PDP Suffers Setback As Alimodu Sheriff Loyalists Dump Party For APC

Supporters of sacked national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, led by a former National Vice Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, have dumped the PDP for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

The defecting Sheriff loyalists, in their thousands, said they were “suffocated out of the party through deliberate act of impunity which led to the defeat of the party in 2015”.

The former PDP members were received by top members of the APC led by National Vice Chairman of APC, Mr. Hilliard Eta; Delta State leader of the party, Olorogun O’tega Emerhor; Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu; and the state chairman of the party, Prophet Jones Erue, among others in Agbor.

Speaking during the ceremony, PDP’s former National Vice Chairman (South-South), Ojougboh, said since the Supreme Court judgment which ousted the Sheriff faction, the Ahmed Makarfi national leadership have refused to reach out to them, hence their resolve to leave.

His words, “We asked the national body to open up the party after the unfortunate court judgment, the next thing we heard was that they were going to grant us amnesty, as if we are criminals.

“When Raymond Dokpesi was nominated as member of the committee for the non-elective convention, his nomination was rejected because they said they spent money on the court judgment.

“As if that was not enough, during the Anambra State governorship primary election, Jerry Gana was made chairman of a three-man committee to midwife a transparent election, but governors Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and Nyesom Wike of Rivers State rejected it and came up with another committee that went to Anambra and handed everything to Peter Obi.

“Back here in Delta, we asked the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to remove impunity, but what we continue to see here is a … family government.

“We now said it is time to look for people of like minds, people of progressive ideology to meet with, because I know most of you have ambitions to pursue.

“If we do not make a decision to belong to the progressives, most of you will miss out.”

Osun PDP Leadership Crisis Worsen

By Shina Abubakar

The seeming leadership crisis in the State of Osun chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a new dimension, as the party’s chance of achieving peaceful resolution seems impossible, just as the sacked Ali Modu Sheriff faction is hell-bent on holding on to leadership structure in the state.

The recent pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the legal status of the National leadership of the party was expected to put to rest, all issues regarding the crises confronting the opposition party, but the situation further deteriorated in some of the states where Sheriff’s faction hold sway, especially in the SouthWest.

Prior to the court’s pronouncement, the Osun situation was a bit different as the Soji Adagunodo faction has the majority of members of the party which is made up of the young generation of party followers while the Bayo Faforiji faction was in the minority and only enjoyed the support of Senator Iyiola Omisore before the judgment gave them acceptability.

It would be recalled that the Osun PDP crisis was not without the ambition of Senator Omisore to be the Governor of the state while the young breed and some elders in the party strictly opposed, giving room for division in the party prior to the crisis at the national level.

With the acceptability of Makarfi faction, the National leadership of the party recognised Bayo Faforiji as the party chairman in the state at the detriment of the majority members of the party, who were not favourably disposed to the arrangement.

To persuade the majority faction, a committee was set up to resolve the issue, with a view to maintaining unity in the party, in line with the spirit of the efforts to win the recently concluded Osun West Senatorial bye-election, but the National leadership has always given recognition to Dr. Bayo Faforiji as the chairman.

This situation did not go down well with the Adagunodo faction who believed it has the majority of party members and irrespective of the court judgment should enjoy priority in resolving the party crisis.

However, some of the factors working against the faction is the allegation of receiving N150 million from the Adeleke Family to prosecute the last senatorial bye-election, but a close associate of Adagunodo described the allegation as a figment of the imagination of those spreading it.

Another critical issue the faction is contending with is the role played by the former General Secretary of the party, Professor Wale Oladapo in relegating Senator Iyiola Omisore, as the other faction believed that he would have to pay for it now that the court had sacked him from the post.

But the Adagunodo faction also has strong bargaining power at its disposal, especially as the faction enjoyed the support of many of the young breed of the party and also many of the elders who were against the pseudo dominance of the party and is working towards making statement that the party belongs to the members not an individual.

Another stumbling block on the path of the Faforiji faction is the emergence of Senator Buruji Kashamu and others who rose against the leadership of Governor Ayodele Fayose in the region and would stop at nothing to make sure the arrangement never stand.

OSUN DEFENDER however gathered that the PDP in the state, no matter the compromise may not retain a united house, as a faction in the party is looking forward to move to another party ahead of the 2018 governorship election before it is too late to prepare for campaign.

PDP holds National Caucus, BOT, NEC Meetings

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed its expanded National Caucus, Board of Trustees (BoT), and National Executive Committee (NEC) meetings for Monday, July 17.

The notice of the meeting was jointly issued in Abuja on Saturday by Sen. Ben Obi, the National Secretary of PDP National Caretaker Committee, and Amb. Aminu Wali, the National Secretary of BOT for BOT Chairman.

It stated that the meeting of the expanded National Caucus would hold at 8 a.m, at PDP National Secretariat (Wadata Plaza), Abuja.

Those invited to attend the meeting were former presidents and vice presidents, PDP governors, NEC members, BoT members, National Assembly members, former PDP governors, former PDP ministers and all former national officers of the party.

It added that the BOT and NEC would also be holding separate meetings on Tuesday, July 18, at the same venue.

The party recently emerged from a prolonged leadership crisis following the intervention of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court upheld the Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party as the authentic committee.

In its ruling on Wednesday, the Apex Court held that the appeal filed by Makarfi at the Federal High Court in P/H was not an abuse of court process as wrongly held by the majority judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Resolving the preliminary issue, the Supreme Court has dismissed the preliminary objection by the Ali Modu Sheriff faction, holding that the appeal by the Ahmed Makarfi faction was valid.

The second issue formulated is being considered by the Supreme Court. The issue is whether the PDP’s National Convention held on May 21, 2016 and where Sheriff was removed as National Chairman of the party was illegal.

In February, a Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers state affirmed Sen. Ali-Modu Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the PDP.

The appellate court also nullified the party’s National Convention held in the Rivers capital in 2016 and the National Caretaker Committee of the party constituted at the convention.

Two out of the three-member Appeal Court, Justice B.G. Sanga and Justice A. Gumel, in the judgment, said the Port Harcourt convention was an abuse of court process.

However the Makafi led faction of the party had vowed to approach the Apex Court.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Committee, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, said then that the judgement was a “big disappointment, travesty and miscarriage of justice”.

“The minority judgement is very sound in law, logic and fact. It gives us hope that we will have our day in the Supreme Court.

“Whereas the lead judgement left out the main issues and laboured unconvincingly to work to a preconceived answer, the minority judgement thrashed all the issues and upheld the judgement of the High Court in Port Harcourt, delivered by Liman J on July 4, 2016. `

“We will certainly appeal to the Supreme Court. No reconciliatory effort will stop it. We need the Supreme Court to make a pronouncement on the issue, once and for all,’’ he said.

(NAN)