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PDP crisis: I never asked Makarfi to step down – Dickson

PDP Convention: Gov. Dickson talks on imposition of candidates
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State

Bayelsa State governor and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Reconciliation Committee, Seriake Dickson, on Tuesday denied reports making the rounds in some sections of the media that he called for the resignation of the chairman of the caretaker committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi.

The governor reiterated that at the meeting he held with some select journalist last weekend, he advocated for leaders across board within the party to make sacrifices in order to brace up to its task of playing quality opposition role which has been lacking since it lost out power at the centre to the All Progressives Congress, APC in 2015.

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A statement issued by his Special Adviser (Media Relations), Francis Agbo: “Despite the blackmail and propaganda scripted to distract Governor Dickson, he and his committee remain committed to reconciling all interests through dialogue because only a political solution woven around dialogue and sacrifices can engender true reconciliation.

“To set the records straight, Governor Seriake Dickson spoke with a select group of journalists last Saturday in Abuja on the PDP crisis but he never asked Makarfi to step down. In the said interview, the Governor as a peace maker stated his committee’s role in the reconciliation process and argued that for PDP to bounce back, leaders must make sacrifices.

“He consequently appealed to PDP leaders including Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and Makarfi to make sacrifices for the revival of the party, stressing that the PDP is more than Sheriff and Makarfi and indeed any individual. This was what a NAN Reporter who was at the interaction misconstrued as stepping aside for which we have written to NAN management to complain. Curiously, only NAN misconstrued the Governor’s interview, all other media organisations in the interaction reported the Governor correctly.”

According to him, efforts of the committee had began to yield dividends as the National Chairman, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff had publicly written, on the request of the reconciliation committee to undertake that he would not contest election at the unity convention.

Sheriff, he said, had also indicated that he would not interfere in the selection of committee membership and had already written organs of the party for nominations into the convention committees.

Dickson also stressed that Sheriff had said all party officials elected before the first botched Port Harcourt convention remain valid while all members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) whose tenures are still running have agreed to resign to pave way for a unity Convention.