Government & Politics

Chairmanship: Ali Modu Sheriff Moves To Amend PDP Constitution

Ali Modu Sheriff speacking, Ali Modu Sheriff,
Following stiff opposition by the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party to his desire to contest the chairmanship of the party at its national convention scheduled for May 21, the National Chairman of the party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff has begun moves to checkmate it, according to the Punch.

Sheriff had proposed an amendment to the party’s constitution, whereby he added a clause that the body would need to consult him before it could call for any meeting.

Unlike before, the BoT, of which the national chairman is a member, does not need his permission to hold its meeting.

It is a statutory organ of the party with powers to act as its conscience. However, in the proposed amendment, which was meant to be discussed at the last meeting of the party’s National Executive Committee, Sheriff is proposing that he needed to be consulted before such organ of the party could meet.

Under PART 1X, Board of Trustees, Meetings of the BoT, the proposed amendment says that “The BoT shall meet at the instance of the Chairman in consultation with the national chairman of the party or at the request of half of the members of the Board or following a resolution of the Board or the NEC request for such a meeting.”

The current constitution of the party merely stated that the “The Board of Trustees shall meet at the instance of the chairman or at the request of half of the members of the board or following a resolution of the board or the national executive committee requesting for such a meeting.”

The proposed amendment to the party’s constitution was included as part of the agenda of the last NEC meeting, which was held in Abuja on Thursday.

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However, a copy of the proposed amendment which was sighted by a correspondent showed that rather than being specific on the pages or clauses to be amended, Sheriff decided to print the whole constitution with the amendment.

The idea, it was learnt, was to confuse the NEC members who would not have the patience to read all the entire constitution side by side with the old one and would therefore not know the exact clauses or sections being amended.

A former National Chairman of the party, Sen. Ahmadu Ali, who was present at the NEC meeting, was said to have called the attention of the NEC members to the unusual manner in which the members of the National Working Committee were trying to amend the constitution.

A member of the NEC, who spoke with a correspondent on condition of anonymity, said that Ali insisted that the areas, clauses and pages slated for amendment ought to be printed out separately with the proposed news words, sentences or clauses to be added or removed.

The source said, “Now, he (Sheriff) wants to decimate the powers of the BoT by asking to be consulted before we could hold meetings. He will also be asking for agenda.

“If he’s not around, that means we can’t meet. If he’s not favourably disposed to the issues to be discussed, that means we can’t meet.”

A former Minister of Transport, who is also a member of the BoT, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, also said that many people were already preparing to leave the party because of Sheriff.

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