It was just a matter of time before former Governor of Borno State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, revealed his intent of returning to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after decamping from the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP).
In the 2015 general election, Senator Sheriff openly worked against President Muhammadu Buhari’s bid to lead the nation but for the resilience of the electorate in the state. Borno at best seemed like a plaque to him as he deserted it not minding that his administration bequeathed the carnage called Boko Haram to the state, the Northeast and indeed the nation.
Relocating to Abuja where his private jets adorn the tarmacs of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport awaiting his signal to cruise the skies at his command and behest, Senator Sheriff pretended and dragged the PDP chairmanship until he was forced out of the party. And clearly, 2019 seems to be his next assignment.
Since his reentry into the party, Sheriff has embarked on what clearly can be described as an ambush on the Borno APC and the state and he has indeed drawn a fresh battle line with the incumbent governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima.
Ahead of the last APC national convention, in a move that got the Presidency worried, Sheriff had drafted one of his former commissioners and former House of Reps member into the race for the position of the national secretary . This was even when President Buhari and most stakeholders from the Northeast had endorsed Yobe’s Mai Buni’s candidacy for the seat. But of course that plan never saw the light of day, as it was meant to hijack the APC structure in Borno State.
Not done with his quest to recapture APC’s political structure in Borno State, a failed attempt to institute a parallel congress and party executive became another game plan but this was also nipped in the bud and he got defeated.
The next plan shifted to the Presidency where Senator Sheriff arrogated to himself the director general of a clandestine Buhari 2019 Presidential Support Committee. The speed with which the secretary to the government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, disowned the committee, denouncing Sheriff’s leadership of it, ought to have sent the message to Sheriff that no one wanted his services and patronage any longer.
But like a bull bent on wrecking havoc in a Chinese shop, Sheriff is to have non of these as again the last couple of weeks saw him having sleepless nights plotting to enthrone the direct primaries method for choosing the party’s candidates for the 2019 general election, especially in Borno State. But unfortunately for him, the real stakeholders had other options.
Preparatory to this and in anticipation of the adoption of the direct primaries method, the self acclaimed godfather of Borno politics had initiated and began illegal massive registration of members for the APC in Borno State with the obvious aim of unleashing them at the anticipated primary billed for a later date.
The plan was simple: bloat the APC membership in the state and ambush the forthcoming governorship primary, win the primary and hijack the nomination for the state’s governorship and other tickets and dissipate Governor Shettima. That was his permutation.
However, when again, the national secretary of the party, Mai Buni dissociated the national headquarters of APC from the scheme – terming it illegal, Sheriff and his cohorts in a face saving measure would claim that the membership drive was part of the support for Buhari’s 2019 project as if Buhari has ever depended on such to win elections in Borno State.
Mildly put, however, Sheriff is only obsessed with Borno State and sees nothing but an entity in it – an enterprise that he must continue to oversee and is determined to achieve. The fact remains that it is no business of Sheriff’s whether President Buhari wins 2019 presidential election or not. For him, the decamping option will always be there as the worst case scenario.
His dilemma lies in the fact that today’s Borno has long gone past him even as the state continues to recover from the mess bequeathed to it. Thus, even if the people chose to forgive him, history will never.
It is more painful that, while the people of the State and the Military have continued to suffer from his administration’s mismanagement of the Boko Haram crisis, it is taking Sheriff (who has been ‘living the cozy life’ in Abuja) another electioneering year to suddenly remember Borno and begin to unnecessarily heat up the state.
Hardly visiting the state in the past, it only soaks the eye to remember that when he chose to, during the adminstration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, only Sheriff had access to the closed airport in Maiduguri, while the governor and his people were forced to travel by road or travel hours to board flights from the Aminu Kano airport.
And so, it is not only insulting to Borno people but damn outrightly inhuman for Sheriff and his cohorts to, at this juncture, begin to engage in political permutations aimed at usurping power through funny tactics better classified as antiquitial. Given his massive wealth and connection, it would have hugely appealed to Borno people if Sheriff had mobilised resources and chosen to register youths with the aim of empowering them, even if it were for skills acquisition or small scale leveled empowerments.
To have looked away from the state while it’s citizens and the nation’s Military continued to battle Boko Haram only for 2019 to be around the corner and there is no other way of him showing remorse but to begin vexatious power play and theatrics in the quest to wrestle power is to basically spit on the graves of lives lost.
To each and every man, there comes a time to devote and appreciate God’s mercy upon the life given to us and the opportunity to serve man and humanity, if privileged and given the grace by Allah to do so. Sheriff, in the eyes of Borno people has abused this privilege and hence his due relegation .
It is rife to state in very clear and unambiguous terms that Borno State will remain in the comfortable hands of the APC. We shall vote 100 percent for President Muhammadu Buhari as we have done since 2003. No collusion, underhand dealing, political masquerading, mole or agent of the PDP regardless of the resources to be deployed in this state , will change this.
In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “no man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent”. Borno at a time in history gave Sheriff consent to govern it, but never again would he get such consent, not even through proxies as he presently seeks to do.
Borno has long left and gone past Sheriff and his gang. Power comes from the Almighty Allah and He alone gives it to whom He wills. The earlier Sheriff assimilated this simple, Holy and basic fact of life , the better for him. Having gone through rough times in the past, Borno has a rekindled spirit at the moment and thus deserves a better deal.
– Gazam, an indigene of Borno State wrote in from Abuja.