If the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), thought the emergence of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the party’s new National Chairman, would sooth frayed nerves in the party, they are mistaken, as critical stakeholders are currently at loggerheads over the choice of the former Borno State governor.
While ex-ministers who served under the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan are kicking against the choice of Sheriff, governors elected on the platform of the party have thrown their weight behind him, hailing him as the man for the job.
According to the ex-ministers, the emergence of Sheriff may lead to them reviewing their membership of the former ruling party, if it is not reversed.
15 of the ex-ministers who met Wednesday night in Asokoro, Abuja, vowed to resist the imposition of Sheriff on the party.
A source, who was privy to meeting, said: “We are parting ways with ex-President Jonathan if he is adamant on Sheriff. The battle line is drawn. We respect our principal, but he got it wrong this time around.
“We do not need Sheriff to reform PDP. And he cannot actually lead the party for some obvious reasons. He is not a team player and he has many controversies surrounding his style of politics.
“We knew the NWC and the governors have a different agenda. With Sheriff, the PDP cannot go far in 2019. Jonathan and these leaders should listen to the Board of Trustees (BOT) members.
“Jonathan can afford to take the risk with Sheriff because he has reached a dead end politically. We will not allow the ex-President to ruin our own future. Public perception does not favour Sheriff.”
Also the spokesperson for the ex-ministers, Dr. Suleiman Abubakar, in a terse statement said: “Our rescue mission has failed, the redemption boat has capsized and our journey to recovery has come to an end.
“Whosoever partook in the decision does not mean well for the party and democracy in Nigeria. It is obvious the fifth columnists have hijacked the party and they are hell bent on sinking it deeper into irrecoverable level of the pit.
“Some of us would rather review our membership than subject ourselves to selfish interests of a cabal whose main goal is political profiteering. After all our umbilical cord is not tied to any party”, the ex-ministers said.
However, in a sharp disagreement with the position of the ex-ministers, PDP Governors Forum expressed confidence in the ability of Sheriff to reposition the party and make it more inclusive.
The governors, in a statement issued of their behalf by the Coordinator of the forum, Mr. Osaro Onaiwu, on Wednesday in Abuja, quoted the governors as saying the choice of Sheriff was a result of careful deliberation in view of the battle ahead.
“Sheriff is coming on the job with immense wealth of experience and will, no doubt, use his vast network to rebuild the party.
“He will restore members’ confidence and act as a counterforce to the many antics of the present APC regime.”
The statement also quoted the governors as urging the national chairman to avoid all diversionary tactics and work toward uniting all aggrieved members.
“We urge you to shun all diversionary tactics that might be thrown at you and concentrate on how to bring all aggrieved party members together; as well as fashion out ways to woo new members, especially the youths.
“The forum is solidly behind you and will deploy its support to ensure that the shared vision for our party is realised as we prepare for 2019”, the statement said.
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