Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja
Former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has been described as an agent of the All Progressives Congress (APC) assigned to destroy the PDP as a means to silence the opposition in the country.
Newly appointed caretaker committee member of the PDP in charge of publicity, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, who gave this hint on Tuesday described Senator Sheriff, Prof. Adewale Oladipo and Alhaji Fatai Adewole Adeyanju, all former members of the National Working Committee of the party, as renegades.
“We have credible intelligence that Sheriff had a meeting on Sunday night with APC governors from North West, where it was organized 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 in the very least to prevent the PDP from offering a serious challenge to APC whose electoral fortunes has continued to nose- dive”, he said.
Adeyeye said this in reaction to the access Sen. Sheriff gained into the party secretariat describing the permission of the police as “curious.”
The Party said Sheriff derived no legitimacy to claim leadership of the party as he was appointed to complete the tenure of the Northeast after the resignation of its former chairman Dr. Adamu Mu’azu who threw in the towel on its failure to lead the party to victory in the 2015 elections.
According to Price Adeyeye, the tenure of the North east ended on February 14 and extended to March 21 after which, Senator Sheriff ceased to be chairman.
“Ali Modu Sheriff and the other renegades were allowed to gain entry into the secretariat, where they later proceeded to address a press conference.
“While we are still trying to understand the role of the police in the entire saga, it is curious 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 reorganizing itself so to provide a credible opposition and alternative platform for the forthcoming Edo State governorship election and 2019 elections.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) has contracted Sheriff and his cohorts to scuttle the chances of the PDP in the Edo governorship elections.
“We assure our teeming supporters in Edo state in particular and Nigeria in general that the party will take all necessary measures to prevent the party from being hijacked by political merchants. The process for the election of the PDP Governorship candidate in Edo state commenced yesterday with the peaceful and successful conduct of the ward congresses for the election of 3- ad hoc delegates.
“We urge party officials who are involved in the conduct of the remaining exercises to remain focused and dedicated to their responsibilities. We are determined to produce a credible and strong candidate who by the grace of God will win the Edo Governorship elections.
Adeyeye continued that “in his press conference yesterday, false impression Sheriff gave the Senator that he has court orders that empower him to continue as National chairman of the PDP.
“Despite his bravado, he did not display or made available the courts orders to the gentlemen of the press. 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 Ali 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 Muazu legally would have ended on the 14 February 2016. Senator Ali Sheriff was given an extension of months by the NEC of our party to organize 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 21” May, 2016.
“The case before Hon. 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 National Auditor.
“The court did not restrain the PDP from conducting the National 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 33(5)(b) & (e) of the constitution, the National convention removal all officers of the company and set up a caretaker committee to plan and organize a National convention within 90 days.
“The National Convention of PDP can only be called by NEC and once that is done, it is only the National Convention that can cancel or postpone its proceedings. No individual or other organ of the can postpone or cancel the National Convention. The National convention therefore took place legally and constitutionally. The former deputy national chairman, Chief Uche Secondus acted for the former national chairman who was absent in accordance with the provisions of article 35(3)(1) of the PDP constitution.
The Federal High Court in Suit NO FHC/ PH/CS 524/2016 has endorsed the decisions of the National convention held in Port Harcourt on 21/05/16 The order of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice A.M Liman is still subsisting and has not elapsed contrary to the insinuation of Senator Ali Sheriff The order will subsist until the determination of the motion of Notice.
“The motion on notice will come up for hearing on Thursday. Only three of the members of the defunct National officers are still parading themselves but constitutionally they cannot form a quorum for any legitimate business of the party. Under Article 29(4) of the PDP constitution as amended the quorum of the NWC is two-third of the membership drawn from at least or National working therefore very clear that three people cannot make up the Committee. We also wonder who would chairman over when he is sheriff be already rejected by 99.99% of the party,” he stated.