The All Progressives Congress, APC and the Presidency have been identified as the secret powerful forces behind Senator Ali Modu Sheriff faction of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, who are head bent and has vowed to clinch to the leadership of the party till 2018, despite his acclaimed ouster at the Port Harcourt Convention.
The Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led faction of the party made alleged that the Presidency and the APC are stoking the leadership crisis.
But the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday denied having anything to do with the leadership crisis rocking the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Reacting to the allegation, the APC said the PDP is suffering from the sins of the past.
The National Secretary of APC, Mai Mala Buni, in a statement said: “For the umpteenth time, the APC wishes to state that instead of joining issues with the baseless and laughable allegations, the APC would rather join issues that will bring about-all-inclusive development in the country.
“However, it should be put on record that the PDP foisted on them whatever crisis it is troubled with today due to its politics of imposition and other undemocratic practices which the APC abhors.
“The PDP should put its house in order rather than playing to the gallery and blaming others but themselves for their sins which have come to hunt them. Also, it is evident that the PDP has chosen to employ diversionary tactics because of its inability to produce credible candidates for the forthcoming elections in Edo and Ondo states”.
The caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) of hiring “ousted” PDP Chairman Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff to destroy the PDP.
Sheriff was removed as party chairman at the May 21 botched national convention in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, where a caretaker committee was told to take charge of the party’s affairs.
But Sheriff on Monday stormed the party’s Abuja headquarters to take charge of its activities. He declared the caretaker committee as an “illegal” body and vowed to continue as chairman till December 2018.
At a media briefing yesterday, held at a private residence, spokesman of the caretaker committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the aim of the APC was to scuttle the chances of the PDP in the upcoming governorship election in Edo State.
Said he: “The All Progressive Congress (APC) has contracted Sheriff and his cohorts to scuttle the chances of the PDP in the Edo governorship election.
“We have credible intelligence that Sheriff had a meeting on Sunday night with an APC governor from the Northwest, where it was agreed that he would be given full security and financial support to exacerbate the crisis in the PDP with the objective of preventing the PDP from presenting a candidate for the Edo governorship election, or in the very least, to prevent the PDP from offering a serious challenge to APC whose electoral fortunes have continued to nose-dive.
“What we are however very certain about is that Sheriff and his fellow renegades are being used by the enemies of the PDP to destroy our party and to prevent it from reorganising itself so as to provide a credible opposition and alternative platform for the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial election and the 2019 general elections.”
Adeyeye also faulted the police for allowing Sheriff and his group access to the secretariat, saying the police could hardly justify the action.
“While we are still trying to understand the role of the police in the entire saga, it is curious that the police made no arrest of the thugs who openly brandished various dangerous weapons in and around the premises of the secretariat in full glare of the police.
“It is also curious that the police claimed to be acting on ‘orders from above’ in allowing Sheriff and his cohorts to gain entry into the secretariat. If we may ask, who is the authority that issued the ‘orders from above’?, he queried.
The committee spokesman dismissed the court orders on the strength of which Sheriff took control of the party’s secretariat, saying they were non existent.
According to him, the court order restraining Sheriff from parading himself as chairman is still subsisting until the determination of the motion on notice, which he said would come up for hearing on Thursday (tomorrow).
Adeyeye continued: “The motion on notice will come up for hearing on Thursday. Only three of the members of the defunct national officers are still parading themselves but constitutionally they cannot form a quorum for any legitimate business of the party.”
Adeyeye recalled that Sheriff was not elected but appointed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP to complete the tenure of erstwhile chairman Adamu Mu’azu, which terminated on February 14.
He pointed out that Sheriff was given an extension of three months by the NEC to organise a national convention but that his appointment was not ratified at the Port Harcourt convention.
Adeyeye said: “So, constitutionally, he has no other mandate which can extend beyond May 21, 2016. The national convention is the supreme organ of the party under Article 33 (02) of the PDP constitution.
“In the exercise of its power under Article 33(5)(b) & (e) of the constitution, the national convention removed all officers of the party and set up a caretaker committee to plan and organize a national convention within 90 days.
“The national convention of the PDP can only be called by NEC and once that is done, it is only the national convention that can cancel or postpone its proceedings.
“No individual or other organ of the party can postpone or cancel the national convention. The national convention, therefore, took place legally and constitutionally.”
The spokesman said the committee would not be distracted by the activities of fifth columnists in the party.