by Alexander O. Onukwue
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on the PDP Chairmanship tussle in favour of Ahmed Makarfi, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, it appears, is out in the cold.
The former Borno State Governor became the Chairman of the Party to complete the tenure of Adamu Mu’azu in 2015 after the crushing defeats in the 2015 elections. Though he, at the time, enjoyed the support of key party men such as Ayodele Fayose and Nyesom Wike of Ekiti and Rivers States respectively, Sheriff soon fell out of favour and was replaced at a Convention in Port-Harcourt by the Makarfi caretaker committee.
All the struggles by Sheriff so far have been to prove that the Convention was null and that he still retained the authority inherited from Mu’azu’s term. With a final hammer on the matter, the Highest Court in the land has banished him from his position.
What now becomes his fate?
The court ruling has given rise to ‘shame shame’ taunts targeted at Sheriff, for supposedly being a tool by which the APC planned to create instability in the PDP. Some allege he has been a kind of double agent by which a plan to make Nigeria a one-party state would have been actualised. There are no empirical facts to back those claims up, but it is fair to say that the PDP’s leadership crises had made it rather docile and dormant as far as the responsibilities of an Opposition Party is concerned.
Having arrived at closure on that matter and set for a rebuilding process, how will Sheriff and his faction (who are not many, much known or popular) be reintegrated into the PDP with the level of distrust and the sores that have been incurred in the crisis? Will he still be perceived as an asset to the Party or will his apparent rapport with the APC make him an expensive liability? Or will he just be kept in the party in some kind of titular role that makes him enrolled but in ghost mode?
The choice will lie with Sheriff himself, if he still believes there is some political capital to be gained. As a former Governor and Senator, there seems to be little left on offer for him to pursue. Is he ambitious enough and angry enough with the APC to want to remodel himself for 2019? Knowing that there are no permanent enmities or friendships in politics, there is always a window for re-gaining the trust of those who he may have bruised; it’s more how than why.
Or will he want to join forces with Kashim Shettima to decisively rid the State of Boko Haram? In which case, we may soon be called to a press conference where a broom will be placed on the table.