APC block Sheriff’s come-back bid

The much publicized return of the former factional National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ali Modu Sheriff to the All Progressives Congress (APC) failed to materialize on Thursday as the National leadership of the party told him in clear terms that membership card can only be issued to him at the ward level.

The National however gathered that leaders of three party in Borno stage and the north east geopolitical zone may have moved against the planned return of the former Borno state governor on the fear that he might hijack the forth coming party congresses.

Journalists who converged at the APC national Secretariat to report the entry of Sheriff into the party were disappointed as he failed to show up, especially when non of the members of the National Working Committee were around as at 1.00pm, one clear hour after Sheriff was supposed to have arrived the secretariat.

However, in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, confirmed it was aware of the intention of Sheriff to return the party, but asked him to return to his ward.

The two paragraphed statement reads: “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.”

However, the Chairman of the party in Borno state, Hon. Ali Bukar Dolori dismissed reports of the likely return of the former governor to the party, saying somebody was trying to fly a kite as a way of testing the waters. 

He said that the National leadership of the party has no right to receive anybody into the party without following the constitutionally provision which stipulates that membership should be from the ward level.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja, Dolori said: “We have read news on the social media that the former governor of our state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff will be received by our national, chairman 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 rancour and I assure you that nobody can create any faction for our party in Borno state during the congresses expected in less than two weeks.

“I want also to draw your attention to the relevant section of APC constitution that deals with eligibility for members. Article 9.1 (ii) of the APC constitution states that application for membership shall be made to and cleared by the ward executiveś 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 states that 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, 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 registration at the party.”