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Sheriff fails in bid to woo PDP bigwigs, takes acceptance battle to Anenih



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The court-enthroned National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff yesterday paid a visit to former PDP BoT Chairman, Chief Antony Anenih in Abuja in efforts muster enough support of party members for his leadership.
There are reports that party stakeholders are rebuffing his overtures to join his faction of the party, The Nation can reveal.
Already opposed to him are the PDP governors, ministers in the Goodluck Jonathan Administration and the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT).
As he emerged from Chief Anenih’s residence, after a closed door meeting that lasted about 30 minutes, Sheriff was reluctant to talk to reporters.
But when the reporters would not take no for an answer, he said he came to see Anenih for advice and guidance as a son does to his father.
“If there are two founding fathers, Chief Anenih is one. Therefore, as a father, I came to consult with him.
“I came to tell him that this is the situation we are. He, as a father who formed this party should help us on how to reposition the party to the period of 1999.
“Baba has given us kind and fatherly advice on all matters,” Sheriff said.
Anenih on his part merely said: “Why should I reveal the advice I gave a son.”
Sheriff had earlier paid similar visits to former military President, Ibrahim Babangida and former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Although the party’s secretariat was reopened for Sheriff on Thursday, there were no activities at the premises, as the building remained deserted all through yesterday.
But some party bigwigs who spoke with The Nation said that they still hold Sheriff responsible for party’s loss of the 2016 governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states.
They alleged that Sheriff attempted to bait  five PDP governors with the party’s 2019 vice presidential ticket, having unilaterally allotted the presidential ticket to himself.
“With the role he played in ensuring that the PDP lost the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, how can anyone in his right senses associate with Sheriff.
“We all know his intentions which are to destroy the PDP and make it incapable of presenting credible candidates for the 2019 general elections. We are not going to play into the hands of the enemy”, a prominent party chieftain said in a telephone chat.
Another party chief who also did not want his name mentioned, dismissed Sheriff’s plan to hold a national convention to elect leaders for the party as a ploy to ensnare the party.
He said when Sheriff first had the opportunity to organize a convention in 2015, he printed only one nomination form for each of the available offices, including that of chairman, which he had already reserved for himself.
The convention, which was slated for Port Harcourt in May 2015, ended in a fiasco, leading to the removal of Sheriff as the chairman and the setting up of Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee.
The Court of Appeal, by a split decision, recently declared Sherif as the rightful national chairman of the party. It annulled the Makarfi caretaker committee.