A former governor of Borno State and aspirant for the seat of National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has aanounced his withdrawal from the contest.
He made this known at a media briefing on Sunday.
Modu-Sheriff, former two-term governor of Borno and a frontline aspirant in the contest said he withdrew from the race to respect the party and President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to zone the position to the North Central.
“I Ali-Modu Sheriff, will not offer myself for the contest of the APC national chairmanship position slated for Saturday, March 26, because it has been zoned out of my zone.
“I am from the North-East. North Central where the position had been zoned to is made of Kogi, Kwara, Benue, Nasarawa, and Plateau, these are the places where the party’s next national chairman will come from.
“Borno is North-East of Nigeria. I want you to communicate to all our followers, men and women across the country so that they do not expect to see my name on the ballot paper.
“But if the party changes its mind between today and Friday and says everybody can contest, within 12 hours one can fill a form.
“But as long as the position is zoned to the North Central. I’m not going to be a party to that,” he stressed.
According to him, this stance was due to his respect and adherence to the dictates of the party which already zoned the position to the North-Central.
“I am sure that most of you have been following the trends of activities of our party, the APC within the last 10 days or so.
“The party has taken a position that the position of its national chairman should go to the North Central, meaning it is exclusively zoned to contestants of the zone.
“The President is the leader of the party and he has taken a position. I have always told you that I will contest if the position is zoned to my zone.
“That has been my statement always, and today they have taken a position. I respect the president as a person and as a president, he is my leader, therefore, I do not want to oppose him in any way or form,” Sheriff said.
The former Borno governor added that the president and the party’s leaders must have a reason for allowing the zoning of its chairmanship to the North Central.
“I have led a party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); I am a founding father of this party. I was the Chairman of Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Nigerian People Party (ANPP),” he said.
Nonetheless, he clarified that he may still contest if the decision by the party was rescinded to all stakeholders across the country.
“And in party Congresses and Convention, there is what is called a unity list, on the last day of the convention, when the leaders make up their mind, they will bring out one list.
“And in that respect, the list will be followed by the participants because parties are made up of men and women who are also coming from the zones and states,” he explained.
The APC National Convention had been slated for March 26, to elect new national executives to manage the party’s affairs.
Some of the aspirants for the position include Malam Saliu Mustapha, a former Deputy National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressives Congress (CPC), and George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs.
Others are; Sen. Sani Musa, Tanko Al Makura, and a former Governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari.
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