The plan by the former factional national chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, (PDP) Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to return to the All Progressives Congress, (APC) was on Thursday aborted by the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima and the state chapter of the party led by Ali Bukar Dolori.
The former Borno state governor defected to the PDP in 2014 in controversial circumstances having lost out in the power play at the national secretariat of the APC which accorded the Borno state governor, Ibrahim Shettima the status of leader of the party.
Checks revealed that the state chairman of the party, Honourable Dolori stormed the party national secretariat yesterday, to convey Governor Shetimma disaffection over the development to the party national chairman, Odigie Oyegun.
The party in a statement signed by the APC national publicity secretary, Bolaji Abdulai and issued to anxious newsmen distanced itself from the aborted visit to the party national secretariat and advised the former PDP factional chairman to seek registration at his ward in Borno State if he seeks to return to the ruling party.
The statement read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to reports in some sections of the media that the former factional chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff plans to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC) today at the APC National Secretariat in Abuja.
“While we are aware of such intentions, we wish to restate our earlier position that anyone who wants to join the Party should do so at the ward level. We are happy to welcome new members to our party, but membership cards are not issued at the Party National Secretariat.”
In a similar press statement, the Borno state chairman expressed concern over Senator Ali Modu Sheriff sudden interest in returning to the APC, few weeks to conduct of ward and state congresses in the state
Honourable Dolori said Senator Sheriff move to defect to APC when it was planning to put new executives in place at local, state and national level was a calculated attempt to cause confusion in Borno state chapter of the party.
“We have read news on the Social Media yesterday evening and in some National dailies this morning, that the former Governor of our State, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff will be received by our National Chairman today at the Headquarters of our great Party.
“I want to assure you that the news remains rumour because somebody is only trying to fly a kite, that is capable of causing dangerous confusion during the State Congresses in Borno State.
“We are aware of that well-articulated plan and we are ready to defend any attempt towards destroying our Party APC at any level and in any State, not just Borno. We shall conduct our congresses peacefully without any rancor and I assure you nobody can create any faction for our Party in Borno state during the Congresses expected in less than two weeks.”
Quoting provisions of the APC Constitution, Honourable Dolori noted that the former Borno state governor can only join the party at the ward level, not at the national secretariat.
“I want also to draw your attention to the relevant section of APC Constitution that deals with eligibility for Membership: Article 9.1 of the APC Constitution (October 2014 and amended):
“Subsection ii; Application for membership shall be made to and cleared by the Ward Executives of the party in the Local Government Area where the person was born, resides, works or originates.
“Online registration shall also be acceptable provided that it is cleared by the National Working Committee of the Party.
Subsection iii; Where an application is refused, the applicant may as of right appeal to the Local Government Area Executive Committee of the Party or to the National Secretary or National Chairman, in case of online registration.
“So, Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I don’t see how the National Chairman can receive any person into the Party when the constitution is clear about the process in that regard.
“There is no membership register at the Party.”