A truce has been reached between the governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima and a former governor of the state, Ali Modu Sheriff; as the former and the state leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have agreed to allow the ex governor and his allies rejoin the ruling party.
Shettima and Sheriff; alongside Sheriff’s ally Alhaji Kashim Imam as well as the brokers, Malam Abba Kyari and Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, reportedly reached the truce at a meeting which took place in Abuja, on Tuesday night, May 1, into the early hours of Wednesday, May 2.
According to Daily Trust, the meeting took place at the Asokoro residence of Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, and was brokered by the chief of staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Malam Abba Kyari.
NAIJ.com gathers that Shettima and Sheriff forgave each other at the end of the meeting; and it was decided that the former governor and his allies could rejoin the party; not as a group, but as individuals, at the ward level. Also, it was agreed that in accordance with the party’s constitution, the impending ward, local government and state congresses would go ahead.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a top politician close to Shettima reportedly confirmed that the meeting took place. According to the source, it held at Kingibe’s residence, since he is “the eldest of the Abuja-based Borno elders.”
The source further disclosed that the meeting was convened in order to achieve peace and unity among elders of the state, particularly in view of the Boko Haram insurgency and other issues confronting Borno.
He added that Sheriff would not be allowed to dabble into the affairs of the party in the state and try to upset the apple-cart, even though the former governor and his allies would assume the role of elder statesmen.
However, another source reportedly stated: "This hullaballoo about Ali Modu Sheriff coming back to APC is a storm in a teacup. Remember that when President Goodluck Jonathan visited Maiduguri on January 23, 2015 for his reelection campaign, Senator Ali Sheriff publicly declared that he was going to deliver 70% of Borno votes to PDP and that he should be held personally responsible if that did not happen.
“At the end of it, Jonathan got 3.2% of the votes cast in Borno state. It was Governor Shettima that, as leader of APC in the state, despite the ceaseless onslaught of the PDP machine, delivered all three Senate seats, ten House of Representatives seats and 28 House of Assembly seats, in addition to the governorship and 96% of the votes for President Buhari. So, what is the excitement about Ali Modu Sheriff joining APC?”
But speaking in defense of the ex governor, one of his loyalists said his return would improve the APC’s chances not only in Borno, but in the north and entire country.
He said: “Sheriff is a household name; he is the father of modern politics in Borno and almost all those in the corridors of power in the state are his disciples.”
Recall that NAIJ.com previously reported that the All Progressives Congress reacted to the planned defection of a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman, Ali Modu Sheriff, to the party.
Media reports had suggested that Sheriff was billed to visit the APC national secretariat, on Thursday, April 26, to officially announce his defection.
A statement sent to NAIJ.com by the national publicity secretary of the party, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, however stated that whilst the party was happy to receive new members, membership cards are not issued at the national secretariat.
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