Emerging report indicates that the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ali Modu-Sheriff, will rejoin the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, on Thursday afternoon.
Sheriff, a former Governor of Borno State and three-term Senator, will decamp along with a party Chieftain, Alhaji Gambo Lawan, today, in Abuja.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, stated that Sheriff would be received formally into the party, on Thursday.
“The information I heard is that it will be today, at 12pm”, he said.
It was learnt that Sheriff’s defection would have taken place on Wednesday, but for the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting, which lasted till evening.
Again, the National Chairman of the APC, John Oyegun, who was billed to receive Sheriff, was also engaged in a meeting with APC Governors over the Congresses and National Convention of the party.
It was reliably gathered that Sheriff and Lawan recently met President Muhammadu Buhari, after which he directed the Leadership of the APC to accord special recognition to Sheriff, and accept him into the party.
Sources said that President Buhari discussed many issues with the former Borno State Governor, and at the end he gave his nod for the defection.
He then directed the APC National Chairman, John Oyegun, and other Leaders, including the National Secretary of the party, Maimala Buni, to personally receive Sheriff and his fellow defectors.
“The President had also directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who is also from the North-East, to be part of the event”, one of the sources said.
“But because of the two important meetings yesterday, the reception for Sheriff and others could not hold, but it would definitely take place tomorrow (today)”, he said.
Another source said that after the National Secretariat of the APC received Sheriff and others today, “the celebration would move at a later day to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, where thousands of PDP supporters would be received into the APC.
“What would happen today in Abuja, is a mark of respect for Sheriff, but I want to assure you that he had done all the processes of defection from his Ward in Ngala town in Central Borno. The Borno APC is fully aware that he is coming”, he said.
Also speaking, Alhaji Gambo Lawan, confirmed the report that they would be received by the APC Leadership in Abuja today.
“Yes, we have moved to the APC; I and former Governor Sheriff, have left the PDP for the APC, and there are reasons.
“Sheriff, for instance, is only going back home; he is the father of APC in Borno, he is a founding member of the party, because he partook in taking the ANPP as one of the legacy parties that formed the APC.
“He only left the APC in 2015, when he was unfairly treated during the sharing of leadership positions, when his candidate for the National Secretary, Matawalli Kashim Imam, was short-changed.
“So there is nothing new; Sheriff is the face of APC in Borno and the North-East; he is the one who enthroned the incumbent Governor, and is behind the success story of many Politicians.
“For me, I am not used to defection, but was compelled to leave the PDP, because it has been hijacked by some few people; the party has not reformed.
“And most importantly, politics is local; Borno is APC and it is for President Buhari. Our joining the party with millions of our supporters will strengthen it in Borno and environs”, he added.
However, a member of the Borno State Executive Council who spoke in confidence, said that they were aware Sheriff would join the party.
“Yes, the Governor is aware, but you should know that membership of the political party is a personal thing. The Governor will not stop Sheriff from joining APC. You are all aware that the Governor did not stop him when he wanted to leave the party after the 2015 general elections”, he said.
Another source revealed that Shettima is also strategizing on the way forward.
“He is a Politician, and he is not sleeping; in fact, he has his plan B, but he will definitely not leave APC for Sheriff.
“You should know that Sheriff does not have any electoral value; he could not secure a Senate seat for himself, and with all the support he had from Jonathan, he could not secure any seat for any Politician either at the State or National Assembly in 2015. It was Shettima that delivered everything”, he said.