There is a palpable tension in Akwa Ibom state People’s Democratic Party over Wednesday’s anticipated Supreme Court verdict on who the authentic national chairman is between Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Markafi, two gladiators who have been locked in legal tussle over the chairmanship position of the party.
The two factions in contention in Akwa Ibom state are plotting who eventual takes over the party structure after the judgement. Factional chairman of the PDP in the state, Elder Idorenyin Jacot, Monday, July 10, 2017, briefed a section of the press, where he praised the dogged fight Ali Modu Sheriff had put in the battle for the soul of the party in the state. He expressed optimism that the Supreme Court would confirm the earlier judgement of the Coirt of Appeal that had affirmed Mr Sheriff as the authentic national chairman.
The factional chairman stated that Nigerians were waiting for the resolution of the conflict and the emergence of a strong, united PDP that would wrest power from the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in 2019. He said that Sheriff was on the right path, adding that Sheriff was only fighting against the agents of impunity in order to enthroned true democracy in the party.
A prominent member of the Sheriff faction in the state, who asked to be simply identified as “Protem State Officer”, told National Newstrack that the victory of Sheriff in the case would make way for a new executive committee of the part in the state. He said that Modu Sheriff had already initiated the move to dissolve the Paul Ekpo-led executive in the state. He noted that the Paul Ekpo PDP had been in legal battle to retain the executive, but swore that as soon as the Sheriff faction triumphs at the Supreme Court, that Elder Idorenyin Jacot would be the undisputed chairman of the party in the state.
“The are fighting tooth and nail, using the courts to remain as executive members of our party, but I can assure you that it will not be for long. As soon as the Supreme Court rules, Paul Ekpo and his gang would be chased out of our party’s executive committee and a new era of practical democracy would be enthroned in the party”, State Officer declared.
But the PDP state Publicity Secretary, Comrade Ini Ememobong, dismissed the claims of the Sheriff factional members as “ill conceived”. He noted that the Paul Ekpo-led executive committee was elected by popular votes of members of the party, through the ward, local government and state levels and therefore can only be dissolved by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“There is no possibility of that ill conceived notion as the congresses that produced the ward, chapter, State and zonal executive councils had been conclusively conducted and are irreversible except by an order of court. It therefore lies only in the fertile minds of mischief makers to imagine such an absurdity”, the PDP Publicity Secretary said.