‘Plot’ and other tales of Alhaji Modu Sheriff, tenure elongation

by on April 2, 2016

On the heels of his controversial emergence as the opposition Peoples Democratic Par­ty (PDP) national chairman with stipulated three-month tenure, rumours of alleged ten­ure elongation plot by Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff have become rife. Bidemi Olanrewaju looks at the raging controversy

The coming of Ali Modu Sheriff to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and his emergence as the party’s national chairman after series of adroit maneuverings at the top ech­elon of the party has been described by some stakeholders in the party as a ‘balm in gilead.’

His coming was not without hitches as some leaders of the party who were not disposed to the choice of Sheriff started kicking insisting that his cred­ibility left much to be desired. Even though this group has been appeased, the crisis brewing at the moment over alleged tenure elongation rumours of Sheriff is seen as something that may destroy the fragile unity and peace in the party, if not properly managed.

Though this development has been rumoured at the party national secre­tariat, the South-West chapter of PDP was the first to bring it to the fore, followed by other stakeholders who believe that the coming of Sheriff has helped to re-inject life into the party that was almost comatose following PDP’s woeful outing in the 2015 gen­eral elections.

The South-west PDP had expressed support, when they came to the party national secretariat to pay a solidarity visit on Sheriff and members of PDP National Working Committee (NWC), for the retention of the party chair­manship seat in the North.

The South-west leaders, who came to present their position paper to Sher­iff, also endorsed him to continue in his position. In the position paper, the leaders of the party from the South-west zone had said that the position of the National Chairman should not be zoned to the South. Their reason for the retention of the position, according to them

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was to help strengthen the party in the zone.

“We say this because out of the five states in the South-east, the PDP has three governors; we have five gover­nors out of the six states in the South-south; in the South-west, we have two governors. In the whole of the North, we have only two governors. We need to strengthen the North. If not, the PDP will be branded as a regional par­ty if we go ahead to pick the National Chairman from the South,” the paper noted.

The visit of the Yobe State Chapter of PDP, former governors and deputies and other stakeholders to the party na­tional secretariat, has been described as moves to woo Sheriff to continue in the office.

The body language of PDP lawmak­ers at the National Assembly, it was gathered is tilting toward retaining Sheriff beyond the stipulated time given to him by the party leadership at the recent National Executive Com­mittee (NEC) meeting, where his ap­pointment was ratified.

Recall that the tenure of this present NWC was supposed to have expired March 24, but NEC extended the time to May 21, so that the present leader­ship can conduct congresses and na­tional convention. But the processes leading to the convention, that is the setting up of committees to drive the process, which was promised by the Sheriff-led NWC have not com­menced, making some stakeholders to express concern and also to conclude that there is more to the silence at the party’s national headquarters than the dummy that is being sold out to the people.

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Some other stakeholders have con­cluded that the alleged tenure elonga­tion maybe true after all, questioning the statement credited to Sheriff, who said he would not stay a day longer than May 21, when his tenure expired.

The Board of Trustee (BoT) of the party has also taken a position, stress­ing that Sheriff should take the part of honour and maintain his integrity by strictly abiding by the three-month tenure extended to him.

Addessing newsmen on Tuesday, BoT Chairman, Sen. Walid Jibrin ad­vised Sheriff on the danger and conse­quences of listening to the evil machi­nations of praise singers and prophets of doom and working against the unanimous approved date of the PDP Governor’s forum; National Causes; BOT: and the NEC terminating his tenure and that of the NWC on the 21th of May 2016.

“The above responsible bodies have approved that the tenure of the na­tional officers will end immediately after the convention when the new officers are duly elected. The present NWC received an overwhelming ova­tion and admiration at the meeting of the national caucus, BOT and NEC by overlooking their 2017 tenure in sup­port of the three months approval of the respected organs of the party which should strictly be complied with. In­stead of listening to the praise singers, Modu Sherif should follow the path of honour and integrity by simply taking a bow in May 2016, after the national convention.

“The recent courtesy calls to the Na­tional Chairman and the presentations being made especially calling him to continue beyond the stipulated three months tenure is an invitation to trou­ble, anarchy and the return of impu­nity in PDP,” he said.

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The BoT strongly advises Modu Sherif to respect his oath and accep­tance of the powerful organs of the PDP that he would stay for only three months, and allow his name to be written in gold by honourably leaving the scene in May after the convention.

The party’s advisory body warned that it would resist any move by any­body to destroy the good founda­tion set by “our founding fathers and mothers and shall remain the con­science of the party.”

Jibrin, however pointed out that for benefit of doubt, Sherif has never come out to accept or reject the call for any tenure elongation, adding, “I strongly advise the chairman to come out with very clear statement exonerating him­self from such devilish plans and main­tain his stand on the three months given him by NEC. If he does that, his honour and integrity will be more re­spected and will remain in the PDP re­cord book of achievers.”

Reacting through his Special As­sistant on Media, Inua Bwala, Sher­iff maintained that he would not stay beyond the stipulated May 21 given to him by the party highest organ.

Will Sheriff honour his word or fol­low the advise of praise singers at the detriment of the party fragile unity and peace? Would the party be formidable enough and devoid of rancour in prep­aration for 2019? Time will tell.


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