Senators and members of the House of Representatives elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are currently in a dilemma over who to support, between Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff and Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi.
The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, had affirmed Sheriff as the authentic leader of the PDP, a judgment which Makarfi, caretaker committee chairman, has appealed.
To decide who to support, PDP lawmakers, from the two chambers, have held series of meetings. The last meeting, held last weekend in Abuja, had about 30 senators and members of the House of Representatives in attendance.
Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio, it was gathered, is spearheading the meeting in the Senate, with his counterpart in the House of Representatives, Hon. Leo Ogor.
At the last informal meeting, it was gathered that many lawmakers spoke in support of Sheriff, following the Court of Appeal ruling. Sources revealed that the lawmakers believe Sheriff’s promise to organise a convention, where a new leadership will be elected, shows he is more serious. They claimed that the lack of direction on the part of Makarfi-led faction and the alleged double standard of PDP governors, who they accused of plotting to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the event the Supreme Court affirms Sheriff as chairman, leave them with no option then to key in now.
It was also learnt that the lawmakers expressed fear that their reelection chances could be in jeopardy, in the event that Sheriff is confirmed chairman by the Supreme Court.
Daily Sun also learnt that the lawmakers are working towards halting the gale of defection that has hit the PDP since the crisis rocking it began.
Already, four senators have defected from the party to the APC. Former governor of Plateau State, Senator Joshua Dariye, was the first to defect. He was followed by Senator Yele Omogunwa from Ondo State. Last month, Senator Nelson Effiong from Akwa Ibom State, defected to APC, just as Senator Andy Uba from Anambra State last week. In the House of Representatives, a number of PDP lawmakers have also to the APC.
Many PDP lawmakers contacted by our correspondents to speak on their next line of action declined to take positions on record. Rather, they said consultations were currently ongoing and that a final position will soon be taken.
When contacted on the series of meetings called at the instance of Akpabio, his media aide, Anietie Ekong, said he was unaware of such meetings.
He claimed to be aware of only the meeting Akpabio attended last week at the lodge of Ekiti governor in Abuja.
Meanwhile, some PDP members in the House of Representatives members have concluded plans to pay a solidarity visit to Sheriff.
A member of the House said the solidarity visit will enable the lawmakers demonstrate their support for the PDP national chairman.
A PDP legislator, Goodluck Opia, from Imo State, had last week disagreed with a statement from the minority leader, Leo Ogor, expressing the support of the PDP caucus for Makarfi.
Culled From The Daily Sun