The Ali Modu Sheriff camp of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has insisted that only the camp is allowed by law to field a candidate for the upcoming governorship election in Edo State.The group during the week gave the partyâ€™s governorship ticket to Mr. Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, thereby challenging the candidature of Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu who was ratified by the rival Ahmed Makarfi â€“ led caretaker committee.
At a media briefing in Abuja on Thursday, a key member of the Sheriff group, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, insisted that Sheriff remained the only recognized national chairman of the PDP.
â€œWe have a point blank court judgment affirming Sheriff as the recognized PDP chairman that is allowed to submit names of governorship candidates for the Edo and Ondo States governorship elections, â€œ Ojougboh said.
He dismissed calls by the Makarfi camp for Sheriffâ€™s arrest by the security agencies, saying if there is anyone to be arrested at all, it should be Makarfi and his group members.
Ojougboh said the Port Harcourt court judgment, for which the Makarfi group accused Sheriff of contempt had been appealed and that a stay of execution had been filed in respect of the said judgment.
A court in Port Harcourt had on July 4, affirmed the removal of Sheriff as PDP chairman and had also recognized the Makarfi committee as the authentic leadership of the party.
But Sheriff ignored the judgment and had gone ahead to field a parallel candidate for the PDP in the Edo governorship election.
Dr. Ojougboh stated that Sheriffâ€˜s group has been making efforts to reconcile with the Makarfi camp adding however that the Makarfi faction must be ready to recognize Sheriff as chairman before reconciliation.
â€œArrangements are being made for reconciliation with the Makarfi camp. But Sheriff must be given recognition as chairman for any progress to be made in the reconciliation efforts.
â€œRecognition for Sheriff is the only panacea for peace in the PDP. Sheriff is ready to address the partyâ€™s flawed state and local government congresses that led to the crisis in the PDP,â€ Ojougboh said.
Culled from THE NATION