PDP Accuses Sheriff Of Working For APC, Presidency
THE National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has alleged that the Presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) were behind the attempt by former national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, to forcibly take over the party.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, on Tuesday, the caretaker national publicity secretary, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, who was joined by other members of the committee, including Senators Abdul Ningi and Odion Ugbesia, said the government was using Sheriff to destabilise the party to prevent it from participating the September 10 Edo State governorship election.
He questioned the role of the police and the Department of State Services (DSS) in providing their personnel to the former party boss to enable him to take over the party secretariat.
The party interim spokesman said the party was shocked to learn that the police granted Sheriff access into the secretariat, despite the fact that the caretaker committee had a tip-off about the plan of the former chairman to storm the party office.
Alleging that Sheriff, in the last few days, met with an unnamed APC governor, who was apparently coordinating for APC, Adeyeye noted that as an outsider, Sheriff would not mind bringing down the PDP.
He said contrary to the former chairman’s claim, the court ex parte order recognising the national caretaker committee had not expired, adding that Sheriff was shopping round for court order in his desperation to remain in office.
The party spokesman noted that 99.9 per cent of the party membership had rejected Sheriff, wondering who he would lead in the PDP.
Noting that Sheriff invaded the party headquarters with thugs, he said: “While we are still trying to understand the role of the police in the entire saga, it is curious to note that the police made no arrest of the thugs who openly brandished various dangerous weapons in and around the premises of the secretariat in full glare of the police.
“It is also curious that the police claimed to be acting on “orders from above” in allowing Sheriff and his cohorts to gain entry into the secretariat. If we may ask, who is the authority that issued the “orders from above?
“What we are, however, very certain about is that Sheriff and his fellow renegades are being used by the enemies of the PDP to destroy the party and to prevent it from reorganising itself, so as to provide a credible opposition and alternative platform for the forthcoming Edo State governorship election and 2019 elections.
“The APC has contracted Sheriff and his cohorts to scuttle the chances of the PDP in the Edo governorship election.
“We have credible intelligence that Sheriff had a meeting Sunday night with an APC governor from North- West, where it was agreed that he would be given full security and financial support to exacerbate the crisis in the PDP with the objective of preventing the PDP from presenting a candidate for the Edo governorship elections or at the very least, to prevent the PDP from offering a serious challenge to APC, whose electoral fortunes has continued to nosedive.”
Also noting that Sheriff gave the false impression that he had court orders that empowered him to continue as national chairman of the PDP, Adeyeye stated: “The truth of the matter is that Senator Sheriff has no court orders to back his claims.
“He and his cohorts continue to shop around to buy any court order at any price, but so far they have not succeeded, thanks to the vigilance and integrity of the judiciary.
“Senator Sheriff was appointed not elected by the National Executive Committee of our great party to complete the tenure of Alhaji Adamu Mauzu.
“The tenure of Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu legally would have ended on February 14, 2016. Senator Sheriff was given an extension of three months by the NEC of our party to organise a national convention.
“The appointment of Senator Sheriff was not ratified by any national convention of our party; so constitutionally, he has no other mandate which can extend beyond May 21, 2016.
“The case before Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, was instituted by Sheriff and others, to restrain the PDP from conducting election into the offices of the national chairman, national secretary and the national auditor.
“The court did not restrain the PDP from conducting the National Auditor convention. The National Convention is the supreme organ of the party under Article 33(2) of the PDP constitution. In the exercise of its power under Article 35(5) (b) & (e) of the constitution, the national convention removed all officers of the party and set up a caretaker committee to plan and organise a national convention within 90 days.
“The National Convention of PDP can only be called by NEC and once that is done, it is convention that can cancel and postpone its proceedings.”
When contacted, the media assistant to Senator Sheriff dismissed the allegations of Sheriff being used to destroy the PDP.
He also said that there was a valid court order backing Sheriff for the chairmanship position.
Reacting, the national secretariat of the APC, on Tuesday, maintained that the party was never behind the crisis rocking the opposition party, PDP as alleged by the party.
The APC, however, said PDP was only suffering from its past sins.
The APC, through a statement signed by APC national secretary, Mai Mala Buni, in Abuja, noted that it was “reacting to the baseless and laughable allegations of a faction of the PDP, which accuses the APC and the Presidency of being behind the Ali Modu Sheriff-led PDP faction wishes to remind the PDP that it is suffering from its sins of the past.”
Also, chairman of the PDP National caretaker committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, rejected as “fraudulent,” the claim that he has decided to back claimant for the national chairmanship post of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
Reports emerged on Tuesday that Makarfi met with Sheriff and regretted accepting the position of the chairman of the caretaker committee in error.
But in a swift reaction, the former Kaduna State governor vehemently denied it, saying it was the sort of fraudulent practices that his leadership was trying to stamp out from the party.
He also expressed disappointment at the various fictitious court orders being brandished by party members, saying that no court stopped the party’s national convention.
Makarfi said, however, that he was opened to dialogue and accommodation as a way to resolve the PDP leadership crisis.