The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party took a dramatic twist Monday afternoon, as the ousted National Chairman of the party, Senator Modu Sheriff, gained entry into the party’s National Secretariat after four attempts.
Sheriff gained entry into the Wadata Plaza complex at about 1:20pm minutes after the detachment of policemen stationed in and around the building were withdrawn on the orders of the IGP, following several calls put through by the embattle PDP chieftain.
The former chairman was earlier barred from entering the building by policemen citing orders from the police high command.
Addressing a press conference, shortly after taking over, Sheriff said the ex parte injunction issued by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that barred him from acting as chairman had lapsed after 14 days.
He announced that the Ahmed Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee was null and void because it was set up by an illegal convention.
The party, he also said, had set up a committee to organise governorship primaries for Edo State under the Chairmanship of Senator Hope Uzodinma .
Warning members against paying a nomination fee which he said had been reduced to N10 million to the Markarfi-led Caretaker committee, Sheriff said whoever paid to the committee would not be considered.
“There is only one PDP, if anybody goes to buy a form from any omnibus body called caretaker committee they are on their own. PDP has spoken, PDP has only one party and we say our form is N10 million and we say they should go and pay the amount into the party account. If anybody goes and buys from some other body, he is on his own.
“The only people that would be screened are those who show evidence that they paid their N10 million for the form and show to the chairman of the screening committee. People have the right to do whatever they want, I am not forcing anybody.
“In PDP we have agreed that our form is N10 million and payment should he made to the party’s account . Those who said they paid N16 million, to whom was it paid? Did they pay into the party’s account? Fees for nomination forms are not paid into state party’s accounts but to the national party’s account.
“If the candidates paid to the national party account and present their evidence to the chairman of the screening committee, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, that he was misled to pay N16 million, the balance of N6 million will be refunded,” Sheriff said.
He was also very emphatic on the fate of all members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) supporting the caretaker committee, pointing out that what they did amounted to a resignation from their positions.
According to Sheriff, the party would give them till today to change their minds and should they fail to embrace his leadership, the party would replace them with their deputies.