A group of prominent concerned Peoples Democratic Party stakeholders and elders has called on the new National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, to resign.
The group, under the aegis of the PDP Rescue Group, led by Ambassador Wilberforce Juta, who also contested for the PDP chairmanship, made the call during a news conference on Sunday in Abuja.
Juta said the party leaders were upset about Sheriff’s appointment as PDP national chairman.
He said: “Most PDP members did not see in Sheriff a model of impeccable integrity that the party badly needed to lead it at this critical moment.
“We are upset by the decision of the National Executive Committee of the party in appointing Ali Modu Sherrif as national chairman.
“We are convinced that this decision is against the will and wish of the generality of members.
“We know for a fact the North East Zonal wing, having been directed by the National Caucus of the party to forward nominees from the zone, did not nominate Modu Sheriff for the position of national chairman.
“Consequently, Modu Sheriff should do the needful by stepping down honourably as it is evident that party members nationwide have overwhelmingly rejected him.”
Juta said the current leadership crisis in PDP was a challenge to every Nigerian.
He emphasised that “having the PDP destroyed by acts of error of judgment as being witnessed now is denying Nigeria of a strong opposition party that is badly needed if Nigeria’s democracy is to be strengthened and all tendencies toward civilian dictatorship checked.
“The crisis must challenge all party members to action to halt the party from further drift.
“The plan of PDP Rescue Group is to mobilise party members and leaders to help attain this noble goal.
“It is, therefore, critical if the PDP must come back to national reckoning, that we remodel its leadership on the platform of honesty as required by the party manifesto.”
Juta then urged all party organs to rise to the challenge by insisting on the removal of Sheriff.
Juta also urged the different organs as well as past and present leaders to commence the search for persons with high integrity, strategic insight and fear of God Almighty to lead the party.
“It is our considered view that we endeavour to elect only those with discernible traits,” he said.
He called for early Congresses and National Convention of the party to elect new leaders as the term of the current leadership was due to end in March 2016.
Juta said: “Under no guise should the tenure of the current leadership of the party be extended, if we must make the needed fresh beginning.”
While answering questions, former President of the Senate, Adolphus Wabara, who is the Deputy Chairman of the group, said Sheriff’s appointment was imposed on the party.
A former Deputy Governor of Sokoto Sate and Secretary of the group, Alhaji Mukhtari Shagari, also called on Sheriff to resign.
Shagari added that leaders of the party could not sit down and allow the party to die.
Others at the briefing included John Odey, Alhaji Kabiru Mohammed, Dr. Akilu Indabawa, Dr. Umar Ardo, Bashir Maidugu, Hon. Mohammed Kabir, Dr. Pogu Bitrus, Lancelot Anyanya and Hon. Muyiwa Oladimeji.