THE fate of embattled new national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, now lies in the hands of a sub-committee set up by the party’s Board of Trustees and headed by the deputy president of fifth senate, Senator Ibrahim Mantu.
Members of the PDP BoT had withheld ratification of Sheriff’s appointment shortly after the national caucus announced him, following concerns that some governors and few other chieftains were imposing the former Borno governor on the party.
Apart from members of the BoT, a group of former ministers rejected the appointment of Sheriff, alleging that the process leading to his emergence did not follow wider consultations with various stakeholders of the party.
Former minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode announced reservations about Sheriff’s emergence on the fear that “Ali Modu-Sheriff’s long-term plan (is) to highjack the leadership of the party for as long as possible, remain as National Chairman indefinitely and emerge as the party’s presidential candidate in 2019”.
But a member of PDP BoT confided in The Guardian yesterday that the final position of the board has not been taken adding, “a sub-committee (has been) set up by the BoT to look into the PDP chairmanship crisis”.
The source explained that the subcommittee is expected to evaluate all sides of the matter and recommend the way forward to the BOT, remarking that part of the problem attending the selection of the new chairman, surrounds his tenure.
“It is a whole basket of issues we are looking at; we are also mindful of the interest generated by apologists of the ruling party so the situation deserves care and caution,” he declared, adding that an expanded meeting of PDP leadership would likely be held after the BoT gets the sub-committee’s report.
Senator Sheriff emerged as the new national chairman after a straw poll organised by the party’s national caucus comprising governors, NWC members and the party’s caucus leadership in the National Assembly.
The process to select a new national chairman for the party followed the court ruling in a suit filed by former presidential aide, Ahmed Gulak, in which he prayed the court to declare the position of acting national chairman illegal and void.
PDP’s constitution stipulated that in the event of resignation, death or incapacitation of the national chairman, another member of the party from the same zone as the chairman should be appointed to complete his term in office.
It was based on the fact that he was coming to serve out the tenure of Adamu Mu’azu, that the governors were said to have extracted a promise from Sherrif that he would not participate in the contest during next month’s national convention of PDP.