Okechukwu Jombo writes that with Ali
Modu Sheriff taking over leadership of the
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, all eyes are
on him to take the party out of its problems


With the emergence of the
former Borno State governor,
Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, as the
acting National Chairman of
the Peoples Democratic Party,
PDP political watchers believe
that the once touted biggest
political party in Africa will
soon rise up to a formidable
opposition party that will
checkmate the ruling All
Progressives Congress APC.
It is also hoped that PDP
will keep APC on its toes as it
should be. Even though there
had been a sharp division
among the organs of the party
over the choice of the former
Senator Modu Sheriff was
picked by national caucus of
PDP comprising the governors,
members of the National
Working Committee, NWC
and the leadership of the
National Assembly.
Sheriff who was the
Chairman, Board of Trustees,
BoT of the defunct All Nigeria
Peoples Party, ANPP, was
picked by the caucus as the
candidate from the pool of
other aspirants that appeared
for the interview and
Twenty nine names were said
to have indicated interest for
the position, but later pruned
down to seven, even as former
Chairman, Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission,
EFCC, Mallam
Nuhu Ribadu, who indicated
interest for the position, but did
not show up for the screening.
Sheriff was the choice of the
governors, the Senators, the
national caucus, the National
Working Committee, NWC,
just as his name was waiting
for approval by BoT and
ratification by the National
Executive Committee, NEC.
Knowing the enormity of
work Sheriff, immediately
he was sworn in promised
to carry everyone along as he
seeks to reposition the party
after its dismal performance at
the last general elections.
The former governor and
three-time senator from
Borno State emerged national
chairman of the PDP after
months of internal wrangling
and speculations over who
would replace the erstwhile
chairman, Ahmadu Adamu
Mu’azu, who resigned last
Speaking after taking the
oath of office at the PDP
national secretariat in Abuja,
Sheriff said, “The task ahead
of us is very challenging one
but I will carry everybody
along to ensure that we take
over power in 2019. The choice
you have made today, you will
never regret it. I will pilot this
party to success. Nobody will
be witch-hunted or left alone.
All of us will together reposition
and take the party to
greater heights.
“The setback we had in 2015
will not take us backward.
From tomorrow, we will keep
this party growing. You will
come here to celebrate PDP in
2019”, he said.
He even vowed to lead
the party to regain control
of the federal government
in 2019. According to him,
nothing would stop his party,
which lost power in 2015,
from ousting the current
All Progressives Congress’
Sheriff is a founding member
of the All Progressives
Congress. He defected to the
PDP in 2014 ahead of national
elections in 2015.
The former senator and
governor of Borno State, said
the PDP would soon come
out with its master plan on
how it would defeat the All
Progressives Congress from
“We are here today, we are
starting from here, and we are
going to Aso Rock, Insha Allah
by 2019,” the PDP chairman
“We will head from here and
we will do it together. This my
long cap is prepared to lead
my colleagues and brothers to
Aso Rock, Insha Allah.
“By the grace of Allah
nothing will deter this party
from going to Aso Rock in
2019. By the time we put down
our master-plan I am sure they
(APC) will go back to where
they came from. And Insha
Allah, nothing will stop us.”
President Muhammadu
Buhari has not indicated he
would seek a fresh term at the
expiration of his office in 2019.
Sheriff it will be recalled had
described those speculating
that he is planning to dump
the Peoples Democratic
Party, PDP for the ruling All
Progressives Congress, APC,
as being mischievous.
Sheriff shortly after he
attended the inauguration of
Governor Seriake Dickson
of Bayelsa State for a second
tenure, said that he has not
been approached to dump
PDP for APC, and that he
is comfortable where he is,
and has never contemplated
leaving the party.
According to him, he joined
the PDP in the first place
because he was dissatisfied
with certain developments
in the APC, even as one of its
founding fathers, and there
is nothing more appealing in
the APC to warrant his return,
now that he has found an
alternative home.
He said he was in Bayelsa
state as a mark of solidarity
with his party man, and it
sounded rather absurd that
he was being rumoured to be
moving to the APC at a time
he was busy networking with
others to reposition the PDP
for the days ahead.
“I am at peace in the PDP.
I have no cause to dump the
party, because I have been
working with other fellow
party men to revive the PDP
and present a rebranded
party for Nigerians by the
next round of elections. I left
the APC for a cause and the
causes that made me to leave
in the first place are still in the
APC, so there is no truth in the
rumours”, he asserted.
“My attendance of the
swearing ceremony of
Governor Seriake Dickson,
who is in the same party with
me is enough evidence that I
am still in the PDP, and I will
work for its success” Sheriff
added, noting that, he knows
those where such rumours
may be coming from, judging
by the medium that first
carried it, but will not join
issues with them because they
are not of his class politically.
“It is unfortunate that today,
facts are no longer sacred
in our activities, otherwise,
I do not see how I will be
reported to be moving to
where I never contemplated
going, or abandoning a house
I am helping to rebuild. The
report was the mischievous
outpouring of political jobbers,
who derive joy in denting my
image, but like I said, I will not
glorify them by a response.
This interview is enough to
clarify my position,” Sheriff
“The rumours did not start
today, even when I visited the
President to congratulate him
on personal grounds, I was
rumoured to be discussing my
move to APC, but let me state
for the avoidance of doubt that
I have a personal relationship
with the President and his
family it is not a taboo if we
visit each other,” he added.
The question is does he
have what it takes to lift up
PDP knowing the debt of its
problems? Only time shall tell

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