Bode George ‘Ali Modu Sheriff is a saint,’ PDP chieftain says

George made the comment in reaction to the conduct of the controversial PDP national convention which held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

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Bode George

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Bode George has said that factional chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff is a saint.

George made the comment in reaction to the conduct of the controversial PDP national convention which held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.

Read excerpts of his interview with Daily Trust below:

What is your take on the botched Port Harcourt convention?

It was a divine intervention because there would have been a lot of crises at that convention. God knows that there are genuine people who have been prayerful. PDP is very lucky, as a party, because the control by the Rivers governor and his team from Rivers State was overwhelming.

And when he spoke to us a day before (the convention), we were clapping for him, only to go to the accreditation centre…and can you imagine, Lagos State had 51 delegates but they didn’t give us one card.

They gave Ogun three cards out of the delegates. Oyo got three. Osun and Kwara were given the same thing, likewise some states in the North. What was that for? Where was the transparency that he promised us? And it was his chief of staff that was made the chairman of the accreditation committee and the secretary was the attorney-general of the state.

He (Wike) himself was the chairman of the convention committee and the former deputy speaker of the state’s Assembly was the chairman of the electoral panel. So, everything was run by Rivers. Is it a Rivers State affair? This was a national convention of a political party.

I have never seen such a thing in my life. If we had done it, he would have prevented Lagos State delegates from going in because he wanted to camp Jimi Agbaje there. How? If a zone cannot recommend him (Agbaje), who the hell are you people to decide he is the one you want?

We didn’t interfere with them bringing Secondus or the South-east bringing their own candidate. We would save this party, would do everything that is possible to salvage this party.

The South-west had already endorsed somebody, you refused to take that, you were manipulating people, jumping all around. If we had done that when we were building the party, many of them would never have ended up being governors. If you are a governor, you must show a high pitch of responsibility, respectability and civility. For God’s sake, you are messing up with the Yoruba people.

They are saying, ‘This is what we want’ and you are saying, ‘this is the one you would pick for us.’ And they are taking a man who is yet to get his political teeth in Yoruba land in the PDP to make him the national chairman. It is an insult to the Yoruba people and we will never allow it, very disgraceful, very thoughtless.

What do you think we are in Yoruba land? And nobody goes to the Villa (Presidency) without winning the South-west with 6.5m registered voters. I am happy that it (convention) was postponed.

Like I said, it is a divine intervention. Now you can see that Sheriff is a saint. All he has been complaining about, he was right.

A lot of people were saying if the convention had gone as planned, probably Jimi Agbaje would have emerged as the chairman. Would you have accepted him?

That is what they had planned. They tried to manipulate the system to produce a man who doesn’t even know the party yet to be chairman. Sheriff said it before that he (Agbaje) was in his house, when they came to bring him in and then that didn’t work.

And now you want to bring another musketeer to come and be national chairman. So, Yoruba people don’t know what we want? It is not a matter of life and death, but I will resist anybody trying to insult the Yoruba people.

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Now the committee has one more year to continue in office. Are you satisfied with the arrangement?

Let them go on. Look, the party needs a lot of sanitisation, a lot of reorganisation. Let him (Makarfi) go on because he is a very civilised, committed, loyal and dedicated member of the party, highly responsible and respectable. He can go on.

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