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