PDP BoT, Rescue Group Clash Over Tenure Extension For Sheriff

Uche Secondus-Ali Modu-SheriffThe three-month tenure extension approved for the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and other members of the National Working Committee (NWC), has sparked off another round of controversy.
The PDP Rescue Group led by Ambassador Wilberforce Juta, arising from a meeting yesterday in Abuja, faulted the authority under which the tenure extension was granted.
Recall that the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), the NWC, the National Assembly Caucus and the PDP Governors Forum on Tuesday gave Mr. Sheriff a three month tenure after initial resistance to his emergence as the opposition party’s chairman.
But Juta and his group insisted that no organ of the party has the power to extend the tenure of party officials, insisting that Sheriff and other NWC members must vacate office by March 28, when the tenure of the present leadership of the party is expected to expire.
In a statement after the meeting, the Rescue Group said: “We affirm that no authority has the power under the PDP constitution to extend the tenure of nay official or organ of the party. The tenure of the current National Working Committee will expire on March 28, 2016. We expect all party leaders and organs to abide by that.
“It is obvious that our leaders have realised their mistake and appear willing to correct the earlier decision in order to save the party from decimation. We urge them to go the whole hog.
“Congresses and national convention to elect new party leaders at all levels can indeed be conducted in the month of March, 2016.
“Friday, February 26, 2016 marks the third day in line with the seven-day ultimatum handed down by the National Caucus to the NWC to produce a programme leading to the party congresses and national convention.
“We call on all party members and stakeholders, particularly the NEC, the NWC, the BoT, the National Caucus, the National Assembly Caucus, the Ministers Forum, as well as sympathisers of the party and those who are willing to join the party to remain steadfast and henceforth to rise up to challenge impunity and imposition”.
But the BoT argued that Sheriff and the NWC members should be allowed to stay for three months for the unity, cohesion and future successes of the party.
In a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Abuja yesterday, the trustees adopted the three-month tenure extension with a caveat that under no guise must it be extended beyond May.
The communique, signed by former Deputy Senate President, Alhaji Ibrahim Mantu, stated: “In this regard, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and all current members of the National Working Committee must vacate their positions to give way to new leadership within the three months’ time frame.
“The BoT, which is the conscience of the party, has the moral capital to re-invent the party due to its unity of purpose and internal cohesion”.
Meanwhile, the PDP has fixed ward congresses in Edo State for March 5, local government congress for March 10, while the state congress will hold on March 14.
The national leadership also approved the appointment of Inuwa Bwala as the Special Assistant (Media) to the National Chairman.