The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has accused former ministers of the party of running Nigeria aground.
The National Chairman of the party, Senator Modu Sheriff, who spoke on behalf of the party in Abuja on Tuesday, also called on the former ministers to tell Nigerians the source of their wealth.
Sheriff said that it was unfortunate that the former ministers, whom he said were given the opportunity of running the country, ended adding to its woes.
The former governor of Borno State, who was reacting to the former ministers’ meeting in Abuja on Monday, said that the party’s constitution did not recognise the umbrella under which the former ministers gathered.
At the meeting, the former ministers also backed Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s faction of the party, thereby incurring the wrath of the party’s national chairman.
The former ministers’ forum also encouraged its members to contest the party’s presidential primary in 2019, and equally promised to search for other credible persons that could pick the party’s ticket even outside its fold.
Sheriff said that the former ministers had no constitutional backing to hold the meeting, adding that the gathering was unknown to the party.
The party’s national chairman also said he would obey the outcome of the party’s leadership case pending before the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on who the authentic leader of the party between Sheriff and Makarfi.
Speaking through his deputy, Cairo Ojougboh, in Abuja, on Tuesday, Sheriff said that he would never recognise the group of the former ministers.
He said, “We want to say first of all that the party’s constitution is very clear and the organs of the party are specified – from the ward executive committee down to the national convention of the party. We don’t have the forum of former ministers among the organs.
“We take exception to the comments of this group of persons who met on Monday and called themselves Forum of PDP Former Ministers.
“We want to say that under normal circumstances, in some countries, these are people who will not show themselves in the public.
“These persons have a lot of money; they must tell Nigerians how they came about their money. Again, their opinion is that they can buy the party, but Sheriff has said no, that the party is not for sale.
“Our position is very clear; they may not support Sheriff and the reason is because they know they cannot buy Sheriff. He is not for sale. Ordinarily, these people will not walk the streets (free). They were given opportunity to run this country, but they ran it aground.”
But the former ministers said Sheriff should be ignored, adding that the former governor ‘does not epitomise the PDP”.
A former Minister of National Planning, Prof Suleiman Abubakar, while reacting to the comments by Sheriff, wondered how the former governor would build the factionalised party with the way he spoke.
He said, “Ordinarily, Sheriff does not deserve our response. Is this how a man who wants to build a party talks? If his leadership is not in doubt, he won’t be in court to defend his leadership status.”