- Former governor of Borno state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff says he will no longer contest for the APC national chairmanship
- Senator Sheriff, a former PDP national chairman, says he is stepping down due to the party's decision to zone the position to the north-central region
- Sheriff is from the northeast region of the country and says unless the APC changes its mind, he will not be running for the highest office in the party
FCT, Abuja - Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has pulled out of the All Progress Congress (APC) national chairmanship race, saying he doesn’t want to oppose the zoning formula of the party as they have agreed to zone the position to the north-central.
Briefing journalists on Sunday, March 20 in Abuja, Senator Sheriff said he has respect for the leader of the party President Muhammadu Buhari and so he will not continue in the race.
He thanked his campaign team for their steadfastness and says except the party reviews its zoning formula he is no longer contesting.
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“I am sure most of you are following the trends of activities of our party within the last 10 days or so. The party has taken a position that the position of the national chairman should go to the north-central. Meaning, it is exclusively zoned to the contestants of the north-central zone.
“Being someone who respects the rule of law and respects our leaders, the president is the leader of the party.
“And the president has taken a position. I’ve always told you that I will contest if it is zoned to my zone. That has been my statement always. And today they have taken a position. I respect the president.
“I respect him as a person and as a president, he is my leader. He must have a reason for allowing the party to zone the chairmanship to north-central.
“Myself, I’ve led a party. I am a founding father of this party. I was the chairman of the Board of Trustees of this party. Meaning every decision party makes in all the time I’ve been chairman of a party, chairman of the Board of Trustees of another. I know the procedure and the process.
“I don’t want to draw a line. I respect the president; unless the party comes out between now and Friday to say that, no we have changed our mind, it is now open in that respect and they are obliged to allow everybody to pick a form.
“Therefore, I don’t want to oppose the president in any way or form. I respect him. I will abide by the decision of the party that exclusively zoned to north-central.”
Senator Ali Modu Sheriff also urged the party faithful to submit themselves to the Unity List that would be ratified at the convention.
APC chairmanship race: Borno governor declares support for Senator Akume
Meanwhile, Borno state governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum has declared his support for a former governor of Benue state, Senator George Akume for the position of APC national chairman.
Professor Zulum urged APC stakeholders to rally round Akume, who is the current minister of special duties and inter-governmental affairs.
Governor Zulum also said the emergence of Akume will give Christians in the APC a sense of belonging.
Chairmanship race: APC elders pick nomination form for Akume
Recall that Senator Barnabas Gemade on Wednesday, March 16 led a group of APC elders across the country to obtain a national chairmanship nomination form for Senator Akume.
The APC elders include Shango, a former governor of Edo state, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor and publisher, Summit newspapers, Chief Ray Murphy.
Others are a governorship aspirant, Chief Terlumun Akputu, and a former senator, Prof. Terhemba Shija, among others.