The Chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, Sen. Ali Sheriff, on Saturday used his new declared political status to stop the Pro-Makarfi rally in his home state, Borno.
The members of the party who are sympathetic to the factional leader, Senator Ahmed Makarfi after receiving an initial approval to gather from the police, had congregated in their thousands at a popular hotel in Maiduguri, Barwee Hotel, to express their solidarity to their leader.
But their gathering was dispersed by the police who stormed their meeting with a letter of protest from the Sheriff’s faction that their assembly was illegal and should not be allowed.
The group dispersed, but later addressed a press conference to show their displeasure at the distortion of their meeting and expressed their support to the Ahmed Makarfi’s faction.
Leading the group to a press conference, a respected party member in Borno State, Ambassador Usman Ibrahim read a communique, stating that “We the grassroots stakeholders of PDP who n Borno State unanimously agreed to the leadership of Sen. Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, the caretaker chairman of our great party.
“We also concur with the decision taking by the Makarfi group and any other further decision that will be taken.
“We want to use this opportunity to call on our grassroots stakeholders who are unable to attend this meeting/press briefing to stay calm and be law abiding as our attitude being pioneer members of this great party.”
Policemen were, however, on hand to ensure the security at the meeting of the Sheriff group taking place at a popular hall, Forshams Hall, where many party faithful in their thousands were gathered to celebrate the recent victory of Sheriff at the Court of Appeal on the long drawn legal battle for the chairmanship of the party.
The Borno State Party Chairman, Hon. Shettima Shehu who addressed the gathering, said “the recent development in the party which led to several court cases were one of those things in politicking. But as one big family, we can still understand ourselves and differences and of course move to the promise land. The Peoples’ Democratic Party as a party is for all Nigerians home and in Diaspora, it is not a business/commercial centre where an individual or few groups of persons will claim its ownership.”
He added that: ‘The party belongs to every individual who is a card-carrying member, male or female, young or old. As such, the victory of Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff at the Court of Appeal is nothing but a very big victory to all who has concern and feelings for the party. For anyone to challenge or question the leadership of Sheriff is either you are challenging the will of God or simply questioning what Allah has ordained.”