THE National Executive Committee (NEC) of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rose from its 68th meeting yesterday night and approved Ali Modu Sheriff, the former Governor of Borno State, as its National Chairman.
Sheriff’s appointment, which followed a series of intrigues and horse-trading, eventually came to light around 8:00 p.m. when he was invited to take the oath of office.
Although he was initially endorsed by other organs of the party, Sheriff was opposed by some members of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT). But some prominent members of the party, including governors, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, senators and members of the House of Representatives quickly swung into action to persuade those with divergent views. Sources close to the NEC of the party disclosed to The Guardian that, after extensive session and when it became obvious that a consensus choice may not emerge, the meeting resorted to balloting.
At the end of the exercise, Sheriff polled 60 votes; Girgiri polled nine votes, while Juta got one vote.
“The exercise was free and fair without rancor. Anyone saying there is division in the party as a result of the choice is not being sincere to himself or the party,” a party chairman from one of the states in the South South said.
In his acceptance speech, Sheriff promised to carry all party members along. He announced that a new era of party rebuilding had begun in the PDP, pointing out that he would begin the task of leading the party to higher glory.