his own reaction at a press conference in Kaduna described the court ruling as a temporary setback.
He said the PDP would overcome the set back politically and legally and would come out of it strongerý and bigger.
“We have utmost respect for the judiciary. So we are not going to take the laws into our hands. We might not agree with the judgement but there is a process and procedure if you did not agree with something,” he said.