Sheriff can’t force himself on PDP, BoT members insist
Members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) yesterday insisted that the ousted National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff couldn’t force himself on the party.
Former Deputy National Chairman of PDP and member of the BoT, Chief Olabode George said the former interim national chairman is just whistling in the dark, as “he cannot force himself on the party. All the legal papers he is displaying are nothing. No court can force Sheriff on the party because our national convention is greater and more powerful than any other force.”
According to George, “Sheriff’s tenure as interim chairman ended on May 21. Why didn’t he hold the convention was simply to obey the court orders and not for any other reasons. The question he should ask himself is which convention elected him or ratified him as the national chairman of the party? Where and who are the people in attendance? He is just an interloper, whom I will advice to carry his luggage and leave the party.”
He added that Sheriff came to fill in the gap left by former national chairman Mua’zu “we only tolerated him because of the way he spoke. For instance all other members of the national Working Committee has gone except himself and two of them out of the 12 members.”
Wondering if there were no other forces at play beyond what was happening, George said, “it appears Sheriff and his cohorts are up to something. The question is whether Sheriff is working towards an agenda for the PDP not to produce a candidate in the coming Edo and Ondo states governorship elections?
“I also wondered if he is not trying to destroy the voice of the opposition in the country.”While George appealed to the entire members of the party to remain calm but determined to get rid of Sheriff, he said whatever plans and purposes he has against the interest of the PDP would fail.
Another member of the BoT and former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope said Sheriff remained a joker who would soon be kicked out, not only from the party’s headquarters but also from the party saying: “His occupation of the party headquarters in Abuja is a film show that would never last.”
He accused Sherrif of deliberately wanting to destroy the PDP to pave an easy way for Buhari’s second term in 2019 “but we shall resist him with everything we have. He is an agent of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) on a mission to destroy our platform, weaken the voice of the opposition and create a monolithic party in the country. “
Babatope, who was miffed over the development alleged that Sheriff, in collaboration with Senator Buruji Kashamu were the brain behind the spurious court judgments that the former interim national chairman was hanging on to perpetrate himself in power “very soon we shall do away with all those court judgments he is flying around and kick him out of the saddle.”
A chieftain of PDP in Delta state, Chief Ighoyota Amori however was optimistic that the issues would be resolved soon in the interest of the party.
According to him, the leadership crisis, which he described as a ‘storm in a teacup’, was normal that virtually every political party experience.
“I know all will be resolved and PDP will come out stronger, it’s a storm in a teacup. All parties are supposed to go through crisis. This is our share of the crisis but we will come out stronger. People should wait and see what God is going to do out of this crisis,” he told The Guardian.
The party’s palaver started after its woeful performance at the polls last year, the national leadership of the party decided to take the first step of trying to organise credible congresses nationwide. The party fixed April 25 as date for the commencement of elective congresses in 33 states of the federation, leaving out three states, Edo, Ondo and Kogi states.
But before it came up with the list of congress committees, allegations had started going round that the compositions were anything but fair. Despite efforts by the national headquarters of to explain that nothing of such happened, some of the stakeholders who had entrenched interests came to the national secretariat to protest the membership of the committees. They alleged that some of the compositions that were skewed against them.
The inability to find a replacement for Adamu Mu’azu, the national chairman of the party who resigned following the defeat at the 2015 general elections has been an albatross to the party.
Ahmed Gulak’s decision inviting the court’s intervention prompted the PDP to belatedly shop for Ali Modu Sheriff from the North East, who was supposed to organise a national convention at the end of his three months tenure.
But one event led to the other resulting in multiple court proceedings, botched national convention and two factions headed by Ahmed Makarfi and Ibrahim Mantu respectively.
The PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) chaired by Walid Jibrin intervened and got the two factions back to one camp but all efforts allegedly made reconcile Sherriff back to the group were said to have been rebuffed by the ousted national chairman.Sheriff has insisted that he remains the national chairman of the party till 2018.