Sheriff Takes Over PDP After Three Attempts

Sheriff Takes Over PDP After Three Attempts

…Says I’m one and only PDP National Chairman till 2018

Chris Steven,Abuja

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday  took another dimension, as the embattled National Chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff took over the party ‘s national secretariat. 

After three attempts, Sheriff eventually gained entrance into the party national Headquarters.  

The former Borno State Governor  had earlier stormed the party in the morning at about 7:28 am, but was prevented from gaining entrance by armed police men.

After his second attempt at about 11:58 am that was not also successful, he left the party premises around 12:25pm without also gaining entrance. 

It was the third attempt when he came back about 1:20pm that he was finally allowed to enter the party national secretariat.

 This was even as he had succeeded in entry into the party presidential campaign office, the Legacy House.

Addressing newsmen shortly after gaining entrance into the party secretariat, Sheriff, who was in company of two members of the party National working Committee (NWC) that were sacked at the convention, the National Secretary, Prof. Adewale Oladipo and National Auditor, Adewole Adeyanju, insisted that he remain the party National Chairman till 2018, adding that member from the other camp, including the caretaker committee Chairman, Ahmed Makarfi, the Board of Trustee (BoT) Chairman, Sen. Walid Jubrin, who he said had called him two times and others are welcome on board.

Speaking on why he had not taken over the party after the national convention in Port Harcourt, where he was sacked, Sheriff said it would be height of self deceit to say there is no crisis in the party.

He said: “I will therefore consider it the height of self deceit for anyone to pretend that the PDP is not in crisis, but also wish to assure you that, we have been working round the clock to see how we can resolve the matter, without being on the wrong side of the law.

“It is public knowledge that, although there was an order by the Federal High Court in Lagos, declaring me the authentic National Chairman of the PDP, I have kept away from taking steps that could jeopardize the law following an exparte order from the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which had given a contradictory order, restraining me from operating as the Chairman of our party notwithstanding some further orders from the Federal High Court Lagos, specifically directing the inspector General of Police to provide me with adequate security to enable me carry my duties.

“Now that the ex parte order given in Port Harcourt has since lapsed on the 9th of June and has not been renewed
or extended, it is now my pleasure and privilege to inform you that I have fully resumed as the one and only National Chairman of our great party, the PDP.”

Speaking on the caretaker committee headed by Ahmed Makarfi, Sheriff said
that he has not authorised for the appointment of any caretaker committee to take over the party, which he said has no place in the party Constitution.

He pointed out that he never wanted to be PDP Chairman, but was begged to take the position, adding, “I never wanted to be chairman of the party, they begged me, including governors, BoT, NEC, Nass caucus.”

In his speech, he said, “I have come, fully armed with all the necessary court orders to resume as the National chairman, as directed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“We have to this effect served the necessary court orders on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is the impartial arbiter in matters like this.”

Sheriff declared that all the actions so far taken by Makarfi-led caretaker committee, including the decision to sell Edo state governorship election forms was null and void, as he has not appointed any committee.

He said: “I hereby declare as null void and of no consequence whatsoever, any action taken by any person or group of persons, except by my leadership which is recognized by the law.”

Sheriff stressed that Edo state  governorship nomination form is not sold for N16 million as earlier advertised by Makarfi committee, but N10 million, adding that the forms are presently on sale at the national secretariat.

He appointed Hope Uzodimma as the chairman of the screening committee for Edo state governorship election.

Sheriff, however said he was willing to work with all and sundry for the progress of the party, adding, “if Makarfi wants to be party chairman he has to wait until the National convention.”

When called to react to the development at the party national secretariat, Makarfi said that he would speak on the issue today (Tuesday).

Earlier, Sheriff, who came to the party in a convoy, with many of his supporters including former National Secretary, Prof. Adewale Oladipo and former National Auditor, Adewole Adeyanju to assume office as the National Chairman of the Party, was prevented by armed police men.

The police barred him and some former members of the former National Working Committee (NWC) from gaining entrance into the premises of the party national secretariat.

The police also barricaded all the roads leading to the party secretariat.

Addressing newsmen at the entrance of the party secretariat, Sheriff said he was around to resume work based on a Lagos court order

The former PDP National Chairman expressed surprised by the police action, adding that by the court ordered the Inspector General of Police ought to provide him with adequate security while resuming office .

He said: “The Party belongs to Nigerians and not the Nigeria police or the people that were handpicked  at Port-Harcourt by governor Nyesom Wike and his cohorts as the man who purported to be acting as the National Chairman of the Party. One thing remains, there was no convention in Port-Harcourt because I cancelled it.

“I don’t know why the police would say we cannot enter our offices when we have a valid court order to that effect. We will take this matter beyond the Nigeria Police, the law will take its course in this matter.

“When you are talking of a caretaker  assuming office here last week, the caretaker committee was not known to the Constitution of the Party while the Board of Trustees (BOT) is only an advisory body in the Party, so none of the has the power to be running the affairs of our party. Senator Ahmed makarif led Caretaker has no role here, it is an illegal body in the eyes of the law.”

Sheriff, however, disclosed that he was making frantic efforts to reach the IGP, Solomon Arase over the action of the Police, this is even while his supporters armed with various placards were drumming, dancing and displaying in the front of the secretariat.