The senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Buruji Kashamu, has faulted Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose’s position on the crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Kashamu, in an interview he granted on Sunday, said the Ekiti State governor was plotting to kill the party before defecting.
The senator said: “I had always known that Fayose has an agenda and alerted our leaders and elders to his agenda of either having his way or destroying the PDP before he leaves for God knows where. Now that he is letting the cat out of the bag, I can only say that Fayose has exposed himself. He has shown that he is the real agent of destabilisation. He is one of those who want to kill the PDP before he defects.
However, it should be clearly pointed out that PDP was not founded because of Fayose or any of us. Whether anyone leaves or not, the party will remain. It will not die. The party is like a barracks where soldiers come and go, and the barracks remains. The truth of the matter is that the leadership crisis in the PDP was designed and orchestrated because of the inordinate ambition of some people, especially those who are exiting office next year.”
Kashamu faulted the happenings at the reconciliation meeting summoned by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
“I am honestly shocked and surprised that the former President could preside over a meeting where the judgment of the Court of Appeal was being disregarded as irrelevant. This cannot be the face of a party that is desirous of seeking a break with the past. Going by the accounts of what I have heard happened at the meeting, I think it was a needless gathering that has reopened healing wounds and further exacerbated the crisis. How could you gather over 400 people for a reconciliation meeting and expect any meaningful deliberations?
“I say this because any PDP meeting that fails to recognize what our laws and the courts have said about the leadership crisis is on a wrong footing and premise, and it will breed more chaos and confusion such as we have seen. Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is the National Chairman of the PDP as of today based on the Court of Appeal judgment and everybody is bound to abide by that whether we like it or not. You cannot call a Shareholders or Board of Directors meeting and say the Chairman of the Board cannot participate or preside over the meeting. Would the governors have allowed it if they got to the meeting and they were not so recognised? Or were they not addressed as governors even when their elections were being challenged in court? Worse still, some persons said Senator Sheriff must not be recognized as such even when an appellate court has established that Senator Sheriff is the National Chairman of the party,” he said.
Kashamu said National Chairman Ali Modu Sheriff did not disrespect Jonathan by walking out of the meeting, adding: “Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was out of the country when he was called by the former President and told of the meeting and he had to cut short his trip to attend the meeting. That is a sign of respect. Even when he arrived in the country, I understand that he went straight to the former President and they met over the modalities for the meeting, and it was agreed that four of them will address the meeting. That is, former President Jonathan, Senator Sheriff, the BoT Chairman and then Senator Makarfi.
However, when he got there, he was not recognised as the National Chairman of the party whereas others were recognised with their titles, including those who were no longer in office. I was reliably informed that Governor Fayose made sure the Master of Ceremonies didn’t recognise Senator Sheriff when he arrived. Again, no seat was reserved for him. They had to hurriedly give him the seat of the BOT Chairman.
To further worsen matters and contrary to the earlier agreement, they said he would no longer be allowed to address the gathering and that Governor Fayose said if Sheriff was allowed to address the gathering he would leave the meeting with his people. Instead of allowing the National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu-Sheriff to give the opening remarks and the sacked Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi to give the closing remarks in the true spirit of reconciliation, everything was bungled because of one man’s ego and intransigence and the meeting turned out to be a fiasco. So, the walking out of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was not on the party leaders but he walked out of a gathering where illegality and impunity – the very factors at the root of the PDP crisis and which led the party to where it is today – were being perpetrated.”
The senator lamented that the actions of some of the party leaders have continued to make it “a laughing stock in the eyes of right-thinking members of the society”, adding that, “we should go and put ourselves together before we any other thing”.
On the way forward for PDP, Kashamu said: “ I sincerely think that the Governor Seriake Dickson’s committee had given us the roadmap for peace in the party. This other one that is still-born is a mere duplication of efforts. Whatever amendment that is needed to be done should be suggested to the committee.
It has the buy in and support of the relevant organs and stakeholders of the party. I wish to plead with our leaders such as the former Senate President David Mark, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu and former National Chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Ali, and other well-meaning leaders to step up their game and provide the kind of leadership that the party needs at this time. Otherwise, we might all have to wait till the outcome of the appeal at the Supreme Court which might be later this year or sometimes next year.
Our respected party leaders should be elder statesmen in their actions in private and in public. We need their strength of character, courage, forthrightness and sincerity of purpose at this crucial time. We do not need some charlatans who were nothing before they became governors; who when stripped of the office become bare and empty.”