Governors, BoT chair, National Assembly caucus back Sheriff
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new twist with the party set to hold two separate national conventions on Saturday.
While the faction loyal to National Chairman Ali Modu Sheriff will be holding its convention in Port Harcourt, another faction, headed by a former Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana will hold its own in Abuja.
The two factions met simultaneously in Abuja yesterday to fine-tune plans for their separate conventions.
The pro-Sheriff convention is backed by the party’s governors, its National Assembly caucus and a faction of the Board of Trustees (BoT) led by chairman Senator Walid Jibrin.
The Gana group, under the aegis of Concerned PDP Stakeholders, inaugurated its 56-members steering committee to conduct its convention and pilot the affairs of the party afterwards.
Members of the group include Prof. Tunde Adeniran, Hajia Inna Ciroma, Amb. Wilberforce Juta, Alhaji Ibrahim Bunu, Alhaji Adamu Maina Waziri, Senator Bala Mohammed, Mr. Taminu Turaki, Dr. Doyin Okupe and Mrs. Remi Adiukwu.
Also in the group are Mrs. Josephine Anenih, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Prof. ABC Nwosu, Sen. Ben Obi, Mr. John Odey, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa, Alh. Shittu Mohammed Kabiru, Senator Grace Bent, and Senator Anietie Okon.
A group of former PDP governors who are also named as members are Chief Lucky Igbinedion, Mr. Bonnie Haruna, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, Mr. Donald Duke, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, Alhaji Mahmood Shinkafi, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure, Sen, Ahmed Makarfi, Chief Achike Udenwa, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and a former PDP national Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo.
At a meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), Walid said he met with the Gana group up to 2.30 am yesterday and pleaded with the aggrieved members to drop plans for a parallel convention.
“I pleaded with them to refrain from actions capable of destroying the unity and progress of the party. I made it clear to them that I will not be attending meetings other than the ones called by the organs of the party.
“As a matter of fact, I made it clear to them that I will be leading the BoT members to the Port Harcourt convention”, the BoT chair said.
Also speaking at the NEC meeting, Sheriff said the party had resolved to cancel results of the just concluded congresses in some states and that fresh congresses would be conducted in the affected states.
He listed some of the states as Lagos, Sokoto, Yobe, Zamfara and Anambra.
Sheriff accused the Federal Government of singling out members of the PDP in the ongoing anti-corruption campaign.
According to him, the affected party members only collected campaign money from given to them by officials in the last administration.
He said: “PDP was not the only party that used campaign funds. The All Progressives Congress (APC) also did the same. So members of the APC should also be investigated.
“The PDP members only collected the campaign funds. They did not know the source of the funds. So the APC should also submit its members for investigation”.
Those at the meeting included two former party chairmen, Dr. Ahmadu Ali and Prince Vincent Ogbulafor.
Governors of Ekiti, Ondo, Abia, and Ebonyi states also attended. Others in attendance were former Senate President Adolphus Wabara; Chief Tom Ikimi; Chief Bode George and Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun.
Also at the meeting were a number of the party’s ex governors and former members of the National Assembly.