Borno: Shettima, Sheriff Reconcile At Last
SAN FRANCISCO, April 10, (THEWILL) - Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima and his political godfather turned foe, Senator Ali Modu Sherrif, appear to have agreed to sink their differences to move the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state forward.
The uniting factor appears to be the delayed party's ward congresses as the two political gladiators may have settled for a consensus arrangement in the selection of delegates to the party's national convention in May.
The congresses which held in some states across the country last Saturday and was postponed to Tuesday in Borno could not also hold because of what many observers described as a show of strength by the Shettima and Sheriff camps.
But on Thursday, at the instance of another chieftain of the party, Alhaji Kashim Imam, a presidential liaison officer to the National Assembly, in the Olusegun Obasanjo Administration, both camps agreed to give peace a chance.
"We are very responsible people.
We are aware of our responsibilities to the people of the state.
We are equally concerned with what is happening in the neighbouring states of Yobe and Adamawa.
We know three million people have been displaced and many killed and we cannot allow another crisis to brew.
"We cannot afford to have even a family squabble.
We felt as responsible leaders we have to have a reconciliation and bury whatever tiny differences we may have had," Imam said.
In appreciation of the intervention, Shettima said: "This is indeed a watershed moment, a very momentous time in the history of Borno, we have had hiccups in the past but in the interest of our state and our people we have decided to bury the hatchet.
"APC is a big family and problems are likely in the family but it is also good to come together.
" He noted that "In Islam the greatest is he who forgives,' adding 'We have decided to encourage consensus in the interest of the party but where it is hard to get consensus , we'll go for election.
" Shettima stated further: "It will not be fair for us as leaders to compound the problems of our society, ours is a society that is in crisis.
"I must commend Mutawalli Kashim Imam for his efforts toward bringing this peace, he has had sleepless night in order to achieve this.
" On his part, Sheriff said: "It is true we have been meeting for the last three days and we have decided a lot.
If APC as a political party loses one ward in Borno State , I will be the number one loser.
I have been building a political institution in the last 10 years, everyone in this room knows Kashim Imam who has a political institution that we have been contesting together had passed through my tutelage.
"Kashim Shettima was someone that I took to the nooks and crannies of Borno State as the best qualified to rule Borno State.
We do not have any fundamental problem.
If today he becomes the president of Nigeria, he will know that someone, and that is me, contributed to his becoming something.
"We are not contending anything, he is the leader of the party in Borno State and I am one of the leaders of the party at the national level.
If I come to the state, I must recognise him as such and when he comes to Abuja, he must recognise me as a national leader.
APC is one big family in Borno today.
In politics, you agree to disagree and disagree to agree but one thing is important every member of the party must be carried along.
" Sherrif denied the allegation that he was sponsoring another candidate for the 2015 governorship , saying "We have never discussed about someone to contest the governorship alongside the governor.
It is a democracy and everyone has the right to show his/her interest; it is left for us to determine what we are going to do.
'We want to make sure that Borno is in peace and anyone that is aspiring for any position must have the same dream for the state.
" He assured that nobody will be disenfranchised in the state but disclosed that the party was looking at the consensus arrangement and needs people that could win election to emerge from this process.
The meeting was attended by all notable leaders of the party in the state.