THE National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, on Thursday stormed the shut Wadata Plaza National Secretariat of the Party in Abuja.
Sheriff had on Wednesday said that the party national secretariat, which had been under lock and key for the past eight month would be reopened before Friday (today), as all security agencies have been communicated the Port-Harcourt Court of Appeal judgment, which reinstated him last week.
According to eye witnesses, the former Borno State governor who had earlier sent an advanced team led by his deputy, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, former aide to President Goodluck Jonathan, Ahmed Gulak, National Secretary, Prof Wale Oladipo, Hon Johnson Agbonayinma, Bernard Mikko, National Auditor, Adewole Adeyanju to the secretariat around 5 30pm arrived the secretariat 20minutes later.
Sheriff was accompanied to the National Secretariat by Senator Buruji Kashamu with wild jubilation by party members around.
However, on arrival, arrangement was quickly for a carpenter to break the keys to the gate and the entrance of the building before he could gain entrance into the secretariat, as the gate and the entrance to the building were padlocked for the past eight months.
While this drama was going on, the Security personnel earlier deployed to the secretariat started arriving but Sheriff and his team had already fulfilled their mission
Speaking to newsmen shortly after taking over the office, Sheriff said, “we are here to assess the secretariat in the view of coming back on Monday.
“We want to see what kind of repair we need to do. We will invite cleaners and others to clean the place and while they are on it, we will continue with our consultation
“The Appeal Court victory is for everybody. We will carry everybody along. We want to see how we can bring everybody together. First and foremost, let the party come together, the party must go to the people.
“We don’t want situation where people are elected from Abuja. We will brief next week on our roadmap.”
Meanwhile, it was gathered yesterday that the keys to the party national secretariat are still with the Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, Senator Walid Jibrin.
In a swift reaction, the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led National Caretaker Committee of the Party condemned the action of Sheriff
According to the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Prince Adeyeye, “as far as we are concerned, the forceful entry of Ali Modu-Sheriff and his team into the party secretariat is illegal and most unwelcome
“We say this because the keys to the secretariat is with the Board of Trustees and we’ve checked with them, and can confirm that the keys are not handed over to Sheriff or any of his followers
The implication of this is that he broke into the secretariat which is a criminal offence
“We also expected that Modu-Sheriff should have waited for the conclusion of the Appeal we filed at the Supreme Court before he forced himself in just like we held on when we got court judgment favouring us last year
“We are condemning his action in totality and we view it as an affront on the rule of law.Given his act of illegality, we state clearly that he should be held responsible for any loss of documents or damage to the property within the party secretariat.
The administrative staff as accounting officers was not around to see the event happen, and as the custodians of the property of the party, they refused to participate in the illegal entry made by Ali Modu-Sheriff.
“His action is provocative and is capable of causing another round of crisis in the party. We advise him in his own interest, to vacate the secretariat immediately
“We also call on authority of the Nigerian Police to prevent chaos by flushing Ali Modu-Sheriff and his team out of the PDP secretariat and let all parties wait for the judgement of the Supreme Court which is the highest court in the land.”