- PDP Crisis: Sheriff Rules Out Future Meeting With Jonathan
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, has vowed not to attend any reconciliation meeting with former President Goodluck Jonathan, stating that reconciliation has died in the party.
The former Borno State governor was speaking on the botched reconciliatory meeting called by the former President in Abuja on Thursday.
He accused the former President of deviating from agreements he said he had with him before they agreed to be part of the meeting, which was held at the Yar’Adua Centre.
Sheriff, who walked out of the meeting when he was denied the opportunity to preside over it, said that there was no way the party would be meeting and he would sit as a mere spectator when he remains the only person recognised by law as the authentic national chairman of the party.
Speaking to our correspondent in a telephone interview through his appointed Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh in Abuja on Friday, Sheriff also said he would not appoint anyone to join the 40-member committee the former President promised to set up on the reconciliation.
Rather, he said he would stick to the recommendations made by the Peace and Reconciliation Committee headed by the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson.
He said, “We will never attend any peace meeting to be called by the former President on reconciliation anymore. No. Never! We won’t go there. We are no longer interested in such reconciliation.
“We will not attend any other meeting to be called by him. We would cut off every leprous hand in the party. The former President can only chair a committee on his private foundation, not that of the PDP when we have a national chairman.
“We are not happy with the way he handled the failed meeting on Thursday. He did not respect the Court of Appeal judgment which pronounced Sheriff as the national chairman of the party.
“He (Jonathan) has no legal backing to chair PDP Stakeholders’ meeting when we have a sitting chairman. The former President does not have such a right. The failed meeting had scattered all the good works achieved by the Dickson committee.
“We hail our governors, except the duo of Nyesom Wike and Ayodele Fayose of Rivers and Ekiti states respectively, who worked against the meeting.”
However, the National Caretaker Committee of the party headed by Senator Ahmed Makarfi disagreed with Sheriff, saying the former President had the right to lead the meeting.
He said since the initiative to call the meeting came from the former leader, it was his right to preside over it and also dictate how the meeting would progress.
He said it was wrong for Sheriff to have wanted to preside over a meeting where issues that would affect the party’s leadership would be discussed.
Makarfi, who spoke through the spokesperson of the caretaker committee, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, described Sheriff as being selfish.
He said in order to give peace a chance; the caretaker committee agreed that Sheriff would speak at the gathering before Makarfi, but regretted that instead of being at the gathering on time, Sheriff decided to come late to the meeting.
Adeyeye said, “Jonathan conveyed the meeting and he had the right to chair it, because it was for reconciliation. If it was not called by the former President, more than 90 per cent of those in attendance would not have been there.
“You cannot preside over your own case. It is like a quarrel between husband and wife. There is no way either of them would have presided over a meeting where such disagreement would be discussed.
“We agreed that he (Sheriff) would speak first after the former President. But instead, he came late to the meeting, hours after it had started. He was to speak after the former President, but he came when the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, was almost done with his speech.”
Adeyeye added that in order to avoid crisis, Makarfi who was to speak after Sheriff was asked not to because Sheriff was not at the gathering then.
“He came late to the meeting, which is even against the protocol. So, instead of Makarfi to speak, the BoT chairman took over the podium,” he added.
Adeyeye, a former minister of state for works, said the gathering also agreed with the position of Wike and Fayose that Sheriff should not be allowed to lead the meeting because “it was a reconciliation meeting and that we needed an impartial person to lead.”
He said Sheriff remains a “disputed” chairman of the party until the Supreme Court makes a pronouncement on it, adding that both Sheriff and Ojougboh “are illiterate because they don’t know the genesis of the party and what it stands for.”
He added, “Sheriff should leave our party for us and should not destroy it. He does not have the support of more than 10 per cent of members of the party. He is a disputed chairman. As for us, we will continue to respect the former President because he is the leader of the party.”
Also reacting to the development, the Governor of Ekiti State, and Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum, Mr. Ayo Fayose, in a telephone interview described Sheriff as an impostor and someone sent by the ruling All Progressives Congress to destroy PDP.
Fayose said, “I will not work with him. He is a betrayal of confidence and does not represent peace and hope. I will not be part of any meeting with such a person. If I may holistically respond to his statement on no reconciliation, the statement is good riddance to bad rubbish.
“His (Sheriff) alliance with former President Olusegun Obasanjo and PDP destroyed All Peoples Party and All Nigeria Peoples Party. He is at it again but this will be the last of the series. I regret my association with him and bringing him forth initially.”
Fayose alleged that anyone supporting, promoting or financing Sheriff is an enemy of Nigeria. “Our country will not end up in a one party system which I imagine is the reason why his business with the APC is thriving,” he added.
Also in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Fayose was quoted as saying, “It is now obvious that he (Sheriff) is working for enemies of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP.”
The governor said; “From what Ali Modu Sheriff did yesterday, it should now be clear to all well-meaning Nigerians that he is not acting on his own. He is an agent of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and by extension an enemy of democracy in Nigeria.”
“If he (Sheriff) cannot sit with the leader of our party, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, I am also telling him that we in the PDP are also not interested in holding any discussion with him. He is a virus that has infected the PDP and by the grace of God, he will be cured permanently.”
In a similar development, Fayose, who spoke on a programme on Channels Television monitored by one of our correspondents, said he was not bound to remain in the PDP as he could decide to pursue his political ambition elsewhere.
The Ekiti State governor said that nobody could make him remain in a place if he does not truly wish to be there.
Fayose accused Sheriff of insulting leaders of the party with his attitude, describing him as an “impossible character who nothing can change.”
Meanwhile, Ojougboh said that Sheriff and his team would soon commence a nationwide mobilisation of members of the party with the hope of preparing them for the national convention.
Asked when the convention would hold, Ojougboh said the members of the National Working Committee would announce the date and programmes “as soon as we are done with the nationwide tour.”
Buhari Leaves Abuja To Attend African Finance summit in Paris
President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Sunday for Paris, France, on a four-day official visit to attend African Finance Summit.
The Summit according to the statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in Abuja is expected to focus on reviewing the African economy, following shocks from the Coronavirus pandemic, and getting relief, especially from increased debt burden on countries.
The statement further explained that the Summit, to be hosted by President Emmanuel Macron, will draw major stakeholders in the global financial institutions and some Heads of Government, who will, collectively, discuss external funding and debt treatment for Africa, and private sector reforms
“During the visit, President Buhari will meet with the French President to discuss growing security threats in Sahel and Lake Chad region, political relations, economic ties, climate change and partnership in buoying the health sector, particularly in checking the spread of Covid-19, with more research and vaccines, ” it said.
Shehu in the statement said before returning to Nigeria, President Buhari will receive some key players in the oil and gas sector, engineering and telecommunications, European Council and European Union Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and Commission, and members of the Nigerian community.
The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, and Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire.
Also on the trip are National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Mohammed Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
Restructure Nigeria Before 2023 Polls, Afenifere Tells Buhari
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, on Friday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to bury the idea of holding elections before restructuring the country.
The Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who made the call at the group’s meeting held at his Ogbo residence in Odogbolu local government area of Ogun State, said: “there must be a country before elections are held”.
Adebanjo said: “We urge Buhari to bury the idea of holding an election before returning to federalism by restructuring the country.
“There must be a country before elections are held, it would be patriotic of him to heed this advice. If Gen. Buhari is sincere about keeping the country together, he must restructure the country now this is the only answer to halt the disintegration of the country. To save Nigeria, restructure the country now.
“We should be proud as inheritors of a noble heritage, the party (Afenifere) was founded on the political philosophy of federalism due to the multi-ethnic, multilingual, multicultural and multi-religious nature of our country”.
“Failure to adhere to this principle has been the cause of the instability that has plagued our country since Independence. Our consistent advocacy for the restructuring of the country to federalism is based on the founding philosophy of the party”.
“It is for this reason that the founding leader of the party is known as the father of federalism in Nigeria”.
“It is the only political system that can keep the country together in peace. It is mischievous for President Buhari’s government to accuse advocates of restructuring as secessionist and separatists”.
“It is the system that our founding fathers, The Saudarna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmad Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe agreed to before the British government granted us independence in 1960, after the collapse of Macpherson constitution in 1953”.
“The present constitution which is the cause of instability in the country is imposed on us by the military-dominated by Northern Muslims after the coup of 1966”.
“The clamor for the return of the country to federalism is born out of the obnoxious provision in the constitution which has made economic and political progress impossible and this has been the main cause of instability in the country”.
“Our resolve for the restructuring of the country back to federalism is unshakeable. We assert we are no secessionist. It is those who oppose restructuring that are enemies of a United Nigeria. That all opponents of restructuring give impetus to secessionists”.
“We do not believe in the National Assembly which is a product of this fraudulent constitution to amend the constitution, it is immoral and illogical for a product of fraud to amend the fraud.
Six years ago, I warned the nation of the danger of voting for Gen. Muhammad Buhari, I accused him of being a feudalist by birth, a dictator by training and a religious fanatic”.
“I accused him of being a tribalist who has no respect for the rule of law. We were bombarded with the propaganda that he will ruthlessly fight corruption which they said was the bane of Jonathan administration”.
“They even told us that as a military man, he would wipe out Boko Haram in 6 months. But after six years in office, we now know better. Buhari has failed in his promises to the electorate”.
“Our economy is in tatters, corruption is growing in arithmetical proportion. Our security has collapsed to the extent that Buhari’s government has become so helpless that it now negotiates with Bandits who are so powerful that they dictate the terms of the negotiation. Kidnapping, murder, rape and various acts of criminality pervade the length and breadth of the country unabated”.
“The clamour for Gen. Buhari to resign or be impeached is growing louder and louder every day”.
“As a cover-up for his misdeeds, Gen. Buhari has resorted to silence the opposition by raising the false alarm that former military officers and prominent leaders of the ethnic organization and some Emirs are planning a meeting to pass a vote of no confidence in him. You will wonder even if that allegation is true when is it illegal or unconstitutional in a democracy for citizens to associate. Freedom of association is embedded in our constitution”.
“He also raises a false alarm that people are planning a coup. I assert Gen. Buhari has failed woefully, he has no clue about the problems facing Nigeria. He should go now before he plunged the country into a crisis the end of which nobody can foretell”.
“The Yoruba people are the only ethnic group that has never called for secession. We have invested in a united Nigeria that we will resist any act that will lead to its break up. We will be in Nigeria as equal partners in a federal Nigeria. A Nigeria in which we will play a second fiddle is most unacceptable”.
Therefore, our irreducible minimum condition of staying in Nigeria is a restructured Nigeria. Anything short of that is ‘‘to thy tent, oh Isreal.” The unity of the horse and the rider in which a section of the country is the rider and we the horse is most unacceptable.
Afenifere by our resilience and consistency over the years has proved to be the most reliable and dependable organization in the country”.
“I assert very confidently that from the First Republic we are the only national party in the country”.
“It is our consistent and persistent agitation for the right of minorities that has given birth to Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states in the South and Benue, Plateau, Borno, Kwara and the Adamawa States in the North”.
“Our party manifesto of Free Education, Free Health and Integrated Rural Development as successfully implemented in the West is not confined to Yoruba land but applicable and implementable beyond Yoruba land across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“Afenifere is the beacon of progressive politics. The political philosophy of federalism propagated by our leader the sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo is now the sing-song all over the country today.
I hereby appeal to all our members who for one reason or another have sojourned in the other parties to come back home, you will be welcome with open arms. There is room for the youth to rise to leadership on the merit of their performance.
“It is cheering that the call for the restructuring is no longer limited to Afenifere, PANDEF and Middle-Belt forum, The Northern Elders Forum, Arewa Consultative Forum have joined the crusade”.
While declaring the group support to the decisions of the Southern governors in their efforts towards tackling the problem of insecurity facing the country, Chief Adebanjo said, “Afenifere welcomes and endorse fully the resolution of the Southern Governors Forum. And we hope Gen. Buhari in the interest of Nigeria unity, peace, tranquillity and economic progress give serious attention to the recommendation”.
ICPC Declares Buhari’s Son-In-Law, Two Others Wanted For $65M Fraud
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) has declared Gimba Kumo, a son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, and two others wanted over alleged misappropriation of $65 million National Housing Funds.
Mr. Kumo, a former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, had in 2016 married Fatima, the president’s daughter, in Daura, Katsina State.
The ICPC in its list of wanted persons declared Mr. Kumo wanted alongside Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola over the alleged fraud.
In the notice signed by its spokesperson Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC urged the public to provide information about the whereabouts of the wanted persons.
“The persons whose pictures appear above, Mr. Tarry Rufus, Mr. Gimba Yau Kumo, and Mr. Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared WANTED by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with issues bordering on misappropriation of National Housing Funds and diversion of the sum of Sixty Five Million dollars ($65,000,000).
“Anyone who has useful information on their whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices, or the nearest police station” the notice read.
In April, the senate committee on public accounts had summoned Mr. Kumo to explain the alleged irregular award of N3 billion contract when he was still at the bank.
The committee issued the summons following a query raised in a 2015-2018 report by the office of the auditor-general of the federation (AuGF) against the FMBN.
According to the report, the contract was awarded in four phases and was overpaid to the tune of N3,045,391,531.97.
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