The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has promised that he will keep to the three-month deadline to conduct the affairs of the party, culminating in the convocation of congresses and national convention.
He said soon, the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) would release a timetable to conduct the congresses from ward to national levels, after due consultations, assuring members that the next congress and convention of the party would be very credible stand the test of time.
Sheriff’s reiterated his position when former lawmakers elected on the PDP platform led by the immediate past Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, paid him a solidarity visit.
Speaking during the reception of the delegation of the forum of former lawmakers, Sheriff said there was no doubt that the party’s loss in the last presidential election had reawakened its leaders into action to rebuild the fortunes of the party.
“I, Ali Modu Sheriff, a man of character and integrity, the one who would live up to his expectation and promises, hereby announce to the world that under no circumstances would I stay in office beyond the period prescribed by the constitution of our party,” he said.
As part of the efforts to put an end to the crisis over the leadership of the party, the Governor of Ondo State and Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, addressed journalists, saying after series of consultations, the party has reached a compromise to allow Sheriff and the current NWC a three-month time to enable them organise congresses and national convention.
Sheriff spoke against the background of fears and concerns over his tenure by some sections of the PDP stakeholders, including members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) and PDP former ministers’ forum, promising not to prolong his stay in office.
“In the light of the above, therefore I will announce the convention congress planning committee after due consultation with all organs of the party within few days from today (yesterday), and I assure all members and party faithful that I would do everything within my powers to ensure that I complete the processes of the congress before the expiration of my time in office.
“The events in PDP in the last one month have been very interesting, particularly as it has awakened the consciousness of the generality of the leaders and members of the party. Even the international community has shown a lot of interest in the affairs of the party. My view today is that PDP has become more active due to my emergence as the national chairman,” he said.
However, Sheriff, who is the former governor of Borno State, said being a man of his words, he would not over-stay his constitutional mandate.
“I did not intend to stay in office a day longer than prescribed by the constitution of the party. Whatever I am doing has to be in consonance with the constitution of the party and I will make sure that everybody obeys the rule of the game.
“I am a man of character and leadership, a man who can live up to expectations of the people. In the next few days, we will be consulting with all organs of our party to announce to Nigerians programmes that will lead to the congresses and convention of the party. We intend to get all our members from units to wards to the national level to participate in the exercise,” he noted.
Speaking on the way forward for the party, Sheriff stated that PDP is a party that commands wide followership, adding that losing last election has reawaken the zeal to rebuild the party.
“I am sure that by the time we finishes our congresses and convention, everybody in PDP will be happy; the party will no longer be working at cross purposes and all leaders of the party would have come back to one fold,” he said.
The group led by the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ihedioha, said as stakeholders of the party, they have decided to show more than a passing interest in what is happening in the party and show solidarity to the new chairman.
He lamented the current state of affairs in the country, especially as it concerns the alleged persecution of the opposition politicians under the guise of anti-corruption crusade.
“We know we are going through trying times, we are testing the true bitterness of the opposition. A number of our party members are currently facing great persecution,” he said.
Among the members of the forum were Tunde Akogun, Murikat Adeola, Abdulrasak, Mohammed Salau, Eddie Mbadiwe, Prof. Chudi Uwazulike, Abdulahi Rico Mohammed, Jatau Mohammed, Ndudi Elumelu, Shettima Shehu, Bitrus Kazae,
Meanwhile, receiving members of the PDP Benue State chapter at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja yesterday, Sheriff praised the members of the party for their impressive outing that saw the victory of Senator David Mark.
He said the reason the election of Senator Mark have generated a lot of interest was because he was the Senate President for many years, adding that by coming out to win this election even while his party is in opposition shows that he is still very popular.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has scheduled meetings of various organs of the party, National Caucus, Board of Trustees and National Executive Committee for Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
The schedule for the high-level party meetings was conveyed in a statement issued yesterday evening by the National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh. (Thisday)