■ My alleged involvement ludicrous –Ex-VP


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.