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PDP: Wabara, Juta, others demand Sheriff’s resignation

•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.