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Read what Jonathan’s loyalists threaten to do, if new PDP chairman is not removed

– Former ministers who served in Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet threatened to leave the PDP if Ali Modu Sheriff is not removed as the party’s national chairman

– Jonathan congratulated Sheriff and described him as “the right choice for the opposition”

– Abubakar Suleiman, the ex-minister of national planning, said that the plan to rescue the PDP had failed

– Sheriff promised to bring back to the PDP his colleagues who were not happy with the way they were currently being treated in the ruling party

Ali Modu Sheriff

Ali Modu Sheriff is the new acting national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Former ministers who served in Goodluck Jonathan’s administration have threatened to dump the Peoples Democratic Party if Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is not removed as the national chairman of the PDP.

The Nation reports that about 15 ex-ministers met on Wednesday, February 17, in Asokoro, vowing to resist Sheriff’s appointment.

Meanwhile, Jonathan has reportedly called to Sheriff congratulating him and describing as “the right choice for the opposition”.

A reliable source familiar with the development said: “Jonathan believes that Sheriff has the guts, influence, native wisdom and the wherewithal to lead PDP to displace the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

“Jonathan and the governors teamed up to choose Sheriff who was part of the leaders who coordinated the merger of parties into the APC.

READ ALSO: Read what PDP governors said about the new national chairman

“Their aim is to have an opposition with much bite in the light of the way the APC government is exposing Jonathan’s tenure.

“They are looking at the rough side of politics towards 2019 and they think Sheriff can withstand the APC.”

According to another source, the ex-ministers are going to part ways with Jonathan if he is adamant on Sheriff.

“We do not need Sheriff to reform PDP. And he cannot actually lead the party for some obvious reasons. He is not a team player and he has many controversies surrounding his style of politics.

“We knew the NWC and the governors have a different agenda. With Sheriff, the PDP cannot go far in 2019. Jonathan and these leaders should listen to the Board of Trustees (BOT) members.

“Jonathan can afford to take the risk with Sheriff because he has reached a dead end politically. We will not allow the ex-president to ruin our own future. Public perception does not favour Sheriff,” he said.

READ ALSO: PDP chairman Ali Modu Sheriff vows to replace Buhari in 2019

Speaking with The Punch, Abubakar Suleiman, the spokesperson for the former ministers and the ex-minister of national planning, said that the plan to rescue the PDP had failed.

“Our rescue mission has failed; the redemption boat has capsized and our journey to recovery has come to an end. Whosoever partook in the decision does not mean well for the party and democracy in Nigeria.

“It is obvious that the fifth columnist has hijacked the party and they are hell-bent on sinking it deeper into irrecoverable level of the pit.

“Some of us would rather review our membership than subject ourselves to selfish interests of some cabal whose main goal is political profiteering. After all, our umbilical cord is not tied to any party,” he said.

When asked if the former ministers were planning to move to either the APC or form another political party, Suleiman noted that the decision would be soon taken.

“Some people will go to the APC while some will form their own political party if they so desire.

“Sheriff’s emergence is a setback for the party trying to build its image. Credible members and younger ones are going to leave the party. If his emergence is not reversed in the next one week, there could be massive exodus from the party.”

READ ALSO: Boko Haram killed his brother? 8 things you need to know about the new PDP chairman, Sheriff

Speaking about the former governor of Borno state and people’s perception about him, Suleiman insisted that Sheriff cannot lead the party that is trying to regain power.

“For several times, he has been identified with the issue of Boko Haram, though he has yet to be indicted. But perception matters a lot. We can’t be defending that toga now. We don’t have such time.

“Remember also that he has problem with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Such a man shouldn’t be asked to lead a party that is trying to regain power,” he noted.

Sheriff in his turn promised to bring back to the PDP his colleagues who were not happy with the way they were currently being treated in the ruling party. He also vowed to lead the party to regain control of the federal government in 2019.

Meanwhile, the PDP called on Nigerians not to label its national chairman as a Boko Haram sponsor.

In a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja, Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju, the party’s national auditor, challenged anybody with concrete proof on Sheriff’s culpability to speak out or shut up.

According to Adeyanju, those people who are raising allegations against the party’s new chairman are plotting to discredit the PDP before Nigerians and the international community.

READ ALSO: Alleged Boko Haram sponsor takes oath of office as PDP chairman (photos)

“We are very much aware that some elements are jittery over the PDP’s decision to pick him as its new chairman and the only way out for them is to label him as a Boko Haram sponsor.

“They cannot succeed in their new plot because the government would have arrested and charged him to court as done to a serving Senator in the National Assembly during the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. That trial (of a serving senator) is still in progress,” he said.

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