Benue PDP: Suswam accuses Sherrif of sabotage
Condemning the inauguration of a parallel Benue State EXCO of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by a former acting national chairman of the opposition party, Alhaji Ali Modu Sherrif, a former governor of the state, Rt Hon (Barr) Gabriel Torwua Suswam, has said that the former Borno state governor is simply playing the role of a saboteur despite glaring facts that his claim to the seat of the PDP national chairman is illegal.
Dr. Suswam PhD CON who said this in a press statement he personally signed this evening said that the purported inauguration of a parallel EXCO in the Benue state chapter of the party by Sherrif was a mockery of democracy and rule of law.
He added that it was an obscenity that the former national chairman did not make contact with the State Executive Committee of the Party under the leadership of Hon. John Ngbede which up to the time of his visit to the state yesterday, was in office and functioning fully at the Party’s State Secretariat.
He also said that if Sherrif had the powers to dissolve that Exco, he should have done so in an open manner, and not through the charade of a hit-and-run guerrilla style operation.
He stressed: “But it is clear to see that Sherrif lacks completely the locus and authority to dissolve even the Ward Exco of the PDP back in his council ward in Borno State, not to talk of dissolving a state Exco of the PDP anywhere.
“As such that facade of a dissolution of the substantive State Executive Committee of the PDP in Benue State by Senator Sherrif yesterday was an illegality with not a basis in law, neither the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria nor that of the PDP Constitution”
According to Suswam, subsisting court verdicts have affirmed the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee of the Party as its legitimate leadership organ at the national level, vested with the powers to carry out day-to-day administration of the party.
He added that this the caretaker committee had been doing with all statutory organs and membership of the party at the national level and in the 36 states of the federation and the FCT Abuja, together with the 11 state governors on the platform of the party and the National Assembly Caucus solidly behind it.
His words: “But inspite of this glaring reality, Senator Sherrif has opted to play the role of a saboteur against the PDP by relentlessly spurning all peace efforts and towing the path of endless crisis, with the clear intentions to destabilize the party and weaken it, this obviously he is doing at the behest of external forces bent on harm stringing the party against the obvious realities of its growing strength as the main opposition party capable of recapturing power from the APC at any free and fair election”
The former Benue governor noted that this is the same way the former national chairman was used against the PDP in the Edo and Ondo governorship elections to manipulate victory for the APC.
“This same role he has come to play in Benue, perhaps preparatory to the inevitable local government polls which the people are insisting the Ortom government must hold, but which the regime knows it will lose on account of its poor performance track-record.
“A government’s legitimacy and popularity ought to derive from its competence and performance track-record, and not through trickery” he stressed.
Suswam condemned the governor of the state, Mr. Samuel Ortom, whom he said extended to Sherrif the full compliment of State protocol, putting at his disposal an official motorcade and security escort.
He said: “It is quite a strange show of support and solidarity from the Benue State governor who is of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to a member of an opposition political party, the same governor who has since coming to office refused the PDP in the state use of public spaces for its official functions, even including in May this year when the party was denied space to hold its state congress for the election and inauguration of its State Exco.
“The same Governor Ortom yesterday opened his arms wide to embrace a similar exercise by a renegade leader of the PDP, but common sense cannot be mocked and it is clear to see in this camaraderie between Gov. Ortom and Senator Sherrif an unwholesome alliance against the PDP”