Divisions in PDP govs forum over Sheriff
Some governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are reviewing their opposition to the planned national convention of the party by the Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the party.
The governors, it was revealed, are calculating that they will be taking a big risk if they fail to be part of the convention for as long as the Court of Appeal’s verdict recognizing Sheriff as chairman has not been reversed.
A new leadership is to be elected at the planned convention.
Some of the governors, it was gathered, are of the opinion that they should join Sheriff in organizing the convention, since the former Governor of Borno State remains the one recognised by law, for now, as the party leader.
But others are opposed to the Governors’ Forum having anything to do with the planned convention, preferring instead to wait for the outcome of the former President Goodluck Jonathan peace initiative. The opposing governors are said to be angry with Sheriff for walking out on party leaders at the last peace parley in Abuja.
A party source said:”They claim that he (Sheriff) insulted the entire party and the former president with his action on that day and with his subsequent statements in the media and elsewhere. They also feel that for him to announce that he is going on with the convention with or without the other faction is a breach of all agreements earlier reached.
“Also, some of those opposed to Sheriff are still optimistic that the Supreme Court will upturn his judicial victory soon. And when that happens, he will lose all legitimacy to hold a convention for the party. They are impatiently waiting for the Court to make a pronouncement that will finally halt Sheriff and his camp in their bid to foist a new leadership on the party.”
It was reliably learnt that the disagreement among the governors over the planned convention is aptly responsible for the inability of the forum to meet lately.
It is feared that calling a meeting of the forum at this time will not be in the best interest of the party and the forum.
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State, who is also the Chairman of the Forum, is in the vanguard of the opposition to Sheriff and the planned national convention being put together by his team.
Sources said Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State who headed the peace and reconciliation committee set up by ex-President Jonathan believes strongly that the convention, as planned by his reconciliation committee, remains the solution to the crisis within the party.
A source said:”In spite of the seeming collapse of the peace effort put in place by his committee, Dickson is still working hard to get the Governors’ Forum to throw its weight behind the planned national convention. But Fayose, who is the chairman of the Forum, is determined not to be part of the convention as being planned.
“Consequently, the governors are sharply divided over the matter. What we now have are governors who support Dickson’s view as well as those who are aligning with Fayose.
“ While I can tell you more governors want to be part of the convention based on the last court ruling that pronounced Sheriff as the authentic chairman of the party, it is also important to note that Fayose is not the only one opposed to the convention.”
Speaking on the matter only after pleading for anonymity, a media aide to one of the PDP governors in the Southsouth revealed that his governor is one of those opposed to the Forum’s participation in the convention. According to him, it is true that some governors are going round trying to mobilise others to support the convention, “Their argument is the need to comply with court rulings. Well, they are entitled to their opinion but my governor is opposed to such participation. We will have nothing to do with people who insulted the party elders without a second thought.
“And it is also our strong belief that the Supreme Court will remove these impostors from the leadership of our party soon. We are optimistic and unrelenting in our pursuit of justice in the leadership struggle that has adversely affected the PDP since after the decisive 2015 general elections.”