After Failed Lagos Talks, Sheriff/Shettima Reconciliation Bid Moves To Abuja

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 11, (THEWILL) - The reconciliation talk between Governor Kashim Shetttima of Borno State and his predecessor, Senator Ali Modu Sherriff, has been moved to Abuja.

This followed a failed attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to reconcile the two Borno leaders at a meeting in Lagos last weekend.

Tinubu is said to be keen on reconciling  Shettima and Modu-Sherrif ahead of the 2015 election to enable APC sweep the polls in Borno with ease.

Impeccable sources close to the meeting said Tinubu had persuaded Shettima to come down to Lagos for a meeting only for him (Shettima) to discover that Modu-Sherrif was already waiting in Lagos for a reconciliation talk.

Shettima, who was accompanied on the trip by Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume ,Chief of Staff, Abubakar Kyari,  Borno Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Baba Kaka Garbai and State Secretary of the defunct All Nigeria's Peoples Party (ANPP) in  Borno, Babakura Shettima, is said to have been uncomfortable with the arrangement but was persuaded to stay by the APC National Leader.

According to the source, "On arrival in Lagos, Shettima got a hint that Sheriff was already in Lagos and hence got wind of reason for the invitation.

As a result, he subsequently sent Senator Ndume, Garbai and the ANPP secretary to meet Tinubu and appeal to him to shelve the meeting so as to give him time to return to Maiduguri and consult with his supporters.

' However, Tinubu is said to have insisted that the meeting should hold since Sheriff had been in Lagos for four days in anticipation of the meeting.

The source  disclosed that Shettima's entourage  also told Tinubu that Sheriff is not sincere and only want the reconciliation to allow him penetrate the Government and work against the Governor ahead of the elections and beyond.

"Tinubu pleaded that the Governor could still meet him and that as leader of the APC it was binding on him (Tinubu) to organise such meeting.

Tinubu also told the Governor it was up to him to make his own decision during the reconciliation meeting.

Shettima and his delegation decided to meet with Sheriff and during the meeting Sheriff complained about some close aides to the Governor he said he was not comfortable with,' the source said.

Disclosing what transpired further, the source said: '"Sheriff told the bitter truth about how Sheriff has been secretly undermining the Borno government, how he has been trying to destabilise the restored peace in the state by heating up the polity using his anointed governorship aspirant, Mohammed Imam and some other persons and how Sheriff has also been running him down at the APC national headquarters despite his (the Governor's) sincere loyalty to him as his godfather.

" But Sherriff was to deny  the allegations, a move that got Shettima angry as he simply asked to be excused thus bringing the meeting to an abrupt end.

It was however  agreed that another meeting should hold next week in Abuja to resolve the feud.

The Special Adviser on Communications to Borno Governor, Isa Gusau , confirmed the development, saying: "First of all, let it be on record that Governor Kashim Shettima didn't start the fight in the first place, he was the one that was assaulted n his State in the midst of his convoy while he was going about rebuilding the State and reclaiming its lost glory and everybody believes the Governor didn't deserve that affront given the work he has been doing in managing the crisis in Borno by bringing about growing peace and yet, doing a lot of work in all sectors.

' The governor spokesman said:' I spoke with one of those that were part of the meeting in Lagos which was organised by His Excellency, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the person I spoke with told me that the meeting was not concluded but another meeting has been scheduled in Abuja.