APC Congress: Feud be­tween Shet­tima, Sher­iff causes stale­mate in Borno

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS -

There is no cer­tainty on when the Borno State chap­ter of the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) will hold its ward and other con­gresses be­cause of what in­sid­ers calle ‘se­ri­ous prob­lem’ be­tween Gover­nor Kashim Shet­tima and his pre­de­ces­sor, Ali Modu Sher­iff on the shar­ing for­mula of party of­fi­cials.

The ward congress is seen as the defin­ing mo­ment for pick­ing can­di­dates for 2015 elec­tions.

The ward congress, which was orig­i­nally sched­uled to hold last Satur­day has been sus­pended sev­eral times be­cause of al­leged po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences be­tween Shet­tima and Sher­iff.

At a stake­hold­ers meet­ing on Sun­day, Shet­tima ad­vo­cated for a ‘ran­cour free’ elec­tion and warned that dis­agree­ments will give op­por­tu­nity to ri­val po­lit­i­cal par­ties to make im­pact in the state.

Sources in the APC hinted that both Shet­tima and Sher­iff had wanted to scheme out each other in the ward congress so as to have ab­so­lute con­trol of the party.

It was gath­ered that ahead of the congress, Shet­tima had the sup­port of most mem­bers of the state House of As­sem­bly, six mem­bers of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, a se­na­tor, care­taker chair­men of lo­cal gov­ern­ments and party chief­tains, a de­vel­op­ment which sources said did not go down well with Sher­iff.

There are al­le­ga­tions that Sher­iff who is seek­ing to con­test for Borno Cen­tral Se­na­to­rial seat also wants to re­place Shet­tima with an­other can­di­date.

On the other hand, Shet­tima is serv­ing his first term in of­fice and work­ing to­wards a sec­ond term.

He had re­peat­edly said he nurses no grudge against Sher­iff, whom he called his po­lit­i­cal men­tor that ap­pointed him as com­mis­sioner in five dif­fer­ent min­istries and also worked for his emer­gence as gover­nor.

Sources said the two parted ways be­cause of ‘over­bear­ing in­flu­ence’ of Sher­iff on gov­er­nance.

Our cor­re­spon­dent gath­ered that when the move by the duo to scheme out each other ap­peared im­pos­si­ble, Sher­iff flew to Maiduguri on Sun­day.

Af­ter many rec­on­cil­ia­tory moves by some top politi­cians and opin­ion lead­ers, se­ries of meet­ings were held be­tween the two and their sup­port­ers at a neu­tral venue in Maiduguri.

Part of the ‘agree­ment’, a source privy to the meet­ing said, was that both Shet­tima and Sher­iff will pro­duce 40 per­cent of party of­fi­cials each while Kashim Imam, a key stake­holder was to pro­duce 20 per­cent of the of­fi­cials.

“Shet­tima had ve­he­mently re­jected the shar­ing for­mu­lar be­cause of many rea­sons. Imam is very close to Sher­iff and may likely sur­ren­der his can­di­dates at a later time which will give Sher­iff 60 per­cent of of­fi­cials. This will not au­gur well for the in­cum­bent gover­nor when it comes to pri­mary elec­tion for 2015,” a source close to the meet­ing, said.

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