Claimant to the office of the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff yesterday rekindled old rivalry between the Fulanis and Kanuris, as he alleged that his opponents sent Fulani herdsmen to kill former secretary of the party, Prof Wale Oladipo, over the leadership crisis in the party.
Modu Sheriff is a Kanuri from Borno.
This is coming as he disagreed with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, it duly supervised last Monday PDP governorship election in Edo State.
Speaking at the inauguration of four different committees to conduct another governorship primary in Edo State at his private residence in Abuja, Senator Sheriff said he could not perform the ceremony at the PDP national secretariat because the venue was not safe for him after Prof Oladipo last Tuesday narrowly escaped lynching at the secretariat.
He said the former Inspector General of Police, Solomon Atase, had ordered investigations into the attack to unravel the Fulani herdsmen that were sent to kill the former national secretary of the party.
The embattled PDP leader gave assurances that he would take over the secretariat again as soon as the investigation was completed into the attack on Prof Oladipo and the Fulani herdsmen brought to justice.
However, the position of Modu Sheriff is in sharp contrast to the earlier position of Prof Oladipo who claimed that he was not chased out of office by anyone as reported by the media.
In a statement personally signed on June 15, when some youths stormed the secretariat to sack pro-Modu Sheriff officials, Prof Pladipo said “the news that I was chased out of office is a lie. No one touched me, nor was I in anyway compelled to vacate office.
“I left office when I was through with all I needed to do, same with the national auditor who came to my office before he took his leave.
“I wish to advise all PDP members to discountenance the fake news peddled by the enemies of our party. Surely, we shall soon get over the internal schism in our party,” Prof Oladipo said.
On the supervision of the Edo primaries conducted by the Ahmed Markarfi-led caretaker committee, Modu Sheriff said INEC officials at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja told him and his officials that they never sent anyone to supervise the primaries.
“INEC told us they never sent anyone to monitor Edo primaries; we were told officially INEC never sent anyone.
“INEC did not monitor the congress. They (caretaker committee) just got some young people in Edo to impersonate INEC; they (should) stop deceiving Nigerians.”
However, in a telephone chat with journalists, the INEC director for Voter Education and Publicity, Mr Oluwole Osaze-Uzzi said the commission duly sent its officials to supervise the primaries in Edo State conducted by the PDP caretaker committee as provided for in the Electoral Act (as Amended).
Meanwhile, Modu Sheriff said the gubernatorial primaries committee led by Senator Hope Uzodinma would conduct another primary in Edo State on June 29.
He said INEC availed his group of the guidelines for the conduct of the exercise and added that three aspirants had already purchased nomination forms in readiness for the exercise.
On the directives from the former IGP for him and Makarfi to nominate five persons each for reconciliation, he said he was yet to receive any list from Makarfi.
“I am the chairman of the party; so it is he that should send his list to me,” Modu Sheriff said.
Among members of his group present at the inauguration were former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim; Senator Kashamu Buruji; Dr Cairo Ojougbo; Ahmed Gulak; Amb Esther Audu; Hon Wadada Ahmed; Col Bala Mande (rtd) and Senator Hope Uzodinma.

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