NYESOM Wike, Rivers State governor, and his Ekiti State counterpart, Ayo Fayose were the masterminds of the emergence of a former governor of Borno state, Ali Modu Sheriff as the new chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, investigations have revealed.
Their action, now causing a whirlwind of protests in the party, was also said to have the backing of some members of the PDP National Working Committee, NWC, in a move seen by close watchers of the party as capable of decimating it.
Already, feelers from the party last night indicated that the emergence of Sheriff was threatening mass defection as some key members of the PDP remained adamant not to accept him as chairman of the party.
The leaders of PDP, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that Sheriff’s emergence would cause more trouble for the party some party stalwarts rejected him.
Several knocks have trailed the announcement of Sheriff as the new chairman of the PDP, largely seen as an “outsider” in the party on account of relative short span of his membership, having decamped to the party towards the last general election.
Ali Modu Sheriff was until then a leading member of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, who also played key roles in the merger of legacy parties that formed the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC).
Much of the criticisms and rejection of his choice were traced to his political antecedents which were said to have raised questions about his suitability to lead the PDP at this period as an opposition party. Some PDP leaders who spoke with our correspondent last night also considered his political baggage not only in Borno State but in national politics as “limiting factors.”
He lost Borno State to the APC in the last election.
Sources claimed that his political antecedents were the main issues why key members of the party were against his choice and not surprisingly that members of the BoT staged a walkout when his choice was made known last Monday.
A source said that the PDP BoT will not ratify the choice of Sheriff given his antecedents and going by the negative reactions that have trailed his emergence.
His choice has also polarised the entire North East where he hails from, a major issue of contention because lack of consensus from the zone meant he lacked the home support.
“Our leaders will do everything to save the party. They know that the choice of Ali Modu Sheriff was the handiwork of a few governors and some NWC members who do not mean well for the party. All they are interested in is to advance their own selfish agenda”, the source said.
— Feb 18, 2016 @ 13:50 GMT