Senator Modu Sheriff
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Senator Modu Sheriff, has denied allegation that he was out to frustrate the ongoing merger talks between key opposition parties.
The former Borno State Governor who spoke through his Special Adviser and the Adamawa State chairman of the party, Umar Duhu, yesterday, also said there was no iota of truth in the insinuation making rounds that he was planning to dump the ANPP for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Sheriff said he never contemplated leaving the ANPP, adding that he co-founded and helped to build the party.
According to Duhu, the job of Sheriif as the BoT Chairman is to advise on the best way to move the party forward as well as to help mobilise resources to fund the operations of the party.
“As far we are know, it is the former Governor of Kano State, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, that has been given the mandate to negotiate the party’s participation in the merger and he is doing that without any inhibition from the BoT, “ he said.
Duhu described as “laughable” reports that Sheriff and former Governor of Zamfara State, Senator Sani Yerima, were planning to defect to the PDP ahead of 2015.
Duhu who spoke with THISDAY in Abuja Tuesday, denied reports linking the visit of the ANPP BoT chairman and Senator Yerima to President Goodluck Jonathan with any move to dump ANPP.
He said the meeting was personal and could not be said to be at the invitation of PDP.
Some national dailies had Tuesday reported that President Goodluck Jonathan as part of his war chest for 2015 presidential ambition, is courting some opposition party politicians especially, Sheriff and Yerima.
The report said the president’s agents had met with the former governors to woo them to the PDP.
However, Duhu denied the insinuations, insisting that the meeting has nothing to do with politics.
He explained that apart from politics, Sheriff is an international businessman with the rights and privileges to interact with officials of the country.
“I will like Nigerians to understand that even before becoming the Governor of Borno State, Sheriff had always been a national figure, so the relationship that exist between Jonathan and Sheriff is not political but personal.
“It was the PDP that gave Sheriff the fight of his life which caused him a Senate seat he clearly won. It was due to the rigging machinery the PDP adopted and the intimidation of ANPP members in Borno State that made Sheriff to concede defeat even though he has a right to challenge that in court but he allowed the will of God to prevail,” he added.