A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Abia state, John Okiyi Kalu, has declined an appointment by a claimant to the national chairmanship of the party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff.
Sen. Sheriff had in an advertorial published in some newspapers, named Kalu as a member of his team to conduct and supervise the party’s primary elections preparatory to the November governorship election in Edo state.
Kalu was named by Sherrif as secretary of the gubernatorial screening committee. Sheriff also named Shuaib Oyedokun as chairman of the committee with Shettima Shehu, Attacker Adekoya and Hadiza Mohammed Sambo as members.
But reacting to the appointment according to TheUnion, Kalu in a press statement titled “Re: Party Primary for 2016 Edo State Gubernatorial Election” and made available to The UNION, said Sherrif lacked the powers to make any such appointment as his executive no longer existed.
“My attention has been drawn to publications in at least 2 National Dailies, including Thisday Newspaper (page 19) of Monday June 13 2016 wherein my name was listed as Secretary of the Gubernatorial Screening Committee for Edo State”, Kalu wrote, adding that “while I appreciate the benevolence and recognition of my capacity to serve my beloved party which led to my appointment, the events of 21st May 2016 at the party’s National Convention held in Port Harcourt and the resolutions arising thereof makes it impossible for me to take up the assignment”.
“I have no doubt that my nomination preceded the convention wherein members of Abia PDP led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu voted alongside others to dissolve the National Executive Committee of the party led by Sen (Dr.) Ali Modu Sheriff and elected Alh. Ahmed Makarfi as interim National Chairman.
“Since the resolution of the party remains subsisting and all members of the PDP in my state led by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, voted in support, I hereby decline participation in the screening exercise as the Modu Sheriff led executive no longer exist in law and hence cannot validly act on behalf of the party.
“However, Edo State is ripe for real change and I call on all our party leaders and members to quickly close ranks behind Senator Makarfi and ensure that the current APC led fake change Government is replaced by real changers of PDP for the sake of the “change” defrauded people of Edo State and Nigerians in general.
“Changing the changers is a task that must be accomplished in Edo State.
“Once more I thank all those who considered me capable of serving my party and assure them of my sincere appreciation of their kindness. Propriety and good conscience compel me to decline this appointment at this time”, Kalu stated.
Despite this, Sen. Sherrif declared in Abuja Monday that he remained National Chairman of the party till 2018.
Sherrif stormed the party’s national secretariat with supporters Monday and declared that he remains the substantive chairman of the party until 2018. He claimed that members of the respective organs of the party begged him to come and lead the party.
Listing the various organs that allegedly pleaded with him to lead the party, Sheriff said: “All the governors begged me to take over; all NWC begged me to take over. BoT, NEC National caucus, and when some people were protesting my choice, then, there was a voting in NEC. Ali Sheriff got 69 votes, the next to me got five votes, three votes and 1 vote”, he said.
“The party constitution is very clear, you have right to resign your appointments, there is a deputy to take over automatically. All the deputies are waiting. If by tomorrow, anybody that did not come, we ask the deputy to apply for that office and takeover”, he threatened.
Sheriff, who gained entrance to the party secretariat on his fourth attempt, after failing do so three times earlier, said his delay in resuming as chairman of the party was because he was restrained by a Federal High Court order on the eve of the Port Harcourt convention.
He said the order restrained the party from holding elections into the offices of the National Chairman, Secretary and Auditor, respectively occupied by Ali Module Sheriff, Prof. Adewale Oladipo and Fatai Adewole Adeyanju.
Sheriff said, his compliance with the law was because he was law abiding especially as the exparte motion was to lapse in two-week from the date it was served on him.
He insisted that any other representation of the party is null and void.
Dismissing the caretaker committee led by Sen. Ahmed Makarfi, Sheriff said the caretaker committee was unknown to the constitution of the party.
According to him, anybody who does business with the Makarfi group was on his own stressing that the party nomination for governorship is N10m and those who paid in excess will be refunded the excess so long as such payment was made to the account of the national secretariat of the party and evidence of same presented to the Senator Hope Uzodinma screening committee.
“There is only one PDP, if anybody goes to buy form from any omnibus body called caretaker committee they are on their own. PDP has spoken. PDP has only one party and we say our forms is N10m and we say they should go and pay the amount into the party account. If anybody goes and buy from some other body, he is on his own.
“The only people that would be screened are those who show evidence of their form which they paid N10m for to chairman of the screening committee. People have the right to do whatever they want; I am not forcing anybody.
“As PDP we have agreed that our form is N10m and payment should he made to the party account. The N16 Million you are talking about to whom is it paid. Did paid to party account? Nomination forms are not paid to the state party account but to the national party account. If the candidates paid to the National party account and present their evidence to the chairman of the screening committee, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, that he was misled to pay N16m the balance of N6m will be refunded,” Sheriff stated.
Sheriff said he is open to receive all other members of the party as the party belongs to all members who must be united to make the desired steps that will make the party a success.
“Every party member is welcome, including Makarfi. I will work with everybody. I will not say because somebody did something wrong, then am going to do the same thing, no. We will carry everybody along to ensure that the party is united”, he said.