PDP Crisis: The Unseen Hands

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PDP Govs In Disarray, Sneak Back To Sheriff In Solidarity
Court Verdict Unsettles Atiku’s Men, Foils Attempts To Mortgage Party
APC Keeps Tabs On Atiku, Tambuwal, Dogara, Mulls Sanctions

Recent developments in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP seems to point to the fact that, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar’s men within the fold are making frantic effort to take over the party, preparatory to his re-entry and eventual emergence as the party’s over sole candidate with the position having been zoned to the north. Atiku is believed to be giving moral and financial support to the Ahmed Makarfi Caretaker Committee, even as nationalTRAIL investigations reveal that, there exists a curious relationship between the Ahmed Makarfi led Caretaker Committee and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, to the effect that, the committee often holds court in Atiku’s residence. The former Vice President and other chieftains of the ruling All Progressives Congress, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker of the House of representatives, Yakubu Dogara and other leaders of the National Assembly, are suspected to be planning to leave the APC for either the PDP or into a new party altogether. This is against the background that the National Leadership of the APC, under Chief John Oyegun may
have concluded plans to sanction all recalcitrant stakeholders involved in the alleged plot to ditch the APC, as a preemptive move. Apparently speaking the minds of the national leadership of APC, Lagos Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe did not mince words when he stated during the election of Saraki and Dogara that, “The purported election of Senator Saraki and Dogara as the Senate President and Speaker respectively is a clear transgression of both the tenets of democracy and party politics. At this early stage, the APC must come down strongly to meet out sanctions and punishments against treacherous members that perpetrated this ugly charade at this early stage of the party’s life and history. As a party and given the circumstances of our present politics, the APC stands no risk of being eroded by this treachery. Rather, we see the clear road to enforce discipline in the treacherous conduct of some members of the National Assembly.” “We see the need for the party to wield the big stick now to send a message home that treachery will not profit those who might want to cash in on similar circumstances to spite the party and cash personal benefits in the long run. It is certain that these betrayers are not members of the APC and we feel the party must weigh in now and discipline these betrayers,” Igbokwe added. According to sources within the APC, the APC hierarchy has not
forgiven those seen to be working against its desires, especially Atiku who allegedly colluded with Senator Bukola Saraki to undermine the will of the party. Meanwhile, Tambuwal, who is the immediate past of speaker of the House of Representatives, supported Yakubu Dogara who emerged as Tambuwal’s successor; a situation which the national leadership feels may have given them the leverage to embark on the current adventure with the PDP. They were alleged to have said, if not checkmated, it may spell doom for the party as the country move ahead of the 2019 general elections. Sources in the APC told our correspondent that the party has been keeping tabs on these political players, “We started keeping tabs on Atiku in January when he showed that, he was not interested in the success of President Muhammadu Buhari, when Buhari was our presidential candidate. Our fears were reignited when the then president Goodluck Jonathan paid Atiku a visit shortly before the election. We are aware that a large section of Atiku’s supporters defected to the PDP a day after that meeting with Jonathan and that was why Jonathan’s special adviser on political affairs, Rufai Alkali was confident to say that Atiku would soon return to PDP shortly after that meeting with Jonathan. Atiku himself admitted that he did not attend Buhari’s rallies. We know that Atiku is still nursing a presidential ambition for 2019 and he is now beginning to build blocks.” Source within the APC had said. “Tambuwal is also nursing a Presidential ambition and needs to retain control over the house. That is why he supported Dogara because he cannot influence Gbajibiamila”, he added. But last week’s court ruling which reaffirmed Senator Ali Modu Sheriff as the authentic Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the attendant sack of the caretaker Committee under Senator Ahmed Makarfi however may have scuttled that plan by Atiku and his men to hijack the PDP, even as it may have set the stage for bigger political fights ahead of the elections of 2019. Atiku sees Ali Modu Sheriff as the likely person who could stand between him and the PDP Presidential ticket in 2019 , if sheriff remains the Chairman and allowed to consolidate nhis hold on the structures and the delegates. Justice Okon Abang’s verdict on the PDP leadership tussle last week further complicated issues for the Adamawa strongman, as his hopes of taking over the PDP seems to have been shattered, and he is no longer trusted in the APC either. The judge in a seeming attempt to redeem the image of the judiciary in the face of the controversial judgment by the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, in negligence of a subsisting court order from Lagos, stated last Wednesday that, Ali Modu Sheriff is the only lawful person that can act for or on behalf of the PDP. While declaring the Caretaker committee as illegal, he described events leading to the purported sack of Ali Modu Sheriff leadership at an assumed National convention on May 21st in Port Harcourt, and the attendant emergence of the Ahmed Makarfi Caretaker committee Chairman was a violent contempt of the court. In cautioning the Caretaker Committee to purge itself of all forms of contempt, the judge warned politicians against further embarrassing the judiciary by cajoling judges of courts of coordinate jurisdiction to make conflicting orders. According to him, the Federal high Court in Port Harcourt would not have gone ahead to give the said controversial judgment without the prodding of politicians who shielded him from the fact that an order of a court of coordinate jurisdiction was subsisting at the time the matter was brought before him. All along, while the fight appears to be an internal clash between Senator Ali Modu Sheriff and the Caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, analysts are of the view that, the meetings between Atiku and the committee members leaves room for suspicion, to the effect that it might as well be the hands of Esau but the voice of Jacob. nationalTRAIL investigations reveal that, it was actually the hands of Esau but the voice of Jacob, with the former Vice President, whose Presidential ambition has never been a hidden issue fingered as the unseen hands pushing the caretaker committee into taking the wrong decisions in his desperation to get sheriff out of the way against 2019. nationalTRAIL, reports that, the fight which started since the election of Saraki and Dogara as President and Speaker in the upper and lower chamber of the National Assembly, national leaders of the party have continued to In a rather curious development, Governors of the PDP who had hitherto thrown their weights behind the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led caretaker Committee may have abandoned the spirit of comraderie with some of them sneaking back to pledge solidarity to Ali Modu Sheriff. Our correspondent reports that, Chairman of the PDP Governor’s Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko was amongst the earliest callers to Senator Sheriff’s Maitama residence where he pleaded with the PDP Chairman to help him out with the forthcoming elections in his state. Insider sources confirmed to us that governor Mimiko who spoke on behalf of nine other Governors, except Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state and Nyesom Wike of Rivers state told Sheriff that the Governors have resolved not to go to Port Harcourt for any National Convention in compliance with the federal High Court order last Wednesday, which effectively sacked the legitimacy of the caretaker committee to act for the party.

By James BWALA- Deputy Editor

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