The sacked Chairman, National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, has said members of the party are free to join other political associations to realize their political ambition.
He said neither him nor any member of the caretaker committee had, however, joined the proposed Advanced Peoples Democratic Party.
According to the PUNCH, there have been reports that some politicians in the Makarfi camp are behind the move to register the APDP as a rival political party to the PDP, which is now under the leadership of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
The party, which has been in a crisis for more than a year now, has been further polarised since the Court of Appeal, Port Harcourt Division, pronounced Sheriff, the former governor of Borno State, as the authentic national chairman of the PDP.
Though Makarfi had appealed the judgment, former President Goodluck Jonathan had stepped into the crisis with a promise to a find political solution to the protracted leadership tussle.
With a new political party about to be registered, which has the resemblance of the PDP, there are insinuations that one of the camps may not be sincere with the proposed deal.
Makarfi, a former governor of Kaduna State, has nevertheless exonerated himself and members of his committee from those seeking the registration of the new political party.
Speaking through the spokesperson for the caretaker committee, Dayo Adeyeye, Makarfi said his committee would not abandon the PDP for Sheriff.
Adeyeye, a former Minister of State for Works, said in a statement in Abuja, on Sunday, that the “National Caretaker Committee has no hands in the purported planned registration of the Advanced Peoples Democratic Party.”
He added, “We state clearly and without ambiguity that the National Caretaker Committee of the PDP is not, in any way, involved in the plans to register any party by the name of APDP or any other party for that matter.
“It is unthinkable that the National Caretaker Committee, which, without any doubt, enjoys the support of all the recognised organs of the party, will contemplate such a move.
“We, however, acknowledge and recognise the right of party members to seek alternative platform to actualise their political dreams, which is an inalienable right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Adeyeye stated that the caretaker committee “is holding leadership power in the party in trust for the millions of party” members, who, he said, instituted the committee at the national convention.
He said no collective decision had been taken on what to do with the party, stressing that if such decision would be taken, it would be done by party members at a properly constituted national convention.
The ex-minister added, “Whatever decision that will be taken on the PDP brand shall be taken by the owners of the party – the party members – at a properly constituted national convention, and not by a few individuals, no matter how highly-placed.
“For the records, no decision has been taken that the PDP should be abandoned and a new party formed out of the current structure. At least, no such proposal is before the National Caretaker Committee as of this moment.
“We reiterate our belief that the issues before the Supreme Court will be resolved on the side of truth and justice will be served in the interest of peace.”