Fiery governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike has blatantly attacked the embattled former acting chairman of the PDP, Ali Modu-Sheriff as he calls him an agent of destruction.
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike
In a lengthy interview published by ThisDay, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has blasted the former acting chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ali Modu Sheriff, calling him an agent of destruction that came to destroy the party.
When asked to bare his mind on the recent controversy rocking the party, Wike said:
“I don’t think there are different court orders. What really happened, which shocked most of us, was that before the convention we were told that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the former acting national chairman, had gone to court with the former national secretary and the auditor to file a suit against PDP and that they got an order that there should not be election into the offices of the national chairman, national secretary and auditor. That means that elections can take place into other offices. So, we asked ourselves why the national chairman would go to court against the party when everybody appeared to be giving him the backing. So, we met him in his office that particular day when the Board of Trustees (BoT) was meeting. Those present were my humble self; the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekwerenmadu; Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State; and the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Austin Opara. We confronted him and asked him if he went to court to get an order against the party that there should not be elections into the office of the national chairman, national secretary and auditor. He said how could he go to court to stop elections when there was nobody opposing his election? We said that was correct, and we then asked him to write a letter mandating a lawyer to take steps to set aside that court order because it was a case of impersonation.
“He wrote a letter, signed it before us, and mandated Ahmed Raji (SAN) to take steps. Then, we later heard that there was a judgment of an Abuja High Court that there should be elections into the office of the national chairman and financial secretary and that there should not be elections into the other 16 national offices. So, we filed a motion of stay of that judgment and also appealed that judgment. So, our lawyers advised that we should go ahead with the elections. The former chairman addressed a press conference and said he was not aware of any court order and that anybody who had gone to court on his behalf did so at his own risk, because the convention must go ahead. Then we came to Port Harcourt preparing fully for the convention. In fact, the chairman appeared before the screening committee on Friday (May 20) and after the screening, he made a statement to the press that the election would take place the next day, Saturday. So, meetings upon meetings were going on throughout that night till late hours of Saturday when some people suggested that we should not conduct the elections because of the court orders, and that we should look at the constitution and see that the convention has the power to sack national officers and appoint committees, as may deem fit. The issue now became that of appointing a national caretaker committee and some people said why not appoint the national chairman to chair this caretaker committee in the next three months so that it would not be seen that he was disgraced out of office. He agreed. However, some people said it would be more dangerous, stating that the continuous stay of the chairman has caused a lot of disintegration in the party, and has brought crisis in the party. It was because of Ali Modu Sheriff that you heard some people met in Abuja.
“So, when the stakeholders: governors, former governors, leadership of the National Assembly said no, we cannot continue with Ali Modu Sheriff, we decided to go for the convention. While we were at the convention, he (Sheriff) went out to announce on his way to Abuja that the convention was illegal, because there was a court order saying that there was no convention. Meanwhile, he had participated in the screening and everything. But because he was not given the chairmanship slot to preside over the three-month committee, he now felt that the convention was illegal. We can even show you letters that he wrote. So, as far as we are concerned, PDP is one. You can see the other Abuja people have now come together to say they are satisfied with what has happened. You cannot because of one man kill a party that people have laboured for. Modu Sheriff did not surprise most of his critics. Modu Sheriff actually confirmed the fears of his critics who said you do not know this man; we know his antecedents. If you know him you will not even allow him to come near the party. If I were Modu Sheriff, I would have surprised my critics by accepting what the national convention has done. So, it is very obvious that Modu Sheriff’s intention was to destroy the party. And, those surrounding him, are those whose characters are questionable; who, right from time, have always had issues of credibility such that you cannot trust them. But we thank God. That shows the interest people have in the PDP. People believe that PDP is the only hope that Nigeria has now because the ruling party has failed. So, there is nothing like another court order saying that the caretaker committee is illegal. No.
“The Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, where the convention took place, recognised the Senator Ahmed Markarfi-led committee and restrained INEC from dealing with Ali Modu Sheriff. As I speak to you now, about eight or nine members of the former national committee have also pulled out and said they agree with what the national convention has done and said they must respect the party. So, it is difficult for you to say another court will set aside when a court of coordinate jurisdiction, in fact, the same Federal High Court, has given ruling recognising the caretaker committee. What Modu Sheriff and his few friends are trying to do is to make it seem there is a division. There is no division. All the governors, national assembly leadership, BoT and others are together. So, which arm of PDP can you say is with Modu Sheriff? INEC monitored the convention in Port Harcourt.”
He further confirmed that Sheriff might have been nursing the ambition to run for president under the PDP. When asked if it was true, he said: “Yes. But I say where is the evidence? But I can confirm to you that Modu Sheriff is not to be trusted. How did we know? We had agreed that this was an opposition party; that we should not allow crisis, particularly in those states that do not have governors. Let there be true primaries. But, Modu Sheriff was imposing people in all those states, causing crisis. I can give you an example of one of the states that does not have a (PDP) governor in the South-east. Modu Sheriff had to impose people and we were shocked. So, it was clear he had a hidden agenda. But, we thank God that it was revealed on time. I can tell you that it was revealed on time. So, we have no regrets. If we didn’t do this, probably the whole world wouldn’t have known. A lot of allegations against him had nothing to do, before now, with him being a mole, but with integrity, perception before these allegations started coming in. And, true to type, the man did not surprise his critics.”