Members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday rose from a marathon meeting to tell Chairman Ali Modu Sheriff —resign.
Acting BoT chairman Senator Walid Jibrin, who presided over the meeting held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, spoke on behalf of the trustees, saying as the conscience of the PDP, the BoT was in the best position to know the right candidate for the job.
The trustees, he said were consulting with other organs of the party on easing out Sheriff.
“We are going to propose viable solution to this problem after we must have consulted with other organs and relevant stakeholders in the party,” Jibrin said. He declined further comments.
At the meeting were Prof. Jerry Gana, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Alhaji Shuabu Oyedokun, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, Senator Stella Omu, Senator Jonah Jang, Mrs. Josephine Anenih, Senator Adolphus Wabara, Abdullahi Kure and Maina Waziri, among others.
But Sheriff begged his opponents to forgive him.
The former Borno State governor, who spoke at the party secretariat shortly after he officially took over the leadership, said he would not step down.
“I won’t resign because the leadership of the party, in their wisdom, chose me to lead the PDP for the purpose of rebuilding and repositioning the party at this critical period,” Sheriff said.
The chairman said he would promptly embark on consultations with opposing groups and stakeholders with the view to seeking reconciliation and acceptance from all.
“I will leave no stone unturned. I will go to everybody for support. I will bring everybody on board. Let those who were not consulted before I was appointed forgive all of us for whatever wrongs have been made.
“Let us put our differences behind us so that we can overcome our challenges and rebuild the party together. If all stakeholders agree to build the party, PDP will become the biggest party in Nigeria again,” Sheriff pleaded.
According to him, it is normal for people to be aggrieved in such situations, but, in his view, the aggrieved parties should explore internal mechanisms to resolve the differences.
He described aggrieved parties as those who truly love the PDP, adding however that going to the media with their grievances would not solve the problem.
Sheriff promised to unfold his agenda as soon as he gets briefed on the party’s status.
Asked whether he would only complete the truncated tenure of the immediate past chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, which is expected to end next month, Sheriff replied that the party leadership would decide the length of his tenure “at the appropriate time”.
The chairman promised to initiate discussions with chieftains of the party who defected to other parties before the 2015 general elections, with the view to wooing them back to PDP.
He dismissed reports linking him to the Boko Haram terror group, saying he never sponsored the sect. According to him, he was being targeted because he fought the group when he was governor.
According to him, no court has ever linked him to Boko Haram and reports linking him to the group emanated from the imagination of the writers.
“Boko Haram killed my own brother. They killed members of my family. So, why should I sponsor people to kill my own brother, my own family? I am not a fanatic. I love to enjoy my life.
“Boko Haram are criminals who live in the bush and eat once a day. I believe their sponsors will be caught at the end of the day. I have nothing to do with Boko Haram,” Sheriff said.
He singled out a former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode among the people linking him with the terror sect, saying “this time around, people like Fani-Kayode will not go scot-free”.
Sheriff also pointed accusing finger at a former governor of the old Gongola State, Amb. Wilberforce Juta, who is leading the PDP Rescue Group demanding his resignation.
“Juta has no moral ground to ask me to resign because he was among the people that contested the position with me. He scored only one vote and now he has turned around to ask me to resign.
“How can a person that got only one vote ask me to resign. Where is credibility; where is justice? If he did not contest the position with me, maybe I would have listened to him,” he said.
On why he left the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the formative stage, Sheriff said he left on principles, which he said he would not divulge in public.
He promised to make available to the PDP the same instruments with which he helped to make the APC attractive to Nigerians.
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