- Sheriff’s mission to kill party has failed, says Fani-Kayode
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Ahead of tomorrow’s national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Chairman of the National Convention Committee and Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has asked fellow party men to support the repositioning effort by the party to reclaim power in 2019.
This came as the former Aviation Minister and a chieftain of the PDP, Femi Fani-Kayode, accused the former acting National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, of pursuing a fruitless mission to destroy the party.
Wike, speaking on behalf of the party leadership, said all the notable achievements recorded by the country in the last 16 years, including economic and democratic gains, are fast eroding under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
“In only one year of the APC-led government, Nigerians are yearning for the
return of the PDP to power given the fast disappearance of democratic gains
the party achieved in 16 years of its administration. It is noteworthy
that all the values associated with our great country as the giant of Africa and the fastest growing economy in Africa is being eroded,” he said.
A statement issued by the Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee of the National Convention Committee, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu assured all PDP fathful that the party would continue to play its role after the convention as the main opposition party “by providing alternative governance and remaining a solution-driven political party to help the government in power, and reposition itself to regain power in 2019 for our common good.
“Just last week, South Africa overtook Nigeria as the biggest economy in
Africa; herdsmen attack and kidnapping is becoming more prevalent;
ethnic and tribal agitation for self-determination is on the increase; and the government of the day is helpless in providing solution to all of these numerous problems bedeviling our dear nation.
“We are ready to make amends as a party and we are working with all stakeholders across the country to restore our past glory.”
Meanwhile, PDP has said about 90 aspirants have so far picked nomination forms to contest for various positions at the scheduled national convention.
Among the aspirants is the former PDP National Publicity Secretary and Political Adviser to former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, who is in the race for the position of the Deputy National Chairman (North) of the party.
PDP said all the delegates attending the repeated convention have the opportunity to rescue Nigerians from confusion and strife that the APC-led government has imposed on them by voting for any candidate of their choice, adding that the time is now to provide answers to Nigeria and Nigerians.
The party said that yesterday that the aspirants who are drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country will be jostling to fill in the vacant positions that occurred as a result of the dissolution of National Working Committee (NWC) at the last convention in May.
According to the party, the offices to contested for at the repeated national convention are National Chairman, 1st Deputy National Chairman (South), 2nd Deputy National Chairman (North), National Secretary, Deputy National Secretary, National Treasurer and Deputy, National Publicity Secretary and Deputy, National Legal Adviser and Deputy, National Woman Leader and Deputy, National Youth Leader and Deputy, National Organising Secretary and Deputy, National Financial Secretary and Deputy and other National Ex-Officio members.
Meanwhile, the former Aviation Minister, Fani-Kayode, has accused Sheriff of pursuing a fruitless mission to destroy the party.
He also alleged that just as former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, used Sheriff to destroy the All Peoples Party (APP), President Muhammadu Buhari was also using the former governor of Borno State to destroy PDP now.
The former aviation minister had, while opposing the appointment of Sheriff as the national chairman of the PDP, accusehim as a Boko Haram sponsor, a comment that made the former governor to threaten to go to court.
Speaking on the frequent changing of political parties, Fani-Kayode said Sheriff had changed political parties not less than four times in the last few years.
“Each time he goes to a new party that is not in power at the centre, he assumes the role of a government mole and spy trying to destroy it from within on behalf of the government of the day.
“That is his modus operandi. On return, he gets protection from the state for all the many atrocities he has committed over the years. He has betrayed everyone and every political party he has ever worked with or for.
“Go and ask around. We used him to spy on and destroy the APP when Obasanjo was in power, and now Buhari is using him to destroy the PDP.
Luckily, he has failed because 99 per cent of PDP members have rejected him and now he is on his own,” Fani-Kayode said.
However, Sheriff had said in an interview with Channels Television last Sunday that but for former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and 20 others, who came to beg him, he would have taken Fani-Kayode to court for calling him a Boko Haram member.
In a statement issued yesterday, Fani- Kayode said the former Borno State governor lied.
“Lying Sheriff told Channels TV last night that I sent people to beg him for claiming that he was a Boko Haram member. These are the lies of a desperate and drowning man,” he said.
Fani-Kayode pointed out that Sheriff’s mission in PDP was to destroy the party, just the way he did to other political parties he had a stint with.
According to the former minister, “He came to destroy PDP, and if we did not rise up against him and kick him out when we did, he would have succeeded in his mission. I am proud to have been the first to see him for what he is and to publicly blow the whistle on him.
“I was one of those who led the rebellion against him and orchestrated the campaign to push him out and dump him as the national chairman of our party and many have thanked me for that including some of those who brought him in the first place and attempted to impose him on us.”