Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, the disputed National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, has described the just-concluded Edo State governorship primaries of the party as illegal.
This was contained in a statement signed by Sheriff and Prof. Wale Oladipo, the former National Secretary of the party, made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement described Monday’s primaries of the party in Edo State, which produced Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu as PDP candidate, as “contraption of an illegal Caretaker Committee”.
It stated that the party had written a letter, jointly signed by Sheriff and Oladipo to the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, urging him not to give legitimacy to what happened in Edo State.
It added that the party was going to conduct a proper primary in Edo State.
In a separate statement, the party released a scheduled congress in Edo State to start from June 23 to June 29, with the inauguration of Congress Committee scheduled for Thursday.
The statement warned state Chairmen and officers of the party not to deal with the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led committee, saying it is an illegal Caretaker committee.
It also announced the appointment of some deputy national officers as members of the National Working Committee in acting capacity with immediate effect.
The officers are: Okey Nnadozie as acting National Organising Secretary; Alonge-Niyi Dennis as acting National Youth Leader; Hannatu Ullam as acting National Women Leader; and Bashir Maidugu as acting National Legal Adviser.
According to the statement, the appointment of the officers is as a result of the resignation of five members of the NWC.
“This is in accordance with the provisions of sections 39(2), 42 (2), 43 (2), 44 (2) and 47 (6) of the Constitution of the party 2012 as amended,” it stated.
Meanwhile, the INEC Deputy Director of Publicity and Voter Education, Nick Dazang, in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, said the commission was yet to receive a letter from Sheriff.
Dazang said: “As at this (Tuesday) evening, INEC Department of Party Monitoring and Observation is yet to receive Sheriff’s letter.
“However, if you look at the INEC schedule for Edo election, the schedule date for primaries is between June 2 and July 4.
“For anyone to hold a convention, he needs to serve the Commission 21 days’ notice.
“Twenty-one days’ notice from today will exceed the period allocated for the conduct of party primaries for Edo, which ought to be over by July 4.”
NAN recalls that while the PDP May 21 national convention that constituted the Makarfi-led caretaker committee claimed it had removed Sheriff and members of his NWC, Sheriff said he still remained the party chairman until 2018 except he was removed by a court.