By Oloniruha Emmanuel
Former Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the party’s leadership tussle was a “hard battle“.
Makarfi told a delegation of the PDP former Ministers Forum led by its chairman, Alhaji Taminu Turaki, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Thursday.
He, however, said that the outcome of the battle as decided by the Supreme Court was sweet and good, not only for PDP members, but also for Nigerians generally.
“It is a victory for all political parties because the issue of convention was involved and the Supreme Court upheld the power of the convention.’’
He noted that the party`s leadership crisis erupted after its convention in Port Harcourt in 2016.
He said that through it, the PDP had paid the price of democracy for other political parties.
Makarfi further said that committees would be set up to resolve some issues in the party`s South-West chapter as well as interact with Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff and other stakeholders.
“We will leave the room open. Sheriff accepted the judgment going by what I read in the media.”
He urged party members who had defected to the All Progressives Congress and the newly formed political parties to return to the PDP fold.
Turaki had earlier congratulated Makarfi and his committee members and all PDP members on the victory at the Supreme Court.
He said the party should look inward, learn from its past mistakes and ensure that things were done in a transparent manner.
He stressed that there should be a level playing ground for all party members to explore, adding that its leadership should adopt an all-inclusive process.
Mr Dayo Adeyeye, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP National Caretaker Committee, had earlier said that the party would grant amnesty to Sheriff and his loyalists.
He described Sheriff as “a monumental distraction, who created a painful and agonising period for the party” and advised him and his supporters to desist from committing fresh offence.
“Our hands are extended to all those on the other side; we will grant general amnesty to everybody; we have declared no victor, no vanquished.
“We want to give them full embrace and cooperate with them,” he said.
On the Osun West Senatorial election, Adeyeye said it was the cooperation of both sides that led to PDP’s victory.
He added that the party would have won in Edo and Ondo states, if its members had cooperated.
Therefore he appealed to those who had cases in court to withdraw them.
Adeyeye said that the PDP would provide virile opposition to the APC as the country prepares for 2019 general elections.
The Supreme Court recently ruled in favour of Makarfi faction which appealed to the apex court against Ali Modu Sheriff whom the Appeal Court recognised as the authentic leader of the party (NAN).