Senator Ali Modu Sherrif, the former governor of Borno state, while speaking at the PDP secretariat in Abuja, in his first interactive session with newsmen after he formally took over as the chairman of the party, declared that he will not give in to the calls by some stakeholders of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that he should resign the Chairmanship position of the party.
He made this statement while giving assurance to the party’s stakeholders that he would reconcile with members who are annoyed about his emergence as the party’s national chairman and appealed to them to work with him in order to rebuild the party put in his care by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the PDP.
This was a reaction to the call made by the PDP Rescue Group on Sunday afternoon telling him to resign his position because his emergence was unacceptable to the generality of the people. He said,
I saw the person who was reading at the press conference, Ambassador Wilberforce Juta. He submitted himself to the National Working Committee (NWC) of this party, aspiring to be chairman.
Also, (Mohammed) Wakil whom you saw on television submitted himself to the NWC to be appointed chairman and votes were cast. The man that was speaking at the press conference (on Sunday) got one vote and he is asking me to resign. Therefore, I will not resign.
Senator Ali Modu held on to the fact that he emerged as the chairman through due process and contradicting the opinion spread by his detractors in the party who say that he was forced on the PDP, he said he was granted a waiver to contest the Senate seat after joining PDP and was given approval by a duly constituted NEC.
I was given an official waiver by the NWC immediately I joined the party when I sought to run for the Senate and my letter of waiver was signed by the National Secretary.
The leadership of this party, in its wisdom, asked me to lead. If the NEC of this party collectively asked me to lead, I will lead; but not somebody who contested an election and got one vote.
I think if there is a moral issue, because he should not even have gone on air. However, in this country, people are allowed to say what they like.
I took over this party; I am here as a national chairman of this party by the grace of all the NEC members of the party. I am here to rebuild the party.
What time we need to do this job will be determined by the leaders and owners of the party when they sit down collectively to discuss.
For me, taking over office today, I cannot tell you when I will be leaving, I will only tell you when the party leaders sit down and see what is the immediate time to do this job, and if they decide, I am ready for it.
The person we saw on the television asking me to resign submitted himself to the NWC for the position and got just one vote, but I will not resign. I do not plan to resign as I was appointed to reposition this party. I will do my job and will not resign.
Mr. Ali Modu added, that since he was given the major task of rebuilding and re-positioning the party, he believed that it was the duty of the leadership to decide how long he will stay. He also promised that he would work together with all relevant organs of the party to make sure that the party conducts a credible congress and convention that would be a pride to all Nigerians.
As the the former Borno state governor said, his major point of attention now is to make sure that the party was firmly put in the hands of the owners—the people at the grassroot level—pointing out that the time when a handful of people dictated how the party should be run is over.
Senator Ali Modu admitted that the time ahead is not going to be an easy one, but promised that he would utilise all resources at his disposal to see to it that all members of the party especially founding fathers, are brought back to the fold to make the party great again.
The time ahead is certainly not going to be easy. We are aware of the high expectations from Nigerians for us to give the part a new focus. Our party is a party that has an avalanche of qualified people who can proffer solution to our problems. We accepted to serve not because we are the best, but because we have been identified to be capable of doing the task ahead.
I will carry everybody along. I have come to form a partnership with party men and women. The wrangling that is going on is normal but we will overcome.i will contact everybody that matters in the party because we have the same goal which is rebuilding the party to its enviable height.