PDP breaks, Modu Sheriff group vs 13 governors, 43 others
A 57-man steering committee is waiting in the wings to take over the affairs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the embattled acting national chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff should he insist on retaining the post beyond May 21.
A group of influential PDP members known as Concerned PDP Stakeholders yesterday gave Sheriff up to that date, when the party is scheduled to hold its national convention in Port Harcourt, to quit.
If Sheriff remains adamant, the steering committee may begin to run the party from a separate national secretariat as the party heads towards a fresh implosion reminiscent of the 2014 convention which led to the exit of the likes of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Kawu Baraje and Senator Bukola Saraki.
The party has not known peace since Sheriff emerged as acting national president.
Three ex-national chairmen of the PDP are believed to be in support of the steering committee which includes a former Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ibrahim Mantu, 13 former governors, 14 former ministers and other key leaders of the party.
Some of the 13 ex-governors are Gbenga Daniel, Babangida Aliyu, Donald Duke, Attahiru Bafarawa, Mahmud Aliyu Shinkafi, Ahmed Makarfi, Abdulkadir Kure, Achike Udenwa, and Ibrahim Shema.
The ex-ministers are Prof. Jerry Gana, Tanimu Kabir Turaki, ABC Nwosu, Dubem Onyia, John Odey, Ojo Maduekwe, Bala Mohammed, Sarafa Ishola, Ibrahim Bunu, Adamu Maina Waziri, Dr. Abubakar Olanrewaju Suleiman, Josephine Anenih, Hajiya Inna Ciroma, and Amb. Tunde Adeniran
Others are Senators Grace Bent, Florence Ita-Giwa, Zigo Azeez, Amb. Nkoyo Toyo, Mallam Shehu Gabam, Raymond Dokpesi, and Dr. Doyin Okupe.
A member of the steering committee said: “When we met on Thursday, we told Nigerians that we will set up a steering committee.
“We have constituted the committee on Saturday (yesterday) and it is in the interest of Sheriff to step down on May 21 or else the party may split into factions.
“The steering committee is to pilot the activities of the party from May 21 pending the election of new executives for PDP.
“The implication is that if Sheriff refuses to step aside, the steering committee may run PDP activities from a new secretariat.”
Investigation however revealed that Sheriff and his National Working Committee (NWC) members are going ahead with the National Convention of the party on May 21 in Port Harcourt.
A top NWC member said: “All the so-called members of the Concerned PDP Stakeholders are more or less dissidents. There is no organ of the party bearing that name.
“The party is going ahead with its national convention and these stakeholders cannot stop it from holding.
“What else do they want? The National Executive Committee and other organs have approved the date for the national convention. Anything to the contrary from any individual or group is extraneous and illegal.”
Responding to a question, the source added: “If these so-called stakeholders do not retrace their steps, they may be suspended or expelled from the party.”