Former Governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, now a campaigner for President Buhari’s reelection has donated a private event centre, called foreshams hall, belonging to his wife, Hajiya Fatima Ali Sheriff which served as venue for campaign by Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki when he met with PDP delegates and some stakeholders on Saturday in Maiduguri, Borno’s former Commissioner for Information, Inuwa Bwala who served under Sheriff has alleged.
Saraki’s visit was part of statewide consultations for the Presidential ticket of PDP to wrestle President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC. Sheriff was national chairman of PDP before he was removed by the Supreme Court. He crossed over to the APC in May, 2018.
The foreshams hall, located along Dapcharima road in old GRA of Maiduguri, is a commercial event centre with the main hall rented out after payment of three hundred thousand naira.
“It is public knowledge that foreshams hall belongs to Sheriff’s wife, Hajiya Fatima Ali Sheriff. The hall was built while Sheriff was Governor of Borno State under the ANPP. Most government events and those of the then ruling ANPP took place there.
“Throughout Sheriff’s reign as Governor, there was never a single time when any member of the PDP whether in Borno or at the national level was allowed to use that hall for any political activity. Many times, politicians in PDP offered to rent the hall but they were denied for non availability.
“However, the same hall is now being used by PDP Presidential aspirants even when Sheriff claims to be working for Buhari’s reelection as chairman of a so called presidential support committee. The Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki used the foreshams hall for his campaign visit on Saturday. The same venue was used by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar during a similar engagement weeks ago and sources close to the management said the hall was given to Saraki and Atiku for free as Sheriff waved the fee.
“Everyone in Maiduguri including all journalists and security personnel in Maiduguri know that foreshams is owned by Sheriff’s wife. Pictures are all over of their activities there. If Sheriff denied PDP members access to the venue when he was Governor under the ANPP, why is the venue now being used by President Buhari’s hostile opponents like Atiku and Saraki? Why is Sheriff making it easy for them to access delegates in other to challenge President Buhari in the 2019 election?
“The Senate President Saraki came to Maiduguri and was at that venue dressed in white babban riga. He arrived Maiduguri past 1pm in company of former Minister of State for power, Mohammed Wakil who is his campaign director general, Senator Dino Melaye, Doctor Doyin Okupe amongst others. Saraki was at the foreshams hall at about 1:45pm where he met with delegates. During the meeting, Saraki’s campaign manager, Wakil, told delegates to henceforth nickname Saraki as ‘dodon Buhari’ meaning Buhari’s nightmare whenever campaigners in the meeting asked them who will be Nigeria’s next President in 2019.
“President Buhari was desparaged throughout the meeting which ended after 2pm and Saraki departed in company of his associates including Melaye who also wore white Babban Riga and spoke against the President.
“President Buhari needs to be careful with Sheriff. It is very possible that Sheriff is only in APC to work for the PDP. We all know that President Buhari and Sheriff have nothing in common. There is no way Sheriff will sincerely work for Buhari. Those of us who worked closely with Sheriff know this.
“The President can assign the security to find out who owns foreshams and to establish whether both Saraki and Atiku didn’t hold their campaigns for free at that venue. Even if they paid, we all know that in politics, people turn down more serious moneys to undermine political opponents. Why should Buhari’s opponents have access to a venue that is owned by the wife of an APC chieftain who is known to be politically intolerant?
“Whoever knows Sheriff can bear testimony that unless there is something fishy it is impossible for politicians in another party and not his, to use foreshams hall that is owned by his wife” the former Commissioner said.
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