- We’ll send Sheriff out, says Babatope
From Taiwo Amodu, Abuja and Charles Adegbite, Lagos
DRAMA of the absurd, twists and violence were thrown into the leadership crisis mix rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday as groups loyal to both Ahmed Makarfi and Ali Modu Sheriff’s factions stormed Wadata House, Abuja, the national secretariat of the party.
The groups, the PDP National Rebirth Group and the Guardian of Democracy carried placards, barricaded roads and made fiery speeches in their bid drum support for either Makarfi or Sheriff.
The group loyal to Sheriff who displayed placards with the inscriptions: “We stand with Sheriff, “Wike, stop causing trouble for Sheriff”broke the locks on the gate to “recapture” the secretariat.
They were still loitering around the premises as at press time.
The action came as former Minister of Transport and Aviation and member of the Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Ebenezer Babatope, called on Sheriff to stop parading himself as national chairman or risk expulsion from the party.
Babatope told Daily Sun that if Sheriff “continues to cling to the chairmanship of the party which has already been given to Senator Ahmed Makarfi, we will never allow him to rest until he leaves our party for us.
“I have no quarrel with Ali Modu Sheriff, God knows that, but his actions show the fact that he has come to carry out a mission, and that mission is to disorganise and destroy the PDP. And that is why we are going to remain united to ensure that we fight and drag out all strange elements in our party.”
He accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using Sheriff to cause crisis in the party because, “APC leaders don’t want PDP to be united so that the party can have problem in preparing well for the coming Edo and Ondo states elections.”
Before the arrival of Sheriff’s loyalist, the Makarfi’s had stormed Zone 5 Area of the city centre, barricaded the road leading to the party national secretariat. Led by Comrade Edede Franklyne, they defied the early morning downpour to demand for the exit of Sheriff whose national working committee was reportedly dissolved by the party highest organ, the national convention in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Some of the placards read: “ Ali Modu Sheriff is APC agent, “Sheriff must go!”
However, the pro-Sheriff, Guardian of Democracy” led by Comrade Solomon Azobie, argued that by virtue of the pronouncement of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Sheriff remains the authentic national chairman of the main opposition party.