Since emerging National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in February, former Borno State Governor, Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff, rather than unite the party, has turned out to be its major headache, making many to wonder what he wants to prove.
More so, his insistence on remaining as the national chairman of the party despite rejection by critical organs of the PDP including its Board of Trustees, National Assembly Caucus, the PDP Governors Forum, among others, have given Sherriff out as someone who is not prepared to subsume his interest/ambition to the larger interest and good of the PDP.
Just last week Monday, June 13, 2016, the erstwhile Borno State governor who was removed as national chairman of the PDP at its national convention held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital on May 21, 2016, stormed the national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja, claiming that he remains the chairman of the party and that his tenure will end in 2018.
Sheriff, it would be recalled, was removed from office following the dissolution of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and National Executive Committee (NEC) by the National convention held in Port Harcourt.
The convention subsequently constituted a seven-man caretaker committee headed by a former governor of Kaduna State, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, to steer the affairs of the party, pending the convening of another national convention within three months.
The former Borno State governor would have none of this and has continued to insist that he remains the national chairman of the PDP.
Addressing journalists when he stormed the Wadata House Plaza national secretariat of the party, Sheriff said: “I remain authentic chairman unless the court of our land and our court make a judgment to the contrary. As of today till 2018, Ali Sheriff is chairman of PDP.”
However, critical organs of the party including its Board of Trustees, National Assembly Caucus, PDP Governors Forum, among others have denounced Sherriff’s claim and has thrown their weight behind the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led interim national caretaker committee.
Despite their rejection, Sherriff has continued to parade himself as the PDP national chairman, citing a court verdict as basis for his claims.
Aside two other members of the sacked NWC, Professor Wale Oladipo, former National Secretary and Adewole Adeyanju, former National Auditor of PDP who have pitched tent with Sherriff, the other members of the defunct NWC have taken their removal from office in good faith.
Clearly, Sheriff’s insistence on remaining the national chairman of the PDP makes many to wonder if truly he has the interest of the party at heart. His action also makes many to believe the rumour in some quarters that he is out to destroy the erstwhile largest party in Africa.
Sheriff’s insistence defies the time tested democratic norm of consensus building in political parties. If the critical organs of the party among others are agreed that he should go, then Sheriff has no reason to cling insist on remaining in office. If he refuses to go, it then means that there is more to it than meets the eyes.
If anything, Sheriff continued insistence on being the PDP national chairman will prove right critics who say he is in the PDP to destroy it. If this is not to be, then the former Borno State governor should drop his claims on PDP national chairman and allow the party to move on provide a viable opposition to the governing All Progressives Congress (APC)