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13 Jul 2017

PDP poised to regain power in 2019, say Makarfi, Fayose, Akpabio, others

Leaders and key stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are excited over yesterday’s victory of the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee at the Supreme Court.

After consultations, the stakeholders declared that with the victory over Sheriff, the PDP is poised to reclaim the presidency in 2019.

Describing the victory as one for democracy and the people, Makarfi said it also signified the supremacy of party men and women to decide their destiny.

Said he: “This victory is not just for PDP;  it’s for democracy. This affirms the powers of political parties. This affirms the powers of convention of all political parties.

“The battle we fought was not a battle for PDP alone. It was a battle for democracy; it was a battle for supremacy of party men and women to decide their destiny. And it’s a battle to do away with dictatorship in political parties and this will never repeat itself.

“We thank the rest of party men and women across Nigeria for their loyalty and steadfastness. We must thank and appreciate the judiciary for the wonderful job it has done. We never lost faith in the judiciary. We have always been saying that ultimately justice will be done.”

Makarfi said the party’s doors would remain open  for reconciliation with Sheriff and other aggrieved members, including those that dumped the PDP during the crisis.

“We must be open to reconciliation. But there’s a caveat: reconciliation does not mean we take what belongs to people and give it to you. Reconciliation must be based on equity, equality and values.

“With this caveat, we should be prepared and willing to reconcile with everybody. Anybody that can meet these criteria, we should be willing and open to reconciliation with such a person no matter who they are.

“And I assure you that those who have been waiting for this judgment were not just PDP. The whole of Nigeria today was waiting for this judgement. And the eagle has landed.

“We are going to consult within the next two to three days. And come up  with a  programme of meetings between  Monday and  Tuesday. And these meetings will include Expanded Caucus, BoT and NEC so that we can take some far-reaching decisions on how to take the party forward,” Makarfi added.

He called on Muslims and Christians to continue to pray for ailing President Muhammadu Buhari and PDP BoT Chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin, who suffered a stroke about two days ago.

To Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose, the judgement has placed the party in good stead to return to power in 2019.

According to him, the party would make maximum use of its resurgence. Power, he said, has remained dormant under the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He chided the ruling party for what he described as its inability to sustain the power given to it by Nigerians in the 2015 elections, saying “today is a new dawn for Nigeria”.

Fayose, who spoke in Abuja after the judgment, said governance would take its rightful place under the leadership of the PDP.

The governor also said the Makarfi camp would not engage Sheriff and his loyalists in any further struggle, but efforts would be make to reconcile them with the new leadership.

Fayose pleaded for unity and cooperation with the Makarfi leadership. He cautioned against mutual suspicion and mistrust that triggered the crisis in the first place.

Said he: “I urge us to support the Makarfi-led committee. The committee cannot please all of us. So please, let us stop suspecting ourselves. Some will lead, some will follow. So let’s give the committee support.”

Former ministers described the judgement as one of the most celebrated cases in the nation’s history.

Addressing reporters in Abuja , the chairman of the Forum Tanimu said: “The judgement is hope for democracy. The opposition will continue to survive. Without opposition, those in government won’t be able to sit up and do the work that is expected of them.”

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