Ahead of Saturday, May 21, 2016 national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, one-time Deputy Chairman of the party in Delta State, Senator Ighoyota Amori says the Acting National Chairman, Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff is eminently qualified to contest for the party’s chairmanship position.
In a statement, Senator Amori said the reasons advanced by some critics of Modu Sheriff for the position are untrue and not in line with the realities on ground adding that the two-time governor of Borno State and two-time Senator has the requisite qualification, knowledge and political experience to contest for the position of national chairman of the party.
Reacting to a statement credited to the former Senate Chief Whip, Senator Rowland Owie in the media, Amori who is the Special Adviser, Reconciliation and Conflict Management to Modu Sheriff, stated that the party’s chairmanship position was zoned by the national executive committee to the North-East and not to the South as claimed by Senator Owie.
“Those calling on Modu Sheriff to quit office by May 21st are the real “palace jesters” and APC paid agents to destabilize the PDP in its quest to put its house in order to reclaim power at the centre come 2019” stated Amori.
“Since when did some elements within the PDP become the campaigners of a Southern national chairman of the party since 1998 when PDP was formed? The PDP will revert to South for the chairmanship at an appropriate time. For now there is nothing politically unusual in the present zoning arrangement.”
Amori who stressed that it is politically irrelevant where the party’s chairman comes from going by political antecedents in the country said, “Recall that during the National Republican Convention (NRC) and Social Democratic Party SDP days, both Chief Tony Anenih and Bashorun M.K.O Abiola were both Chairman of party and Presidential candidate respectively yet, SDP won the election which till date is still adjudged the freest and credible election in Nigeria by the international community. Even in NRC where Chief Tom Ikimi was the national chairman, the party’s presidential candidate would have been from the same South with Ikimi, as the two persons who came second and third positions, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo and Chief Pere Ajuwah, behind Alhaji Bashir Tofa who emerged the party’s flag bearer were both from the South.”
Amori urged some leaders of the party opposed to Modu Sheriff candidature for the PDP chairmanship to be more committed to the party in winning their various States as a way correcting the results of the 2015 general elections in their various States and regions.
Interestingly he noted, the PDP North East zone where Modu Sheriff hails from has endorsed his candidature at its zonal rally held in Jalingo, the Taraba State capital indicating a peaceful and rancor free national convention come Saturday.