The factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, and the Chairman of its National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, have agreed to set up a 24-man committee to handle negotiation between the two warring factions.
The committee, which will consist of 12 members each from the two factions, is expected to be unfolded this week, according to investigations by our correspondent.
Our correspondent gathered that the two leaders of the committee had agreed that the names should be submitted to each faction for scrutiny before making them public.
Our correspondent also learnt that each faction had been mandated to list terms of reference to be covered by the committee.
A prominent member of one of the factions, who confirmed this development to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, said that the names of the nominees should get to each of the factions either by Tuesday or Wednesday.
He said, “As I speak with you, I’m working on the terms of reference for the committee. We have agreed that each of us (factions) should nominate 12 persons that would be in the reconciliation committee.
“The names should be made known this week. However, we are giving each group the opportunity of knowing the nominees before we release the list to the public.”
Last week, there were fears that the promised reconciliation between the two factions was heading for the rocks when a prominent member of the Sheriff faction alleged that Makarfi was desirous for peace because his faction was losing out in the fight for the control of the soul of the PDP.
This prompted the spokesperson for the former governor of Borno State, Mallam Inuwa Bwala, to issue a rebuttal, saying that the affected person was not speaking for Sheriff.
Meanwhile, there were indications that the Sheriff camp was worried about the non-recognition of its candidate for the Ondo State governorship election, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim.
Sheriff had forwarded Ibrahim’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission as its candidate.
However, the commission recognised the candidate of the Makarfi’s faction, Mr. Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), as the candidate of the PDP for the election.
The election will hold on November 26.
In the just concluded Edo State governorship election, the commission also rejected Mr. Mathew Idorioyekemwen, the candidate nominated for the election by the Sheriff faction.
Rather, it went ahead to recognise Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who was nominated by the Makarfi’s faction for the election.
The electoral body cited a court order for its action.
Our correspondent gathered that the loss of the election might have spoilt the strategies that would have been used by the faction if the PDP had won the election.
“We were waiting to go to court and pursue who the true leader of the party is. But the defeat of the PDP by the All Progressives Congress spoilt everything,” a member of the faction said on condition of anonymity.
But unlike what happened in Edo State, Sheriff insists that his candidate will still make the list in Ondo State.
Speaking through Mr. Bernard Mikko, Sheriff said Ibrahim remained the validly nominated candidate of the PDP for the election.
Mikko said, “There is a lot of politics behind what is happening in Ondo State concerning the non-recognition of our candidate by the INEC now.
“You know that the commission is claiming a court order as the reason for its action. We are not going to quarrel with that.”Punch