•Borno backs new chairman
From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja and Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
FORMER Senate President, Adolphus Wabara, Ambassador Wilberforce Juta, leading a pressure group in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the PDP Rescue Group, has called for the resignation of National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
The new national chairman was appointed last week by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC), supported by governors of the party.
“In the interest of the PDP and the country, Sheriff should do the needful by stepping down honourably as it is evident that party members nationwide overwhelmingly reject his imposition.”
That was the resolution of the group after a meeting convened on the matter on Sunday.
At a news briefing thereafter, Juta, who spoke on behalf of the PDP Rescue Group, declared that the former Borno State governor was imposed on the party just as he claimed that senator Sheriff’s choice did not enjoy the support of leaders of the party.
Juta further claimed that Sheriff lacks the capacity to administer the main opposition party.
“The current leadership crisis is a challenge to every Nigerian in the sense that having destroyed the PDP by acts of error of judgment as being witnessed now is denying Nigeria a strong opposition party that is badly needed if Nigeria’s democracy is to be strengthened and all tendencies towards civilian dictatorship checked.
The crisis must challenge all party members to action to halt the party from further drift.
“The plan of PDP Rescue Group is to mobilise party members and leaders to help attain this noble goal. Sadly, the overwhelming reaction of Nigerians to Senator Sheriff’s emergence especially PDP members and leaders is that of disappointment.
“It is, therefore, critical, if the PDP must come back to national reckoning, that we remodel its leadership on the platform of honesty as required by the party manifesto.
“To this end, we call on all the party organs to rise to the challenge by insisting on the reversal of what is clearly a crude imposition of Senator Sheriff on the party.”
The group insisted that the party must commence a search for a credible leader.
“The party organs – state and zonal Chapters, Board of Trustees, national caucus, the National Working Committee (NWC) and the NEC and pressure groups such as the National Assembly caucus, PDP Ministers Forum, PDP Governors Forum, the G-84, as well as PDP leaders past and present – should commence the search for persons with high integrity, strategic insight and fear of God Almighty to lead the party.
“It is our considered view that we should endeavour to elect only those with such discernible traits,” he said
While asking the former Borno State governor to step down from the exalted position the group warned against any extension of term of the present NWC of the party as it demanded for a national convention next month to elect new set of national officers for the party.
Other members of the group present at the conference, including Wabara, who is the deputy chairman of the group, were former deputy governor of Sokoto State who also doubles as the Secretary of the group, Mukhtar Shagari, John Odey, a former publicity secretary of the party as well as a former minister and Hon. Muyiwa Oladimeji, amongst others.
Back home, in Borno, the state chapter of the party threw its weight behind Sheriff.
They accused the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) of being jittery of his emergence of a vibrant opposition party.
PDP state executive members and party chairmen from the 27 local governments at a press briefing in Maiduguri yesterday said said the ruling party was jittery of the political capabilities of the new chairman.