A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the spokesman for the Goodluck Jonathan campaign team in 2015, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, is insisting that Senator Ali Modu Sheriff appointed the party’s Chairman is ‘intrinsically linked with Boko Haram’ and should not head a serious political party.
Mr Fani-Kayode made the allegation on ‘Sunday Politics Today’ a flagship program on Channels Television, while giving his opinion about the appointment of Senator Sheriff as the PDP’s leader by the National Executive Committee.
Dismissing Senator Sheriff’s denial of an allegation that he was a major sponsor of Boko Haram, Mr Fani-Kayode said: “In terms of his person, he is intrinsically linked with Boko Haram. At the inception, he was one of those that created the Boko Haram and terrorised our nation”.
He insisted that his comments were not mere allegations, saying that “a man that is so badly stained…. has such antecedents cannot be a leader of a serious political party”.
“This is somebody I have known for many years since we were both in the NRC in the early 90s.
“I must tell you that if he wants to convince the world that he has nothing to do with Boko Haram, let him explain his relationship with Mohammed Yusuf, the man who started Boko Haram and who was murder in mysterious circumstance by the police.
“Let him tell us who he was using as his local thug whilst he was two-time Governor of Borno State. Let him tell us that it was not Mohammed Yusuf that was leading the thugs and that he was not funding them.
“Let him tell us who asked Yar’Adua to send the soldiers and kill as many people as possible of the Boko Haram group simply because he was tired of them and he was fed up with giving them money,” the PDP member insisted.
On the appointment of Senator Sheriff, Mr Fani-Kayode said it was a very complicated issue and that there were many aspects to it.
He also insisted that it would do the party a world of good if Mr Ali Modu Sheriff chose the option of stepping down.
“There has been so much rancour and division created by the fact that he has emerged.
“Not just about his personality and his antecedent but also the process by which he emerged.
“It has caused a lot of trouble.
“Had it not been for the efforts of former President Jonathan and the chairman of the Governor’s forum, Governor Mimiko, the rift could have been far wider and many people should have left the party in droves in the last couple of days,” Mr Fani-Kayode explained.
According to him, there is a problem and a number of stakeholders are not happy with the situation. He also stated that it was very clear that top party members were not going to sit by and allow it to go away.
“Concrete measures are being taken, positions have been taken, discussions are on and the Forum of Governors for instance and every single minister that has been a PDP minister from 1999 to 2015 will meet on Tuesday in Abuja to take position on the matter.”
Explaining the circumstance surrounding Senator Sheriff’s appointment, Mr Fani-Kayode said: “A group of people came together and decided that he should be the one that will complete the tenure of the former PDP chairman. It is fair enough but they have to consult the people and stakeholders before they come to this conclusion.
“They took the decision and they went to the PDP Board of Trustees and told them this is a decision that they have taken.
“The way the PDP works is that before any serious decision is taken about anything, the PDP Board of Trustees is consulted and carried along and usually, they agree and they ratify.
“On this occasion, when the name of Sheriff was put to the PDP Board of Trustees, they rejected it outright.
“There is a court order stating clearly that they deputy national chairman, Mr Secondus, is not in power and has been barred from presiding over any national council meeting”.
He was also of the view that the PDP Chairman’s appointment violated the party’s law that stipulated that any individual that must occupy that position must have been a member of the party for over two years.