Nigerian Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, said he did not endorse Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.
The former governor of Borno State was at Jonathan’s residence to discuss the outcome of the Court of Appeal judgment, which on Friday, affirmed him as the national chairman of the party.
The judgment nullified the PDP national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where members of the National Caretaker Committee of the party, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, were appointed.
The Makarfi faction, however, said in Abuja, on Monday, that it had appealed the judgment, adding that it also filed an application for a stay of execution.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of both the appeal and the application.
The media aide to the former President, Mr Ikechukwu Eze, said in a statement in Abuja, on Tuesday, that Jonathan did not endorse the Borno State ex-governor.
He added that the issue of endorsement never came up in the course of the visit, “not at the closed-door meeting with Sheriff nor during the former President’s interview with newsmen.”
The statement also noted that Jonathan, as a former President and foremost leader of the party, welcomed Sheriff and some of his supporters to his house in line with a mediation role he was playing towards unifying and strengthening the PDP.
He added that Jonathan opened his doors to Sheriff upon his request, just as he had earlier done to the Makarfi-led caretaker committee members, stating that the ex-President was equally prepared to facilitate more talks until the issues in the leadership of the PDP were finally resolved.
Jonathan was said to have also hosted Makarfi and the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jibrin, on Monday evening.
Details of their discussion were, however, not known, but it was gathered that the former President was briefed on the decisions reached at the party’s stakeholders’ meeting held earlier in the day.
Eze, who confirmed the meeting, said, “Indeed, it may interest you to know that after meeting with Sheriff, the former President also met with Makarfi and the party’s Board of Trustees chairman, Jubril, later in the evening.”
He said as a peace-loving leader of the party, “the former President’s interest is to help reposition the PDP to enable it to play a constructive role in the affairs of the nation, in view of the imperative of deepening the nation’s democracy.”