On Monday, Ali Modu-Sheriff, Prof. Adewale Oladipo and Alhaji Adewole Adeyanju, the sacked chairman, secretary and auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stormed the party’s Wadata secretariat in Abuja and declared themselves as the rightful executives of the party. They insisted that their ouster in May at the party’s convention in Port Harcourt was illegal.
On Wednesday, they heard from those opposed to them.
Hundreds of youths armed with placards and tree branches went to the PDP secretariat as early as 7am and unleashed their anger on the Sheriff faction. Sheriff was not present at the secretariat but Oladipo and Adeyanju were harassed by the mob.
Oladipo was the more unfortunate of the two. As he went into the secretariat to resume work, the youths encircled him. “Please, allow me to go. I will not come back again,” the frightened and subdued Oladipo pleaded as they verbally abused him. He was however not physically assaulted and was soon allowed to leave the secretariat. He hurried to his car parked at a safe distance from the secretariat building and drove off.
His co-traveler, Adeyanju escaped through a back gate, abandoning his car in the parking lot within the premises.
The sacked chairman, Sheriff, who was not present today when the youths visited, released a statement describing the protest as a “shameful act of hooliganism and brigandage.”
The statement which was signed by his media adviser, Mr. Inuwa Bwala, accused the Ahmed Makarfi -led Caretaker Committee of sponsoring the protest in order to undermine his leadership. He also accused the security agencies of taking sides, wondering why they stood aside as the protest went on.
He refuted the allegation by the Makarfi camp that he was being sponsored by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The statement said, “Makarfi and his sponsors want to create the wrong impression that Sheriff is not reliable, whereas it is an open secret that Sheriff has given credible and honest leadership to his state, to Nigeria and to the PDP, even for the short period he has been in the saddle of leadership than Ahmed Makarfi.
“Be that as it may, we wish to challenge Ahmed Makarfi to name the date, venue and names of those in attendance at the so called meeting Sheriff allegedly had with some Governors of the APC.
“Again how could Sheriff be a stooge when he remains the only PDP stalwart that speaks out against the APC since the party lost the 2015 elections?
“For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state that Ali Modu Sheriff left the APC at its formative stage, and has never had anything to do with the party or any of its stalwarts since his departure.
“One wonders how Ahmed Makarfi and his cohorts could tell lies just to divert attention from the real issues at stake.”