Opposition to the appointment of a former governor of Bornu State, Ali Modu-Sheriff, as national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appear to be gathering more momentum as some South-east and South-south senators have threatened to pull out of the party, if he continues in office.
The Tribune gathered on Wednesday that no fewer than 20 senators could find their way out of the party if Sheriff continued to stay as the PDP national chairman.
It was also learnt that about 50 members of the House of Representatives have also started discussions on what the future holds for them.
Twenty out of the 32 PDP senators from the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones are reported by the newspaper to have indicated their decision to leave the party.
Their destination could be the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) or the Labour Party.
Over 50 members of the lower chamber across the geopolitical zones were also said to have shown interest in leaving for another party.
A source in the know of the development said “The Tsunami that will hit the PDP as a result of this decision will be unimaginable. We have some 20 senators already looking to the door right now. The number of members of the House is around 50. Let’s see how the party can survive that.”
Currently the PDP has 47 of the 109 senators and 141 of the 360 members of the House of Representatives.
Sources disclosed that some governors spearheaded the decision to install Sheriff as national chairman and forced it on the national caucus, the National Executive Committee (NEC) and overruled the Board of Trustees (BoT).
It was understood that the move to name Modu-Sheriff was kick-started on February 14, during the inauguration of the Bayelsa State governor, Mr Seriake Dickson for a second term in office.
Reports have it that when their plans were cemented to back Sheriff, the governors made sure that the Abuja meetings of the BoT, national caucus and NEC were unable to upturn the decision.
It was also understood that the six zonal chairmen of the party, the state chairmen and other stakeholders, including the National Assembly, voted against the choice of Sheriff, but the governors put their feet down.
A source revealed that former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Madueke actually walked out of the NEC when it was clear that Sheriff was being forced on the party.
The governors are however reported to have started peace moves from Tuesday night, with the aim of ensuring a united party.
Sheriff, on Wednesday, vowed to lead the party to regain control of the Federal Government in 2019.
He said nothing would stop his party, which lost power in 2015, asserting that the PDP would draw its master plan on how it would remove the APC from power, adding that “we are here today, we are starting from here and we are going to Aso Rock, Insha Allah by 2019.
“We will head from here and we will do it together. This my long cap is prepared to lead my colleagues and brothers to Aso Rock, Insha Allah.
“By the grace of Allah, nothing will deter this party from going to Aso Rock in 2019. By the time we put down our master-plan, I am sure they (APC) will go back to where they came from. Insha Allah, nothing will stop us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Abubakar Suleiman, the immediate past Minister of National Planning, has regretted the emergence of Sheriff as PDP national chairman, adding that the rescue mission that should follow the party’s failure in 2015 election had failed.
He said, “Whoever partook in the decision that led to the emergence of Sheriff does not mean well for the party and democracy in Nigeria. It is obvious the fifth columnist has hijacked the party and they are hell bent in sinking it deeper into irrecoverable level of the pit.”
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