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Thursday, 21 September 2017

PDP: Fresh Crisis Brews As Sheriff Moves To Install Stooge As PDP National Chairman, Eyes 2019 Presidency

PDP: Fresh Crisis Brews As Sheriff Moves To Install Stooge As PDP National Chairman, Eyes 2019 Presidency

PDP Convention: Sheriff Move To Install Bode Olajumoke

A fresh crisis may be brewing in the opposition People Democratic Party, PDP as the outlawed factional Chairman, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is making frantic move to install one of his stooges as the national chairman of the party.

According to New Telegraph, there are strong indications that Sheriff group within the PDP is pushing for Senator Bode Olajumoke as the national chairman of the party at the convention of the party later this year.

Our source says it gathered from source reliable sources within Sheriff's camp that the decision to settle for Olajumoke came after the group had considered the list of possible chairmanship candidates of the party from the South-West and the South-South.

READ ALSO :  Sen. Akpabio In Trouble Over N108bn Fraud As EFCC Probes Fresh N1.4bn Bank Gift

The PDP has zoned the chairmanship of the party to the South, while the presidency for the 2019 election has been zoned to the North.

There are also indications that Sheriff may be eyeing the presidency. Thus, his group has more than a passing interest in the chairmanship of the party.

Sheriff became PDP national chairman in 2015. His bid to extend his tenure at the May 21, 2016 National Convention in Port Harcourt, River State was derailed. And for over 14 months, he instituted several cases in court in a bid to retain his position, which he claimed would end in 2018.

But, the Supreme Court, on July 12, 2017 decided the case in favour of his rival, Senator Ahmad Makarfi.

New Telegraph was reliably informed that among the possible persons being considered by the group are Olajumoke, who was the Senator representing Ondo North from 2007 to 2011; a former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; a former governorship candidate of the party in Lagos State, Chief Jimi Agbaje, all from the South-West.

They also considered the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007, Hon. Austin Opara and a former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Uche Secondus, from the South-South.

READ ALSO :  PDP crisis: I won’t quit, Sheriff replies Makarfi

It was learnt that just like the Senator Ahmed Makarfi block, the Sheriff group are more attuned to the chairmanship going to the South-West. The zone has never held the position before.

But the consideration of possible candidates from the South-South was based on the insistence of some governors of the zone that the chairman of the party must come from the South-South.

A close ally of Sheriff told New Telegraph: “Ordinarily, we have settled our mind that the next chairman of the party would come from the South-West. Our calculation is that apart from their not having the position previously, the South-West is the weakest in the three zones in terms of presence of the PDP.

Of the six states in the South-South, we have five governors and three in the South-East. But currently, we have only one governor in the South-West. What it means is that we need a large presence in the zone, which we believe a strong chairman from the zone would offer.

“There is election in Ekiti next year. We are not sure what would happen there. But if we have a strong chairman from the zone, we might register a strong presence there.”

But it was gathered that among the lot, Olajumoke is highly favoured because of what the group considered his level headedness and lack of heavy baggage.

While the group believes that Agbaje has not stayed long enough in the party to be saddled with such a responsibility, some also kicked against Daniel, insisting that they could not rely on him. Some members of the group believe that Daniel has some strong political opponents who would not allow him succeed.

READ ALSO :  Ali Modu Sheriff's Tenure as PDP Chairman Cut Short...See Details

Daniel had, in an interview with New Telegraph two weeks ago, indicated that he was interested in the race. He said that what the PDP needed at this point was a man who could manage the adversities in the party, insisting that there is no wealth to manage in the party now.

He said: “There is no doubt in my mind that what the party requires, since the party is out of power, is the capacity to organise the party and rebrand it. I have no doubt in my mind that I have the capacity to organise and reposition the party.

If the opportunity arises, one would see it as a national service and a chance to contribute to national development. I am not going to run away from that.”

A former Deputy National Chairman of the party, Chief Olabode George, and the immediate past governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, are also being tipped for the PDP national chairmanship.

But it was further gathered that the Sheriff camp is not limiting its options to the PDP alone. Last week, one of the key allies of Sheriff and his former Deputy Chairman, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) with his supporters in Delta State.

It is not clear if APC is an option for Sheriff now, but it was learnt that he is keeping his card to his chest, seeking alternative platforms, should the PDP option fail.

Already, there is apprehension in the camp that the PDP leadership might be considering disciplining Sheriff, Senator representing Ogun East Senatorial District, Buruji Kashamu, and a few others, who caused the party serious headaches in the past one year.

A member of the party, however, dismissed the claim of Sheriff’s plotting to take over the party.
“One of his pillars, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh has left for APC, and we are waiting to hear from Sheriff where he will go,” the source said.

READ ALSO :  Sheriff denies congratulating Makarfi

According to him, the governors still call the shots, “and the majority of the governors don’t want to have anything to do with Sheriff.”

He said the old zoning formula is likely to be retained. “That is presidency in the North and chairmanship in the South, particularly, South-West.

“All former chairmanship aspirants, including Chief Raymond Dokpesi, are still interested in contesting the position.
“When PDP zones a position to particular zone, say South-West, that does not mean people from the other zones in the South will not contest.”

Meanwhile, National Publicity Secretary of the National Caretaker Committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said he was not aware that Sheriff is sponsoring somebody for the chairmanship position.

“Honestly, I don’t about that. But his main man (Ojougboh) has left PDP. Who is he sponsoring, may be you journalists know better than us?” he asked.

Adeyeye said the party is retaining the previous zoning arrangement, and was not going to revisit it.
He, however, said neither of the position has been micro-zoned to any zone.

The party spokesman said he was not aware that Olajumoke has interest in the chairmanship of the party.

READ ALSO :  Goodluck Jonathan Has Been Misled to Support Sheriff As PDP Chairman - Group Alleges

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