Acting National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has apologised to aggrieved stakeholders of the party over statements credited to him by his personal aides and associates.
Sheriff, who gave the apology at a media briefing in Jalingo, Taraba State on Sunday, said “as a well cultured and astute politician, I would never make any comment that would ridicule the party.”
He added that it was not in his character to join issues with highly respected elders of the party, noting that he never authorised any of his aides or political associates to react to issues raised by aggrieved elders of the party.
Sheriff said that the aggrieved members of the party reserved the right to complain about issues affecting the party which they considered inimical to the progress of the PDP.
He, therefore, urged any aggrieved member to bury the hatchet and join hands with the present leadership to rebuild the party and restore the confidence of Nigerians in it.
He also noted that the PDP as the main opposition party in the country could not afford to have a divided house and appealed to members to work for the unity of the party at all times.
He explained that the present leadership of the party was poised to lend a listening ear to all shades of opinions with a view to strengthening it to face the challenges ahead.
He maintained that the battle for 2019 general elections had started in earnest, adding that the party could not afford to remain divided if the desired goal was to be achieved.
He said “under our leadership and the support and encouragement of stakeholders and supporters, PDP will definitely bounce back in 2019.”
Meanwhile, the PDP Reform Group has urged Sheriff to reach out to aggrieved groups within the party over zoning formula.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Ariyo-Dare Atoye, the Co-Convener of the PDP Reform Group on Sunday in Abuja.
The group also urged Sheriff to make whatever sacrifice that was necessary to salvage the party in the interest of all.
It said that PDP should not be destroyed, adding that posterity will be kind to Sheriff if he put the party back on track.
The statement said that the group was “deeply saddened over two avoidable painful developments’’ that had thrown PDP into a serious dilemma and an intractable crisis.
“We are saddened by the infamous decision of some persons in the South-West to betray the zone and throw away the national chairmanship slot.
“We are also not happy for the inability of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, to stand firm on his committee’s adopted report.
“We wish to remind those who sold away the political right of the South-West on the chairmanship slot that what goes around comes around.”
The group said that they had expected party leaders, including Ekweremadu, to resist every attempt to jettison his report.
“We cannot wholeheartedly blame Senator Ali Modu Sheriff for accepting to serve and refusing to quit at this moment because he was approached to lead the party,’’ the statement said.