Sheriff plans new primary for Edo tomorrow
The new leadership inaugurated by the Modu Ali Sheriff faction of the party for Edo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday insisted it was holding a fresh primary for the party tomorrow ahead of the September 10 governorship election in the state.
It claimed that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu emerged through a caretaker committee that is alien to the constitution of the party.
The announcement comes barely 24 hours after a former governorship aspirant, Matthew Iduoriyekemwen, was suspended by the Ahmed Makarfi-led national caretaker committee for indicating intention to participate in the new exercise.
The factional chairman, Ebenezer Alabi, who addressed select reporters yesterday in Benin City, contended that subsisting court rulings gave Sheriff the powers to produce the ‘authentic’ governorship standard bearer of the party in the state so as to avoid fielding a candidate, who according to him, emerged “through an illegal Caretaker Committee led by Ahmed Makarfi”.
Flanked by the Secretary of the caretaker committee, Chief Edmund Zealiwe and others, Alabi, who was also chairman of the party in Ondo State, said: “The leadership of our party under Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, invoked Section 31, sub section 2E of the constitution of PDP by suspending the state executive members of the PDP in Edo State led by Chief Dan Orbih for three months and appointed a seven-man committee to superintend the affairs of the PDP in Edo State.”
He continued: “We are holding our governorship primary on Wednesday and the purpose of the primary is to conform with the ruling of the court. You are aware that a lot of our members are in court as to who is the authentic leader of PDP in Nigeria because of the aborted convention we had in Port Harcourt. The court has made pronouncements. We are a democratic party and I believe we must follow the law.
“The court made orders that the positions of the national chairman, national secretary and national auditor are not vacant until 2018. Apart from that, there is a court ruling in Abuja that actually said the tenure of Modu Sheriff ends in 2017. But despite these rulings, some members of our party went to Port Harcourt and elected a caretaker committee to run the affairs of the party.”
Alabi further said: “Today we are faced with the problem of who is the authentic person that can sign a valid nomination to INEC. Presently, the court ceded that power to Ali Modu Sheriff.”
So if we want to have a valid candidate for the election in Edo State, we must do something proper to carry out the order of the court. And that is why we are here to comply with the order of the law and ensure that we have a proper candidate for our party in the forthcoming governorship election in Edo State.”