Fresh crisis hits PDP as elders sack Sheriff
• Chairman accuses Gana, others of alleged N500m fraud
• Court halts party’s S’West zonal congress
• Event will hold as planned, says Fayose
Opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) descended into a fresh crisis yesterday with some members under the umbrella of “Concerned Stakeholders of the PDP,” yesterday announced the immediate dissolution of the Sheriff-led PDP National Working Committee (NWC).
And apparently in anticipation of the decision of the elders, the Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff threatened to drag former Information Minister, Professor Jerry Gana to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over alleged diversion of a N500 million bank loan.
In Lagos, Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos yesterday restrained the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Ali Modu Sherrif from conducting any election into the party’s Southwest Zonal Executive Committee.
Justice Buba also barred PDP from recognising any such election until the originating summons is determined.The zonal congress was scheduled to hold tomorrow (May 14) for Akure, Ondo State and Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State.
However, Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose has said that the party’s Southwest Zonal Congress slated for Saturday (tomorrow) in Akure, Ondo State will hold as scheduled.
The governor, who addressed journalists at the PDP National Secretariat in Abuja today, said materials for the Congress had already been distributed through the appropriate authority.
He said the party was not aware of any court order, stopping the congress and as such, machinery is in motion for a hitch-free congress.
The Jerry Gana-led group also announced a 21-member steering committee to manage the affairs of the PDP until what the group called a lawfully organised national convention was put together.
However, Sheriff in his reaction accused the PDP elders of trying to divert attention from their misdeeds that led to the party losing the 2015 presidential election.
Sheriff, who spoke through his Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Alhaji Inuwa Bwala, threatened to drag some of them before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to explain how they mismanaged the party’s resources.
Bwala said: “We know the very ignoble roles that he played that led to the PDP being defeated in the last election. These were the same characters that deceived President Jonathan into failure. Unfortunately most of them still go round to ask the chairman of one favour or the other and when the chairman declines they take offence against him,” Sheriff said.
He continued: “This is the same man that who recognized the national chairman, writing to him on the need to submit the report on the finance committee which he headed. The chairman has been running away from receiving that report because it is on record that the same Jerry Gana on behalf of the party without using the machinery of the party collected the sum of N500 million from Skye Bank on behalf of the PDP for which the PDP has been dragged to court and is being compelled to pay back.
The Jerry Gana-led PDP stakeholders described as a nullity and of no effect, “all actions purportedly taken by the said NEC and the National Working Committee, including the ward, local government, state congresses and the planned National Convention of the Party slated for the 21st of May 2016 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.”
The group described as unacceptable and against the established principles and practice of PDP, the zoning arrangement announced by the Akwa Ibom State Governor Emmanuel Udom who headed the zoning committee.
The group said added the steering committee members who were not named yesterday would work with members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) until new leadership of the party is elected in accordance with the provision of the PDP constitution.