The former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM, Bashir Yusuf, says former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is plotting to take over and use the party to run for president in 2019.
Mr. Yusuf, whose sack was announced by the National Executive Committee of the party on Thursday, accused Atiku of masterminding his removal.
The party’s NEC said it fired Mr. Yusuf and other national officers of their offices to “save the dying situation of the party at the national level”.
However, Mr. Yusuf told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Abubakar was using the NEC.
“I received a letter through DHL at around 10 a.m. this morning from the party accusing me of failing to open a national secretariat for our operations. The letter also gave me 24 hours to respond or punitive measures would be taken against me,” he said.
Mr. Yusuf also said “the truth of the matter is that I know former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is behind it. He wants to use the Party as an alternative platform for 2019 if he fails to get the APC ticket”.
The former chairman said he has been running the PDM with his personal finances and that the burden was already taking a toll on him.
“Unknown to him, PDM has been a burden in terms of the financial resources I have been dispensing to run the party. All he needed to do was ask. But since he has chosen this path. Let’s see how it goes,” he said.
PDM was registered as a political party on August 15, 2013, and had mostly Atiku’s loyalists as members.
At the time, many believed the party was set up to provide an alternative platform for Atiku, a claim the former vice president denied at the time.
The NEC of the party has already set up a caretaker committee, which will run the party for three months. The committee was also saddled with the responsibility of organizing a national convention where new a set of leaders will be elected.
The committee comprises of a chairman, secretary and 12 members, two each from the six geo-political zones of the country.
Mannir Waziri, from Kaduna State was appointed chairman, while Ifeanyi Igwe from Ebonyi State was named secretary.
Other members include Kabiru Dodo and Reverend Iliya from the north-east, Cecilia Aku and Maidukiya from north-central and Ibrahim Master and Yushau Armiyau from the north-west.
The NEC in a communiqué Thursday mandated the caretaker committee to “immediately source for National Secretariat of the party in Abuja without any reasonable delay”.
The NEC also directed the new caretaker committee to petition the office of the Inspector General of Police to commence investigation “into the conduct of dissolved National Chairman of the party in the person of Alh. Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim”.