CONTRARY to claims by the Senator Ahmed Makarfi caretaker committee that the ruling All Progressives Congress, (APC) was instigating the leadership tussle in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Saturday Sun has gathered that the 2019 presidential ambition of some notable Northern politicians including former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is at the root of the leadership tussle confronting the erstwhile ruling party.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday, former Minister of State Works and spokesperson of the Ahmed Makarfi team, Dayo Adeyeye alleged that the APC-led Federal Government was using the former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to destabilise the main opposition party ahead of Edo State governorship election and the 2019 general elections.
But Saturday Sun gathered that political gladiators smarting to pick the PDP’s 2019 presidential ticket, have lined behind the factional chairmen and are now pulling the strings.
Ahead of his speculated return to the party, former Vice President and APC chieftain, Atiku Abubakar is believed to be giving moral and financial support to the Ahmed Makarfi committee, a creation of the party’s highest organ, the national convention.
But Atiku has denied involvement in the PDP crisis. Speaking through his media aide, Paul Ibe, the former Vice President said he remains a national leader of the ruling APC and was in no way involved in the leadership tussle rocking his former party.
He said: “It is ludicrous. The Turaki remains a member of APC and he is fully committed to the party and working with other stakeholders to deliver its programmes to the people.
“What has changed to generate an interest? He has no interest in foisting any leadership on PDP. He remains a bonafide national leader of APC. So, it is wrong for anyone to link him with PDP crisis.”
Saturday Sun also gathered that the two PDP governors in the Northeast, Gombe State governor, Ibrahim Dankwambo and Taraba State, Darius Ishaku are also backing the embattled former Borno State governor, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff whose national working committee was dissolved at the Port Harcourt convention.
While the motive of Governor Darius Ishaku for supporting Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is yet to be known, Gombe state governor is believed to be eyeing the party’s presidential ticket for the 2019 general elections.
The Makarfi committee was mandated at the Convention held in Port Harcourt to administer the party for three months and conduct a convention that will produce substantive national officers for the party.
A Saturday Sun source revealed that the two known contenders are positioning themselves ahead of the national convention, to enable them plant their loyalists in the new national working committee that would emerge and ultimately conduct the presidential convention that would produce the party’s presidential flagbearer.
Saturday Sun checks revealed that the PDP National Executive Committee (NEC) had upheld the report of the Senator Ike Ekweremadu Post- Election Review Committee which recommended the zoning of the party’s 2019 presidential ticket to the North.
Honourable Inua Bwala, media aide to Senator Ali Modu Sheriff could not be reached for comments as his line was switched off, as at the time of filing this report Friday evening.