Enugu, Ebonyi govs line up behind Sheriff

The governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and his Ebonyi State counterpart, Dave Umahi, have thrown their weights behind the embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff.

According to them, Sheriff, who is at daggers drawn with some leaders of the party at the centre and in some states, has the potentials to change the country for the better.

Though Sheriff was supported by PDP governors to emerge as national chairman of the party, they parted ways sometime in May, 2016 when the governors supported the emergence of Senator Ahmed Makarfi as chairman of the national caretaker committee of the party.

On Thursday last week, Sheriff walked out on ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and others during a meeting at the Yar’adua Centre in Abuja, heightening tension that the crisis in the PDP had assumed a frightening dimension.

His surprised endorsement by Ugwuanyi and Umahi came to the fore yesterday in Enugu, at a time Sheriff was holding a meeting with stakeholders of the party from Anambra State, in view of the November governorship election in the state.

It was resolved at the meeting to reconcile the two factions of the party in Anambra to enable PDP win the forthcoming election in the state.

Governor Umahi, who was represented by his deputy, Kelechi Igwe, said the entire Igbo race was looking up to Anambra chapter to get it right and produce a governor in the next election, saying the feat would be “a great gift for Sheriff that his visit here today will not be in vain.”

Also, Ugwuanyi, who was represented by his deputy, Cecilia Ezeilo, expressed delight that the meeting was held in Enugu.

During the meeting which was mainly for Anambra PDP stakeholders drawn from the 21 local governments of the state, the stakeholders blamed the national leadership of the party for the lingering crises in the Anambra State chapter.

A Board of Trustees (BoT) member, Chief Chris Uba, who recalled the genesis of the crises in the party, said the PDP had produced a governor in the state between 1999 and 2003.

“However, the imposition of candidates from the national headquarters robbed the party of the winning streak. The problem we have is from Abuja; each time we finish working at the grassroots, the Abuja people will hijack the party and that will cause disaffection among the membership,” he said.

Sheriff in his remarks said the meeting was deliberately called outside Anambra to ensure that none of the factions in the crisis rocking the state chapter was left out.

He said he was determined to end the controversy rocking the party both in Anambra and in Abuja, stressing that the PDP had continued to do politics the wrong way.

“But we are determined to do things right to ensure that our party remains a strong brand. INEC has written to inform us about the governorship election of the state in November and that is why we must talk to ensure that the mistake that robbed us of that position is not repeated,” he said.

As a way out of the crisis, the meeting agreed to raise a committee to start a reconciliation process with Sheriff, promising to announce members of the reconciliation committee as soon as he returned to Abuja. DAILYTRUST.M

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