PDP Breaks Into Two Factions As 13 Ex-governors, Others Lead One Faction
Opposition Peoples Democratic Party has broken into factions, with some ex-governors and other stakeholders leading a faction of the party different from that led by former Borno governor, Ali modu Sheriff.
The breakaway group which is labelled, Concerned PDP Stakeholders Steering Committee is waiting in the wings to take over the affairs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the embattled acting national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff should he insist on retaining the post beyond May 21.
The group yesterday gave Sheriff up to that date, when the party is scheduled to hold its national convention in Port Harcourt, to quit.
If Sheriff remains adamant, the steering committee may begin to run the party from a separate national secretariat as the party heads towards a fresh implosion reminiscent of the 2014 convention which led to the exit of the likes of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Kawu Baraje and Senator Bukola Saraki.
The party has not known peace since Sheriff emerged as acting national president.
Three ex-national chairmen of the PDP are believed to be in support of the steering committee which includes a former Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ibrahim Mantu, 13 former governors, 14 former ministers and other key leaders of the party.
Some of the 13 ex-governors are Gbenga Daniel, Babangida Aliyu, Donald Duke, Attahiru Bafarawa, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, Ahmed Makarfi, Abdulkadir Kure, Achike Udenwa, and Ibrahim Shema.
The ex-ministers are Prof. Jerry Gana, Tanimu Kabir Turaki, ABC Nwosu, Dubem Onyia, John Odey, Ojo Maduekwe, Bala Mohammed, Sarafa Ishola, Ibrahim Bunu, Adamu Maina Waziri, Dr. Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman, Josephine Anenih, Hajiya Inna Ciroma, and Amb. Tunde Adeniran
Others are Senators Grace Bent, Florence Ita-Giwa, Zigo Azeez, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Mallam Shehu Gabam, Raymond Dokpesi, and Dr. Doyin Okupe.
However, it was gathered that the list was still being complied and that more big wigs in the party were planning to identify with the group, which is working to stop Sheriff from emerging as the national chairman of the party on May 21.
A member of the steering committee said: “When we met on Thursday, we told Nigerians that we will set up a steering committee.
“We have constituted the committee on Saturday (yesterday) and it is in the interest of Sheriff to step down on May 21 or else the party may split into factions.
“The steering committee is to pilot the activities of the party from May 21 pending the election of new executives for PDP.
“The implication is that if Sheriff refuses to step aside, the steering committee may run PDP activities from a new secretariat.”
However, Sheriff had said that members of the group were “free to leave,” alleging that they never contributed to the success of the party in the first place.
He accused them of contributing to the deluge of problems facing the party now, adding that if they had worked assiduously with others in the past, perhaps, the party would not have lost power in 2015.
Sheriff, who spoke through his media aide, Inuwa Bwala, said, “Certain faceless groups have come up with different gimmicks trying to divert attention from the effects of what they did in the past leading to the squandering of the fortunes of the party, or to distract the attention of the chairman from pursuing very lofty and laudable programmes for the repositioning of the PDP or even just to cause mischief.
“Unfortunately, among such groups are self-styled elders and stakeholders led by Prof. Gana.
“I have seen him sweating on television, playing with language but at the end of the day saying nothing.
“I want to specifically say we kept sealed lips about some of the activities of this man believing that we could still find a rendezvous at which we could work together for the progress of the PDP.
“I must say, and there are witnesses, that this is one character that attempts to play role in every government since the time of the military.”
Bwala added that given his recent action, “It was glaring that Gana would not add value to the repositioning of the PDP.”.