Some aggrieved chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by former governor of old Gongola State, Wilberforce Juta, has asked the new PDP national chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff to resign and save the party further embarrassment.
The aggrieved party members under the aegis of PDP Rescue Group, further described the emergence of Sheriff as an imposition, stressing that he was not nominated by any state from the North-east.
They noted that the Borno State chapter of the party has rejected Sheriff.
Juta, who spoke on behalf of the group at a press conference on Sunday, called on the party organs to commence the search for “persons with high, strategic insight and fear of God almighty” to lead the party.
The former governor who was screen for the chairmanship position, listed the organs to include state and zonal chapters, board of trustees, national caucus, PDP ministers Forum, PDP governors forum, G84 as well as PDP leaders past and present.
Reeling out the grouse of the group, Juta said they are upset by the decision of NEC in appointing Sheriff, adding that they are “convinced that this decision by NEC is against the will and wish of the generality of faithful members.
“We know that North east zonal wing having been directed by national caucus of the party to forward nominees from the zone didn’t nominate Senator Sheriff for the position of national chairman.
“That it is in the interest of PDP and the country, Sen. Sheriff should do the needful by stepping down honorably as it is evident that party members nationwide overwhelmingly reject his imposition.”
He added that they have resolved for an early congress and national convention to be called to elect new leaders as “the term of the current leadership is due to end in March 2016.”
He added that “under no guise should the tenure of current leaderships of the party be extended, if we must make the needed fresh beginning.”
Juta noted that that “most party faithful do not see in Sen. Sheriff a model of impeccable integrity that the PDP badly needs to lead it at this critical moment,” stressing that to raise a leader who is lacking in integrity and skills is to throw the party and nation into inefficiency, indiscipline, disorderliness and even chaos”.
Reacting to expectations that Sheriff would leave in March as he was meant to serve the tenure of the North-east, Juta said “It is not the question of time but precedence. If we allow it we would have laid a bad precedence. What is wrong is wrong. It is inappropriate.”
Former Senate President, Senator Adolphus Wabara, is deputy deputy chairman of the group, former deputy governor of Sokoto State, Secretary of the group Murtar Shagari is secretary of the group. Former ministers Mohammed Wakil and John Odeh are also a members of the group.
Corroborating, Senator Wabara said “we are here to rescue party from imposition and impunity,” stressing that Sheriff’s emergence was “embarrassing” as he was smuggled into the contest.
He disagree with Sheriff’s statement that PDP will return to power in 2019, stressing that “we are not talking about 2019, we must impress Nigerians first.
The agenda is that the person who made that statement might be there to carry out that mission.”
He recalled that the boast by some PDP members that the party would rule for 60 years never came to pass.
On his part, Shagari noted that the group is not out to “fight anybody but put things in perspective” he however that lamented that “key members have started leaving. We can’t sit back and allow the party to die. PDP strongest opposition in the country.”
He stressed that “no state from the North east submitted his (Sheriff) name. We don’t know how he came into the picture. It is not right for him to impose himself the way he was imposed. It is honorable for him to step down.”
He noted that while he wont call Sheriff’s emergence illegal since he was approved by NEC, he lamented “what we all know is that it was not properly done. The entire pdp family not happy with what has happened. He has to resign.”
He, however, added that “PDP has always gone into crisis and come out stronger.”
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