By Dipo Awojobi – A lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Akande has thrown his weight behind the embattled Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, saying that he remains the Chairman of the party.
Mr. Akande, who is representing Ojo Constituency 1 in the Assembly under the PDP, stated that the party should learn how to respect rule of law, and that the tenure of Ali Modu Sheriff had not expired as the chairman of the party.
“Even the time they gave him runs till end of May 2016. His time had not expired, when they did the convention. Our having a convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State is null and void ab initio.
“Two, is the law suit on the convention obeyed. A court gave a judgment and an order of the court must be obeyed. The judge did not give order for the fun of it. If we don’t obey court orders, we then make caricature of our judges and there would be chaos in the country.
“There was a court order restraining the PDP from organising a convention in Abuja or Port Harcourt and until this is disposed off, we don’t have any power to carry on with the convention.
“Also, Ali Modu Sheriff realised that having the convention is contempt of court and he decided to call it off, we should have obeyed the court order and everybody would have sheated his sword and we would then find a lasting solution to the problem,” he said.
The lawmaker accused some members of the party of having some pecuniary interest, which he said was why they went ahead with the convention in Port Harcourt.
He accused the people, who he said claimed to be founders of the party, of working at cross purposes with the interest of the party, saying that being foundation members of the party does not mean they were the overall leaders.
“If you are the founding father and you don’t have followers, can the party stand. The best thing for us to do is to come home and resolve our problems so that we can forge ahead with local government elections.
“We must obey the rule of law and lead by example as the biggest party in Africa.
As a lawyer, I would say that the court judgment that restrainted Ali Modu Sheriff from holding the convention is binding on the party, which means he remains the Chairman of the party. If they want to do any other thing, they should have sheated their swords until his term expires by May ending before making any pronouncement,” he stated.
The lawmaker added that as a layman, he would say that the party had a convention, but that as a member of the assembly and a legal practitioner, he would say the convention did not hold.
He stressed that the law is clear, and that it is what is brought before a judge that he would decided on, and that the judge that gave a judgment in Port Harcourt did so based on what was brought before him.
“They didn’t refer to the order that was previously given, they only went to him based on what happened at the convention. But when you go to the roots of the judgment that was given earlier that said there should be no convention, you would see what we are talking about.
“The court gave an order that some positions should not be filled. Nothing much happened at the convention in Port Harcourt, which I witnessed. They did not fill any post, INEC was on ground there and they said that they were not going to observe on some positions based on the court order.
“Rather than going ahead with the court order, the whole convention was cancelled and they now decided to put a caretaker committee in place to take over from who? We cannot be lawless as a party,” he said.
According to the politician, every party has its own peculiar problems, and challenges, adding that the party would still overcome its own.
He made it clear that what is happening in the party is a kind of in-fighting, saying that some people want to claim that they are the lords.
“When we are trying to fix a very critical problem after losing a big election we are fighting ourselves. We ought to have come together to fix the party. You can never see the All Progressives Congress (APC) abusing themselves in public.
“They would rather go in-house to solve their problems. A situation, where some Governors abuse themselves in public is appalling all because they are public office holders, I am also a public office holder.
“We should not wash our dirty linens in public. If Ali Modu Sheriff has done anything wrong, take him inside and talk to him, as former president Obasanjo would say, take him inside, wash him with soap and use cream to rub him so that he would become clean.
“He said that to the party leaders in Lagos State, when Senator Musiliu Obanikoro became the governorship candidate of the party in the state. Even as much as I want so salute Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and Governor Nyesom Wike for making the party to still be heard through their doggedness, I would say that what they did at the convention is wrong.
“I am dissatisfied with them because they should not have come to the public to say some things. We should learn the way the people in the opposition party keep their secrets,” he said.