RISING from an emergency meeting, yesterday, members of the House of Representatives on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, declared that there was vacancy in Aso Rock Villa in 2019. Their declaration came as the delegitimised Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led leadership of the party expressed shock at the Supreme Court judgment that sacked it from office but vowed to continue with its campaign for internal democracy in the party.
This is even as the National Caretaker Committee of the party , yesterday, extended its hands of fellowship to the party’s former Acting National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff; ex-Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh, and others, saying all hands should be on deck preparatory to the 2019 general elections. Speaking on behalf of other PDP lawmakers in the House at a briefing in Abuja, Minority Leader of the House, Leo Ogor, the APC administration had been all promises and no action, stressing that this has occasioned the impoverishment of Nigerians, who now live in hunger and insecurity. He said the APC, having failed to improve the country’s situation better than it met it, should see the PDP’s legal victory at the Supreme Court as a quit notice towards 2019. He said: “We have learned our lessons, no matter how you look at them. We consider this victory for democracy. It has gone a very long way to strengthen the democratic principles and ethos, and it is one great opportunity for us to congratulate all PDP and Nigerians, who stood firm in the midst of these crises. This shows once more that the party must be more democratic in all its internal affairs. “One major lesson we have learned in this exercise is that we must do everything possible to strengthen our internal democracy. We will also work hand in hand to make sure that this party stands and this party belongs to the people. “The PDP, which is the largest party in Africa, shall aspire for a more perfect union of the Nigerian people. You all have seen clearly the challenges that have befallen us as a people and we must work to avert the confusion and crises of the past two years of the APC government. “I believe that what has happened from all indications has strengthened the PDP. Come 2019, we shall restore true democratic governance where power belongs to the people.” Sheriff PDP shocked Meanwhile, the delegitimised Senator Ali Modu Sheriff-led leadership of the PDP has expressed shock at the Supreme Court judgment that sacked it but vowed to continue with its campaign for internal democracy in the party. The leadership, which was sacked by the Supreme Court, Wednesday, in a statement issued by its spokesperson, Bernard Mikko, yesterday, said: “We received with shock the July 12 judgment of the Supreme Court on the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). “Though we still await the full written judgment of the highest court from our lawyers who will fully brief us on the details of the judgment, in the interim, we ask all members and supporters to remain steadfast in prayers for Nigeria. “Meanwhile, we continue with our avowed demands that the party must be given back to the owners at the grassroots to always elect their party officials and those to contest elections for them at all levels. Internal democracy must be institutionalised in the party.” PDP grants amnesty to Sheriff, Cairo, others Similarly, the National Caretaker Committee of the party, yesterday, extended its hands of fellowship to Sheriff; ex-Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Cairo Ojuogboh and others, saying all hands should be on deck, preparatory to the 2019 general elections. At a press briefing in the aftermath of the Supreme Court verdict, which sacked the Sheriff faction, the party pledged to ensure unity within its ranks, particularly at the state levels. National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who briefed the press, described the leadership crisis in the party as a “monumental distraction” while it lasted and a “painful and agonizing period.” He said the Supreme Court ruling effectively dissolved the party leadership under Sheriff, noting that the convention in Port-Harcourt held in accordance with the laws and constitution of the PDP. The PDP, scribe while responding to a question on the fate of members who may have been guilty of anti-party activities, said the door of fellowship was open to all and sundry, regardless of what happened while the crisis lingered. He said: “We are granting amnesty to all of them including Sheriff and his group. It is general amnesty for everyone.” He urged those that instituted cases against the party to give peace a chance in the interest of party unity. Adeyeye who lamented the hardship Nigerians have been subjected to in the past two years, added that come 2019, the PDP will stage a comeback. “APC is the worst we have ever seen in the history of this country. The election in 2019 will be a walkover for the PDP,” he added.