Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff, an aspirant for the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairmanship position, has accused former Governor Kashim Shettima of being behind a leaked audio message, claiming some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), hoped he (Sheriff) emerges as APC’s next national chairman.
He also urged other aspirants not to drag President Muhammadu Buhari and party leadership into their ambition.
Sheriff gave the advice in a statement by Sen. Victor Lar, Media Director of his Campaign Organisation on Friday, in Abuja.
Lar recalled that on October 5, he drew the attention of the public to the plans of a former governor of Borno, who is also contesting for the APC chairmanship position, to a negative media attack on Sheriff.
He alleged that the former governor was hatching a plan to use the media to cause “mischief and disaffection between Sheriff, APC governors and its leadership’’.
“Now he has launched the first phase of their attack,” Lar stressed.
He described the leaked audio message as a figment of the former governor’s imagination and part of plans to whittle down Sheriff’s chances of becoming the next APC national chairman.
He urged the public, APC members and its governors in particular to note that the purported audio message was baseless and untrue and should be disregarded.
Lar said it was obvious that the hard work of Ali-Modu Sheriff and the way he was going about his campaign in calm and matured manner had unsettled the former Borno governor.
According to him, the former governor has seen that Sheriff has gained unprecedented support from APC members and critical stakeholders nationwide.
He said the campaign organisation was aware that the former governor in collaboration with his cohorts was planning to unleash more negative media attacks on the person of Sheriff.
“The current senator is out to blackmail Ali-Modu Sheriff because of his 2023 vice presidential ambition and to gain political favour and the support of one of the presidential aspirants from the South.
“He is working for the presidential aspirant to impress him and to make him believe that he is working for him ahead of 2023 presidential election so he will adopt him as his running mate for the election.
“The former two term governor of Borno believes that he is working hard to impress the 2023 presidential aspirant by taking on Ali-Modu Sheriff because of his vice presidential ambition.
“He also believes that by attacking Ali-Modu Sheriff, he will gain the confidence of the southern presidential aspirant and be made his running mate in 2023,” Lar said.
He noted that the actions of the former Borno governor had caused a lot of damage to the reputation of the southern presidential aspirant.
Lar said the senator had already caused serious credibility problems for the aspirant across the federation and advised him to refrain from attacking Sheriff.
He assured Nigerians that Sheriff would work amicably and with open heart with everyone, irrespective of religion and tribe when he becomes APC national chairman with the support of the party’s membership.
“No presidential aspirant should have any fear or doubt about Ali-Modu Sheriff; he is a man of his words and he will not go back on them once spoken.
“All this childish attitude of the two term former Borno governor and current senator should stop. The world knows his antecedence and he is being watched closely.
“It is however, unfortunate that having served as a governor for two terms and currently in the Senate, the senator had continued to behave in a way that does not show maturity on his part.
“We advise him to refrain from his negative attitude which will only bring shame and reproach to him, especially as he is being laughed at presently by those who can read between the lines,” he said.
Lar said Sheriff was in the race for the APC national chairmanship because he wanted to take the party to the highest level and to build on the legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He gave assurance that Sheriff would never be in opposition to any APC governors who were the party’s leader in their respective states because he had great regards for them and could not work for the opposition PDP.
He further advised the senator and his cohorts not to drag President Muhammadu Buhari and APC leadership into his ambition, but engage himself in more fruitful venture and be focused.