Supreme Court Hears PDP’S Case, Thursday …As Jonathan Meets Wike …States Party Chairmen Back Dickson

The Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah led officials of the agency into the streets of Port Harcourt to ensure residents cleaned their environment, last Saturday.

The Supreme Court will on Thursday in Abuja, the nation’s capital, hear the case filed by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), challenging a recent judgment of the Court of Appeal, which restored the Senator Ali Modu Sheriff leadership of the party.
This is however, caming at a time former President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, met with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesome Wike in Port Harcourt, the state capital and held talks behind closed doors, apparently in view of the lingering crisis in the party.
In similar breath, all the 23 state chairmen of the party threw their weight behind the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, who is also the reconciliation committee chairman of the party for his peace initiatives in the overall interest of the PDP.
Our source gathered at the weekend that one of the parties to the case, the Makarfi-led group, will be arguing its case for accelerated hearing in view of the forthcoming governorship elections in Anambra and Ekiti States.
But our correspondent  learnt that the other party has also asked its legal team to oppose the plea for accelerated hearing on the grounds that there was nothing urgent to warrant such a request since there was an existing party leadership in place.
The Makarfi group has also vowed to take further steps to challenge the illegality of the Sheriff-led National Working Committee, saying it would challenge Sheriff’s actions which it claimed were in clear violation of the judgment of the Court of Appeal that ordered reversal to status quo ante.
The group also described the meeting of state chairmen held in Abuja on Friday night as an illegal assembly, adding that all those who attended the meeting which declared support for Sheriff were nothing but fake state chairmen.
The Tide source gathered that part of the actions being contemplated to prevent Sheriff’s leadership from moving on with their convention plan is to secure a court injunction based on alleged impunity and infractions he has committed.
A statement by the Caretaker Committee spokesperson, Dayo Adeyeye, accused Sheriff and his men of causing more problems for the party by going round the states, disorganising the party at state levels and giving recognition to illegal persons as state chairmen.
He said since the Appeal Court Judgment of Port Harcourt Division pronounced the May 21 Convention illegal, Sheriff has made a number of illegal appointments including that of the Deputy National Chairman and National Publicity Secretary.
“It should be noted, however, that parading himself as National Chairman with illegal State Executive Committees by Senator Sheriff will surely further aggravate the situation. The continued parade of Dr. Cairo Ojougboh as Deputy National Chairman and Hon Bernard Mikko as Acting National Publicity Secretary of the PDP are acts of impunity and will be challenged in court,” he said.
He claimed it was a known fact that no meeting of the NWC or National Executive Committee (NEC) was held to nominate or approve the appointments of these men.
Adeyeye, who said Sheriff had been deluding himself by claiming he had the support of party members, insisted that the caretaker committee remained committed to seeing through the appeal filed at the Supreme Court as a way of settling the PDP crisis once and for all.
“This committee will like to appeal to all party faithful to remain calm and committed to the cause of the party while the matters before the Supreme Court are carefully and meticulously sorted out in the interest of the party,” he said.
Jonathan, who has been very active in the PDP peace process, described Wike as a good representative of a PDP government that is committed to the development of his people, adding that Wike has performed creditably since assuming office 22 months ago through his transformation of the state.
Jonathan spoke to journalists yesterday after he was led on a tour of projects being executed by Wike. Projects inspected by the former president included the new amphitheatre, the Government House Chapel, Restored Brick House (former Seat of Power in Rivers State), New Corridor of Power and Extended Landscape.
Jonathan praised the governor for keeping the torch shining by his exemplary performance which has justified his election by the people of Rivers State.
He noted that Wike’s outstanding performance has become the common story across the country, pointing out that he has been hearing about the good works of the governor for some time and that indeed, the governor has lived up to his reputation.
He noted that since Wike was sworn in, Saturday was his first time of driving round Port Harcourt. He expressed satisfaction with the quality of transformation he witnessed enroute the Government House.
“I am part of Rivers State. I grew up in Rivers State and Bayelsa was carved out of Rivers State. Also, my wife is from Rivers State. Today, is my first day of visiting Rivers State since Wike assumed office as governor. Twenty two months down the line, I am quite impressed with what I have seen.
“First, I heard so much, people have told me of the changes in Port Harcourt. I was told that I can’t even recognise the roads to where I used to live. As we drove into the city, I noticed that he has done very well in various areas.
“One thing I must commend Wike for is that he has positive traits. I always believe that wherever you find yourself, add value. Governor Wike has added value in Rivers State. He has done well to show his signature.
“Wike has taken us round. We have seen how he has transformed the Brick House and maintained that Brick House. We saw the changes he has made in some places in the Government House, including building an amphitheatre, a new chapel for worship, relaxing places and general beautification.
“If you are the Chief Executive of an institution, you stay for two years and you add no value, then you have no vision. Wike is doing well and we commend him. He is a good representative of the PDP who is committed to developing his people,” he said, thanking Nigerians for appreciating his contributions to the development of the country, even after he left office.
On his part, Wike said his commitment was to lift the state to higher heights. He noted that the Old Brick House was restored with certain additions because of the need to preserve history of governance in the state, while noting that the New Amphitheatre being constructed at the Government House would host high profile guests, who visit the state.
According to him, the New Government House, Port Harcourt Chapel, which will host about 300 persons, provides a venue for interdenominational Christian Worship.
Meanwhile, some of the PDP state chairmen of the PDP have endorsed the roadmap to peace as contained in the Dickson-led Reconciliation Committee report. The committee had recommended among other measures, the holding of a unity national convention on June 30 under the supervision of Sheriff.
While expressing concern about the crises in the party, the 23 chairmen who declared support for Sheriff, in their communique read out by the Federal Capital Territory chairman, Alhaji Y.Y Suleiman said they were in support of the political solution as recommended by Dickson and his committee.
“In line with the only template presented by the Peace and Reconciliation Committee of our Party headed by Hon Henry Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, we wish to state that we support the recommendation that a political solution is the best and only solution to our crisis without prejudice to the ongoing judicial processes, but added that “We shall at all times align ourselves to any judicial pronouncement of a higher jurisdiction on this matter.”
The state chairmen who were at the meeting are Salisu Mamuda (Jigawa), Abdulrahman Bobboi (Adamawa), Tanko Beji (Niger), Joel Adamu (Gombe), Victor Bala (Taraba), Hon. Nasiru Abubakar (Zamfara), Lawan Gana Karasuwa (Yobe), and Alhaji Aliyu Bagudu (Kebbi),
Others include Iyola Oyedepo (Kwara), Moses Cleopas (Bayelsa), Y.Y. Suleiman (FCT), Adebayo Dayo (Ogun), Hon. Yinka Taiwo (Oyo), Sir Nnamdi Anyahie (Imo), Hon. Segue Adewale (Lagos), Onyekachi Nwelery (Abonyi), Williams Ajayi (Ekiti), Prince Boroye Olabiyi (Ondo), Hon. Soji Adagunodo (Osun), Chief Samuel Uhuonu (Kogi ), Hon. Dan Ale (Benue), and Itufan Edim Inok Edim.