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IBB, Babangida Aliyu, Buruji Kashamu others throw weight behind Sheriff



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  • Fayose to face disciplinary measures

More eminent members and stakeholders in Nigeria’s main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), have thrown their political weights behind the Court of Appeal authenticated National Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

Senator Buruji Kashamu representing Ogun East Senatorial District and a major financiers of the party is one of those who has thrown his weight behind Senator Sheriff.

He urged the Ahmed Makarfi faction to forget appealing weekend’s Court of Appeal judgment which validated the leadership of Ali Modu Sheriff but to cooperate with him.

The same position is shared by former Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu, who yesterday in Minna called for a political solution to the crisis, adding that “for now Sheriff is the National Chairman”.

But Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose said “Sheriff and his gang are daydreaming. If they think they can inherit the party illegally, that is a pipe dream.”

Former Minister of Aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode described Sheriff as “the angel of death to the PDP, who is worse than the bubonic plague”.

He said Sheriff “is not only a curse to our party but he is also an affliction to our nation”.

Former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and a member of the Board of Trustees of the party urged the factional leaders to find an amicable solution to the crisis.

He spoke yesterday when Sheriff visited him in Minna, the Niger State capital.

Sheriff was accompanied to IBB’s Hilltop Mansion by Babangida Aliyu. He spent about two hours there.

Before the meeting Gen. Babangida urged Sheriff to seek peace by reconciling with the Makarfi group.

He praised Sheriff for his handling of his victory at the Appeal Court saying: “I am very happy with your statement after the court ruling. It shows that there is room for reconciliation and unity. There is the need to bring everybody back together to make the party a formidable opposition party.”

After the meeting, Sheriff told reporters that his meeting with the former military leader was fruitful.

“IBB is our father. During our meeting, he said he was happy with my statement after the court ruling. He told me to continue that way so that I can bring everybody back together to make the party a formidable opposition party. What we want to do now is how to use that judgment to put the party back to shape so that everyone that is aggrieved is brought back as one united family once again. Look, united we stand, divided we fall.”

When asked if he had spoken to Makarfi, he said: “I have even called Makarfi himself. And I have called on everybody to come back so that we can work together.”

Aliyu said it was better for the party to avoid further litigations

“Political issues are not supposed to be solved legally normally. We should have found a political solution to all the problems. There are many Nigerians who have been making efforts to have a political solution. I call on members to bury their personal ambitions to be able to reorganise the PDP into a formidable opposition.

“Until anybody is able to go higher and set aside the decision of the court, for the moment, Ali Modu Sheriff is the Chairman of the party, and those of us who love to see solution to this party will continue to find ways of mending it.

“I think we should all bury our ambition. You can’t have an ambition without a platform. We need to have a platform first of all and we are in the opposition, and we need time to organise and reorganise and go back to the people with plausible real solution to their problems. If we don’t get these solutions, then what do we have?

“We need to all come together and appeal to all of us, all PDP lovers and members, to really look at the issues objectively so that we have a platform that we can call a Party which can win elections. Not a fragmented party.”

National Daily gathered that plans are underway by the Sheriff led executive to institute disciplinary measures against Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose for his recalcitrant posture over the Court of Appeal decision and other anti party activities.

Farooq Adelani explained to this medium that the Northern, South South, elements of the South West and South East political blocks of the party are in on this move.

“It will be recalled that Fayose it was who started the agitation that led to the resignation of Adamu Mu’azu as the National Chairman shortly after the party lost the presidential election to the All Progressives Congress, (APC).

“He alongside Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State shop for Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, whom they believed will be malleable to their dictates.

“However the decision of Sheriff to be his own man and to transform into the substantive Chairman of the party led to their parting of ways.

“Senator Sheriff is eyeing the presidential ticket of the party come 2018 and he has the financial means to stake for it. Being the National Chairman is an added advantage that will see him lay the ground work for his emergence. This is the crux of the agitation.

“Sheriff had approached virtually all the Governors of the PDP to support his move, but they were all interested in being his Vice, a move that complicated the strategy and led to the current imbroglio.

“Fayise and Wike had penciled down Jimi Agbaje from Lagos State to take over from Sheriff at the Port Harcourt convention, but Sheriff pulled a fast one on the gang up by sourcing an experte motion that stopped the convention. Hence the resort to a caretaker Committee headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, a contraption that was thrown out by the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday