The Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Moshood Salvador, has expressed displeasure over former President Goodluck Jonathan’s alleged indifference towards the leadership crisis in the party until it degenerated to the current state of affairs.
Salvador, who was a former member of the House of Representatives between 1999 and 2003, said that Jonathan had been in a very good position to resolve the matter but turned a blind eye.
He stated this in Lagos while fielding questions from the media on the current crisis rocking the party at the national level.
The ex-lawmaker chided the former President for not deploying his capacities and experience early enough in nipping the leadership crisis in the bud.
He said that if he were in Jonathan’s position, he would have advised Sheriff to call a national convention without delay and resign with pride and honour; stressing that the most logical thing to do was to remind Sheriff that he had hitherto given up his leadership position in party when he convened the controversial Port-Harcourt convention that threw up the National Caretaker Committee led by Ahmed Makarfi.
Salvador alleged that the Justices of the Appeal Court that ruled in favour of Ali Modu Sheriff while declaring the national caretaker committee illegal did not study the party’s constitution.
According to him, the party’s constitution stated that the convention is the supreme organ of the party, and the convention has the power to organize a committee that can be given a special assignment. Hence, the Ahmed Makarfi-led committee was in no way illegal since it derived its operating powers from the convention that Sheriff convened in Port-Harcourt.
He said: “I’m not just happy with our former president for abandoning us this long. Well, former President Goodluck Jonathan is in a very good position to resolve the matter. I can assure you, he has the capacity; he has the experience. He abandoned us for too long to let this crisis develop to a very terrible state to let this crisis before coming on board.
“If I were in a position to resolve the PDP crisis, I will just advise Ali Modu Sheriff to pipe-down having gotten the judgement from Court of Appeal, I expect him to now call everybody and go back and resign, because he was the one that convened the convention which was his responsibility.
“At the time he was convening the convention, he has already appointed a convention chairman. Now, the convention chairman takes over the affairs of the party during the convention. Also, Ali Modu Sheriff collected forms, paid for it, submitted himself to screening and at that particular point, he was no longer the chairman but an aspirant of chairmanship position we need to clear this.
“Nobody can say the constitution of caretaker committee is wrong. The court declared the Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee illegal because it refused to study the PDP constitution before passing its judgement. This is where the real problem came from.
“The constitution of the PDP clearly stated that the convention is the supreme organ of the party, and the convention has the power to organize a committee that can be given a special assignment.
“Having given them the court order that the convention must not contest election into some offices, you can see that the PDP obeyed that order. The party did not contest election into those offices. That was why we had to introduce caretaker committee which is within the purview of the party to do that.
“I don’t know who the court stops and he refuses to stop. Already court has given judgement at the court of appeal but as long as the Makarfi faction of the party has filed a stay-of-action and has appealed the decision, I think status quo should remain. The status will be that the secretariat should remain as it is pending the decision of the Supreme Court.
“As long as the ruling has been appealed at the Supreme Court, it is enough to tell that there are dissatisfactions with the ruling of Court of Appeal, and it is tantamount to a stay-of-execution injunction. Therefore, it is nonsensical for someone to say Makarfi is parading himself as chairman of caretaker committee. That is less than acceptable.”