Top officials of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are in London trying to resolve the crisis that has engulfed the party over its leadership.
The crisis stems from attempts by Ali Modu Sheriff, the very controversial former governor of Borno State, to take over as Chairman of the party following its defeat the presidential (s)election last year. Sheriff was rejected by some powerful figures in the party who then backed Ahmed Markafi as caretaker chairman.
This has degenerated into the creation of two factions of the party each with claims to legitimacy and a series of court cases. Attempts to negotiate a settlement started in Nigeria last week and has culminated in the London talks.
Sheriff is in London, along with Governor Nysom Wike of Rivers State, “two other PDP governors”, Hope Uzodimma, the senator representing Imo West, and others according to a source at the meetings held over the weekend. Most of them are staying in hotel in Hyde Park in London in £3,500 a night suites.
The source informed us what Sheriff has brought to the negotiating table. The faction leader, who has been accused of being an early Boko Haram sponsor, is willing to give up his claims to the party chairmanship in return for being allowed to run for the PDP’s presidential ticket during the primaries in 2018.
Sheriff also wants to be allowed to pick PDP candidates for 12 of the 24 state governorships that will be contested in 2019. The billionaire believes that this is the least the PDP can do for him in return for all the money he has spent in footing the party’s bills since last year.
Senator Uzodinma is one of Sheriff’s closest supporters and is plotting to be picked as the latter’s running mate in the presidential (s)election in 2019.