President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed former Senate Minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio as the National Coordinator of the Presidential Support Committee.
This was the same position the former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sherriff, had lobbied to be considered for in July 2018 and even went ahead to plant on pages of newspapers through Hon. Gideon Shammani, SSA to the President on Political Matters, until the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation issued a statement disassociating itself from the appointment.
A medium (not Daily Correspondents) had reported in July that “Ali Modu Sheriff, former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, has been named the director-general of Buhari 2019 presidential support committee.”
However, in a tweet entitled, “Disclaimer,” Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, wrote: “DISCLAIMER: The attention of the OSGF has been drawn to documents in circulation in print and social media purportedly issued by the SSA to the President on Political Matters as public notice, appointing certain individuals into different roles under the BUHARI SUPPORT COMMITTEE.
“It has become imperative to clarify to all Nigerians and in particular to APC members that the said documents are unauthorised, misleading and should therefore be totally disregarded.
“Appropriate administrative measures are being put in place to ensure that such lapse does not recur in future.”
However, six months after the initial confusion and with less than few weeks to the general elections, Senator Akpapio was considered fit for the position, an indication that the former Borno governor, Modu Sherriff, has been finally shut out to head the Buhari presidential support committee.
It is however unclear if Sheriff would still be named into the membership of the committee in the Northeast as there are reports that he’s “secretly” fraternising with the opposition PDP in Borno State.
Disclosing Akpabio’s appointment to Daily Correspondents on Thursday in Uyo, Pastor Mfon Okon, the Akwa Ibom state Coordinator of the committee, said four other indigenes of the state have also been appointment into the committee.
They include Lady Valerie Ebe, a former deputy governor of the state as chairman, National Advisory Committee, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, National Director – Planning & Strategy, Senator Aloysius Etok – National Director for inter-party affairs, and the party’s South-South zonal woman leader, Mrs Rachael Akpabio as the National Assistant Welfare Secretary.
Okon said the appointments were a reflection of the confidence President Buhari reposed on their ability to successfully work for his re-election in the forthcoming presidential election.
He called on the people of the state to fully key into national politics by supporting the All Progressives Congress to return the President, and ensure that the party wins Akwa Ibom State in 2019.
Preparations are, however, underway by the APC in the state to ensure a hitch-free South-South zonal flag-off of President Buhari re-election campaign slated for the Godswill Akpabio international stadium, Uyo on December 28th.
Meanwhile, the Borno State All Progressives Congress (APC) has issued a stern warning to Ali Modu Sherriff and those it describes as “Abuja Politicians” planning to hold a presidential campaign rally for President Muhammadu Buhari in the state soon without its approval, to steer clear of the state.
“I heard some mischievous Abuja politicians, calling themselves Borno indigenes, are planning to come to Borno to launch the presidential campaign for Buhari without our knowledge and approval,” the state APC Chairman, Ali Bukar Dalori, told newsmen on Thursday in Maiduguri.
“We don’t know them; they are not our card-carrying members; they cannot therefore, do anything in the name of APC; we are the APC, and we do not approve of what they are coming to do,” the vice Chairman of the Forum of APC chairmen warned.
He issued the stern warning: “They should steer clear of Borno; but if they insist on doing what they plan, then we have prepared to deal with them in whatever way.”
Dalori, who would not mention names, but indirectly referring to Ali Modu Sherriff insinuated: “They went to PDP and destroyed it; and now they say they are in APC; but they should know that they can’t destroy APC; we will not take this; the National Secretariat of our party should know that we in Borno are not rubber stamps.”
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