Pdp Bot Gives Jonathan March Deadline To Reject Sheriff Or Face Mass Defections
BEVERLY HILLS, February 19, (THEWILL) – Opposition to the selection of former Borno Governor, Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has continued to swell as 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 given a March deadline to reject Sheriff or face a mass exodus.
This was as the new Chairman barged into a BoT session on Thursday pleading for an acceptance with a pledge that “PDP will bounce back”. He was however told by members that they will get back to him on his plea for acceptance.
Nonetheless, the BoT resolved not to endorse Sheriff, even as anti-Sheriff forces in the party and some members of the National Working Committee, NWC, are pushing for the tenure of the chairman to end in March, being time when the tenure of the person he succeeded, Adamu Mu'azu, ought to have ended.
The Nation is reporting that the former ministers and BoT members will tell Dr. Jonathan of the “grave implications” of picking Sheriff to lead the PDP, even as they have pledged not to attend any meeting with Sheriff or his representatives.
A source told the newspaper that: “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 Mu'azu's tenure and quit in March.
“So Jonathan has to choose between the larger interest of the party and Sheriff.”
An ex-Minister was also quoted as saying: “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.”
Meanwhile, 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.”
Meanwhile in continuation of his peace drive, Sheriff stormed a session of the BoT begging to be accepted. The report quotes a BoT member as saying: “Sheriff came to our meeting, unaccompanied by the NWC members. He virtually begged us to give him a chance to lead the party.
“We listened to him but we were unanimous that he is not the one needed to lead PDP. He wanted our endorsement but we hold him that we will get back to him.
“We did not make any commitment to Sheriff. At our meeting, we resolved not to accept his candidature.”