Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders are still quarelling over the choice of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as Acting National Chairman. Some former ministers and members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) have raised a committee to meet with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, who is to be told —reject Sheriff or face a mass exodus. The deadline is March.
Sheriff barged into a BoT session yesterday but members only promised to get back to him on his plea for acceptance. The BoT resolved not to endorse Sheriff. It may advertise the job, a source hinted. But the anti-Sheriff forces in the party and some members of the National Working Committee(NWC) are pushing for the tenure of the acting chairman to end in March.
Sheriff succeeded Adamu Mu’azu whose tenure ought to end in March.
The team will tell Dr. Jonathan of the “grave implications”of picking Sheriff to lead the PDP. The former ministers and BoT members pledged not to attend any meeting with Sheriff or his representatives. A source said:
“We have asked a team to meet Jonathan and draw his attention to the grave implications of having Sheriff as PDP national chairman. We believe the ex-President was ill-informed.We want Jonathan to withdraw his backing so that Sheriff can step aside in March.
“We have weighed all options and the only midstream approach now is to prevail on Sheriff to complete Muazu’s tenure and quit in March. So Jonathan has to choose between the larger interest of the party and Sheriff.”
An ex-Minister said: “Well, at our session, some of us made it known that we cannot even wait till the end of March to determine our stay in PDP. Once Sheriff is in charge, we will abandon PDP for another party.
“The truth is dawning even on some of the governors and NWC members that Sheriff’s selection was unpopular among Nigerians. We now have deficit in the opposition politics we are playing because we have to seek equity with clean hands. This is why he should step down in March.”
A party source said Sheriff is thinking of completing his tenure in 2018 – when PDP would have been in good stead to confront the All Progressives. Congress (APC) at the polls in 2019. The source said:
“Pro-Sheriff governors and leaders want him to stay till 2018 in line with the “secret agreement” which led to his selection as the new PDP chairman. They said they will not allow any subtle plot to force Sheriff to step down in March. This is the situation we are now. No doubt, there is tension in the party. We are sharply divided.”
Despite the opposition against Sheriff, two former Ministers( Bala Mohammed and Ibrahim Shekarau) have visited to congratulate him.
“At our meeting, some members expressed reservations on these ex-ministers’ visit to Sheriff,” another source said.