The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr Segun Adewale, on Thursday congratulated Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, on the Supreme Court’s verdict giving him leadership of the party.
Addressing party supporters who thronged the party secretariat following the judgement that sacked Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff as Acting National Chairman, he said the judgment was victory for all members of the party.
Adewale, who had aligned with the Sheriff camp while the leadership tussle lasted, pledged his unalloyed support and that of his followers to Makarfi, who he said is now the leader based on the verdict.
He commended Sheriff for his great efforts in the party while he was Acting Chairman, and said switching his allegiance to Makarfi was informed by his commitment to the party and not necessarily about individuals.
Adewale said the judgment should not be seen to mean that those who had supported Sheriff were inferior to those who had supported Makarfi before the verdict.
He said the judgment actually meant PDP was now one and there was a need for all members to unite and work for the progress of the party.
When asked if he still had the right to continue to occupy the secretariat as Lagos PDP chairman following the judgement, he said the verdict announced a new national leadership and did not sack him.
Adewale said he was duly elected as PDP chairman of the state and he would remain in the secretariat while awaiting the reconciliation committee promised by Makarfi to reconcile members.
He said the Moshood Salvador group, which had formed an electoral alliance with the Labour Party, did not have the right to take over the secretariat from PDP members.
Salvador leads the Lagos faction of the party that had always been loyal to the Makarfi caretaker committee, and had earlier formed a temporary alliance with the Labour Party to give its members a platform to contest in the July 22 council polls in Lagos.
The group had said it looked forward to the Supreme Court verdict on the leadership tussle at the national level to resolve that of Lagos also.
But Adewale said: “We are PDP members and we will always be in PDP. When Makarfi won initially, we were in PDP; when Sheriff was affirmed Chairman, we were in PDP, and now that Makarfi has been declared Chairman, we are still in PDP.
“For us, whether it is Sheriff or Makarfi, we will forever be in PDP. And that has always been our position; that we will abide by the outcome of the case at the Supreme Court.
“So, we will remain here (PDP secretariat), because the court did not invalidate whatever had happened under Sheriff and we will be waiting for the steps that would be taken by the Makarfi reconciliation committee.
“You don’t expect people who have gone to Labour Party to now come and take over the secretariat. That will be impossible.
“So, during the trying period, we have been here, and we are still here because we are not opportunists but are committed PDP members.”
Adewale said the judgement would not alter the list of PDP candidates sent to the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) for the July 22 council polls in the state, as it was submitted when the court affirmed Sheriff as Chairman.
“LASIEC has a timetable for the election. We presented candidates for the screening and they were validated.
“Now, because of the judgement, some people have rushed to LASIEC in an attempt to tamper with the names. These are people who have gone to Labour. How possible?
“If they have a ground, then will they say the victory of the PDP in the Osun bye election should be invalidated because the election was conducted under Sherrif as PDP leader.
“So, nobody can tamper with the list. In fact, as we are leaving here, we are going to LASIEC to ensure that nobody tampers with the list, because that is the PDP list,” he said.