The crisis currently rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) took a messy dimension Thursday when some chieftains, acting under the umbrella of Concerned Stakeholders of the PDP, sacked the National Working Committee under the leadership of Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.
In a communique signed by former deputy Senate President, Ibrahim Mantu, former Education minister, Professor Tunde Adeniran and High Chief, Raymond Dokpesi, the group said it would constitute a 21-member steering committee to manage the affairs of the party.
The communique read to newsmen by former presidential spokesperson, Dr Doyin Okupe noted that “the purported extension of the tenure of the chairman and other members of the national working committee of the party by the NEC was an illegality and, therefore, untenable and contrary to the provision of our party constitution, which gives such powers only to the national convention of the party.”
They further claimed that since the extension of the tenure of its national leadership by NEC was illegal, all the activities leading to the convention slated for Port Hacourt would amount to a nullity.
However, Sheriff in a swift reaction said the Concerned Stakeholders of the PDP, with former information minister as convener, was not recognised by the party constitution.
Sheriff said he was not bothered by their pronouncement and vowed to continue with arrangement for the conduct of the national convention on May 21.
His media aide, Inua Bwala, said “Senator Ali Modu Sheriff isn’t stepping down as national chairman of the PDP; he is going ahead with plans to conclude with the process that he has started, with ward congress, local government and state congresses and the national convention of this party. Those who feel they cannot belong, those who cannot cope with this, they can as well fall by the roadside.
“If you can’t withstand the heat, don’t come into the kitchen.
“Far from that, there can’t be bigger crisis in PDP. Rather, those who are making noise should fall out. You see, you don’t have to ask somebody to go. Genuine reconciliation is going on with people in whose hearts, they have space to make adjustment and agree to work together for the party.
“But those who have foreclosed their minds, to any form of reconciliation can do whatever they want to do. Since Sheriff came on board, he has never said anything about all these things going on. He has never opened his mouth to reply them, because he believes there is still room for us to sit and do genuine reconciliation. But when people who parade themselves as elders decide to take internal affairs of the party to the street, one would be left with no option than to engage them in same manner.
“So, they don’t have the monopoly of mudslinging. These people technically, are no longer members of PDP by their actions.
“We aren’t aware of any parallel state executives We sent people out to conduct congresses and we shall abide by their reports. Anything outside that won’t be accepted.”