The embattled chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ali Sheriff, on Thursday walked out of the party’s stakeholders meeting organised by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr Sheriff, who got to the venue of the meeting a few minutes after Mr Jonathan had delivered his remarks, walked out with members of his National Working Committee at about 4.15 p.m.
Some of the executive members with him at the meeting were the deputy national chairman, Cairo Ojougboh and the publicity secretary, Mikko Bernard.
Mr Sheriff, while addressing journalists before leaving the venue of the meeting, expressed displeasure for not being allowed to make the opening remarks.
“We are here for PDP stakeholders meeting and the PDP has only one national chairman, which is Ali Modu Sheriff.
“There is no PDP meeting that will take place under whatever arrangement that will not open the session as national chairman. Today, I’m the most senior member of this party.
He also said that he would not be party to anything outside the reconciliation report submitted to him by Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa.
“I think Governor Dickson made a proposal for reconciliation that we have accepted. Some people want to deviate from this programme, to bring agenda which was not part of it.
“As national chairman of the party, what I told you in my office when Dickson brought the report is the only thing that we have agreed to at this moment.
“I will not be party to anybody using me to do another programme. I’m not going to be part of it,” Mr Sheriff said.
Asked about the way forward for the party, Sheriff said: “As the national chairman of PDP, I will move on with the programmes initiated by Gov. Dickson.
“We are continuing with that; anything outside that, I’m not a party to.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting however continued after his walk-out.
Mr Jonathan, speaking on the outcome of the meeting, regretted what happened during the meeting.
According to him, the issues will be addressed once the committee comes out with its own recommendations.
A member of the party, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that Mr Sheriff was not allowed to address the meeting during the opening ceremony because he insisted that the chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Ahmed Makarfi, should not be allowed to address the meeting.
NAN also reports that both Messrs Sheriff and Makarfi were scheduled, in the agenda of the meeting, to deliver goodwill messages.
PDP members present include Tom Ikimi, Uche Secondus, Ahmed Makarfi, Olisa Metuh, Saminu Turaki, David Jang and Adolphus Wabara.
Also present were some PDP governors, former Ministers, the BoT members and former governors, among others.