Editor’s note: The emergence Ali Modu-Sheriff as the acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has split the national leadership of the main opposition party.
Political commentator Ewubare Kess highlights the grave consequences that could result from allowing Sheriff lead the PDP at this critical time.
The controversial emergence
Erstwhile chairman of the Board of Trustees of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, and former governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff was on February 16 chosen to become the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after a section of its leadership picked selected Sheriff as the party’s acting chairman.
Sheriff was chosen for the position by governors elected on the platform of the party and some members of the national working committee after former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Nuhu Ribadu turned down the job.
Governors Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti) and Nyesom Wike (Rivers) Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) and Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), were said to be the brain behind Sheriff’s sudden choice as acting chairman.
Why Modu Sheriff is a mistake
But picking Sheriff to succeeded Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu as the chairman of the traumatised, fragmented and crisis-ridden PDP which is yet to recover from its defeat at the last general elections could be a akin to a tale by moonlight.
If the selection of the Sheriff was meant to restore the strength of the PDP, then the action has already backfired because the party seems to be more fragmented than ever as some members are threatening to leave the party over the controversial nomination.
For a party struggling to stay on it’s feet, the choice of Sheriff who has been alleged to have supported Boko Haram when he was governor between 2003 and 2011 and who has been a guest of EFCC over alleged mismanagement of N300billion is a suicidal choice.
Sheriff’s candidacy bears grave consequences for PDP
Sheriff’s candidacy certainly is going to generate huge ripples both within and outside the party. Majority of the BOT members of the party have rejected him and they have threatened to resign en masse in addition to all the state chapters of the PDP who have also opposed the him.
Sheriff’s controversial emergence could result in the final burial of the PDP which has also been torn apart by the ongoing probe of the alleged Arms contract scandal which has seen top members of the party have been arrested, quizzed and arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It is evident that the party has made a bad choice in picking sheriff as stated by Femi Fani-Kayode in a Vanguard report dated February 17, 2016 that: “It is clear to me that, more than at any other time in its almost 17 years in existence, the PDP needs serious prayers. If we fail to provide the strong, united, progressive, credible and focused leadership and opposition that is needed to keep our country on course and our government on their toes, then God will never forgive us and He will surely punish us.
“If we insist on making the wrong choices about our leadership and if we keep taking people for granted not only will we be finished as a party but the entire country will suffer the consequences of our errors and inexplicable ways.
“May God help us and may He forgive us and deliver us from evil, greedy, corrupt, ignorant and bloodthirsty men.”
From Fani-Kayode’s statement, it is certain that the PDP will always lack credible and focused leadership with sheriff as its national chairman. At a time when there is need to raise the credibility of the party after the debacle of the last general election it is surprising that governors on the party’s platform could settle for a candidate like Sheriff who is as wanting as Olisa Metuh, Bode George, James Ibori and other PDP stalwarts with corruption allegations tagged to their names.
It is surprising that after 17 years of it existence, the PDP could not get a candidate with impeccable character.
The choice of Sheriff in an era when Nigerian are yearning for change would give the party an image problem which could result in the final burial of a party once thought would stay in power for 60 years.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Naij.com.
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