By Ebuka Onyeji and Oshi Timothy
Members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who served as ministers between 1999 and 2015, have rejected the appointment of former Borno State governor, Modu Sheriff, as the chairman of the party.
The ministers made their position known in a communique issued at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
The communique was signed by a former Minister of Special Duties, Tanimu Turaki.
All the organs of the PDP except the Board of Trustees, BoT, had last week approved the appointment of the former Borno governor.
The BoT later accepted Mr. Sheriff after a meeting with the PDP governors’ forum on Tuesday.
The forum of ministers however insisted that it “rejects Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff as National Chairman of the PDP due to the illegitimacy of the process that purportedly brought him in”.
The former ministers said the PDP must conduct congresses at all levels of the party, leading to a National convention that should be held before March 28 “to return power to the people in tandem with the constitution of our Party and as encapsulated in our party’s motto: ‘Power to the People’”.
“The forum condemns all acts of impunity in the running of the affairs of the party, at all levels and implores all members to respect the constitution of the party and that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the communique said.
Sheriff, Fani-Kayode in war of words
Mr. Sheriff and the PDP have come under fire from some members of the party since his emergence, over allegations tying him to the insurgent group, Boko Haram.
Chief among the former governor’s critics is a former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, who lamented the decision of the party’s organs to appoint Mr. Sheriff despite his alleged Boko Haram links.
While taking over from the former acting national chairman, Uche Secondus, Mr. Sheriff HAD threatened Mr. Fani-Kayode, saying the former minister “will not go scot free this time”.
The ministers’ forum noted the threat with “dismay” saying, “The forum considers a threat to one as a threat to all”.
Mr. Fani-Kayode himself had shortly before the commencement of the meeting took a swipe at Mr. Sheriff.
Addressing reporters, the former aviation minister said, “My first question is who is Ali Modu Sheriff? Is he a Nigerian or a Chadian? Or both? Secondly you are claiming to be national chairman and wants to move the party forward, the first thing you do is to start issuing threats?
“The fact of the matter is that he wants to set Nigeria on fire and also wants to set PDP on fire and that fire is going to consume him and him alone. With regards to his personal threats to me, I am more than ready for him and I assure him that unlike anybody he has ever met before in his life, he will meet a resistance he never me before.”
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