ALI SHERIFF FOR APC NATIONAL CHAIRMANSHIP: A JOKE OR WHAT?
By Sa’ad Ghali Wunti
Even if politics in Nigerian has stooped as low as to condone the dirtiest and the most conscienceless brand of politics in the world, I will want to believe that there are certain despicable bottomless pits we will never, with our senses intact, leap into. In the same vein, there are certain characters, due mainly to their ignoble self centered antecedents that no party will wish to dine with even with the longest spoon. If the political party happens to be the All Peoples Congress (APC), then it becomes rather a rule for it to be more circumspect and wary when those characters begin to fly kites of, not just making a comeback into its fold, but going the whole hog to entertain ambitions of leading at the level of National Chairman.
There is no doubt that all manner of people have rights to freely associate, hold opinions and aspire to all political offices. At the same time, political parties too, have rights to wise up and keep political prostitutes at bay, especially when such habitual and incurable carpet-crossers are the type of Ali Modu Sheriff. It is indeed unfathomable and scary to think that the former Borno state Governor is currently testing the waters in an attempt to vie for the office of National Chairman of the APC, the very party he took to the cleaners and almost rendered vegetative. The thoughts of some of us who have labored hard as common floor members to build the APC into what it is today, is that the leadership of the party have so learnt their lessons that strategies have been evolved of shutting the door against the very elements like Ali Sheriff who have benefitted immensely from the party but who have worked tirelessly against it in the past.
How can President Muhammadu Buhari ever forget the role which Ali Sheriff had played in 2007 when the then Borno state Governor hosted a meeting of ANPP renegades who met in Maiduguri and clandestinely took a counter position not to go to the courts – a position agreed to be pursued by Muhammadu Buhari who was, at that time, the Presidential candidate of the ANPP? Can anything be more treacherous and repulsive than having loathsome double-dealing characters in a party which went into a working agreement of sort, to field a popular presidential candidate in order to brighten chances of a man like Buhari at a time the nation was drifting towards ruin?
Is it not rather too early for Nigerians to have forgotten the self serving roles which some filthy and Naira-and-Kobo characters who masqueraded as politicians in the shenanigans of the late 2000s when Nigeria was put on the dinner table by political vampires brandishing very sharp knives to cut into pieces and share? Are we saying that there is no morality at all in our kind of politics such that political marauders could play the kind of clumsy politics they did, almost succeeded in killing the country on the altar of pursuing narrow selfish interests and still have the temerity and shamelessness to look us in the face and ask for opportunity to wreck further havoc on our nation at this critical time when all hand are on deck to consolidate on the gains achieved so far?
We have not forgotten the do-or-die undercurrents that played out when Ali Sheriff chanced on an underserved opportunity to lead the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in an acting capacity and when time to allow constitutionality and party supremacy beckoned on, he decided to compromise the larger party interest to pursue personal interest even when doing so had proved to be capable of tearing the party apart. It took a Supreme Court judgment to wrestle the party away from him. Before the judgment, Ali Sheriff and his ilk had resolved to, in pursuance of their narrow interests, held on and all appeals to allow reason to prevail came to naught. The implication of allowing Ali Sheriff to contest for any post at any level in the APC can only be imagined.
The scenario that recently played out in the APC which led to the removal from office of Adams Oshiomhole as National Chairman and the subsequent dissolution of the National Working Committee of the party would have been sadly different if a man like Ali Sheriff was the one in charge. Despite the pain and implication to his political future, Oshimhole gave in, in order to allow party interest to take precedence. Believe you me, the kind of litigation and hold-tight mentality that could have resulted were the Ali Sheriffs to be in Oshiomhole shoes will have kick started a bigger plot to destabilize the APC.
Let me say this without fear of contradiction: the APC, despite many instances of in-house struggles for space and positions has seemingly proved indissoluble because shadowy characters have had doors into its leadership shut. Anything different will make it vulnerable to being infiltrated by the Atikus and Wikes who would welcomed any opportunity provided by money-for-hand saboteurs to go for an eventual kill of the only party which has stood between them and power at the centre. And make no mistake about it; the APC cannot be said to be out of the danger of becoming victim of this possibility I have painted above. Of course, it has been insulated from it, but that is because it has kept the doors shut against the Sheriffs. What this demonstrates is that the party will continue to be safe as long as it continues to make it unattractive for undertakers to control it.
Many people have not internalized the crux of the matter for Nigeria. The truth is that 2023 will be more critical to the survival of Nigeria than 2015 was. 2023 will, depending on how right we get it, make or destroy what is left of our democracy. The good news is that it is in our hands and within our powers to avoid.
Wunti, a concerned APC member wrote in from Tambari Estate, Bauchi