One of the aspirations of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is to rule Nigeria for the next 30 to 40 years, former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, has said.
To achieve this aim, he said the party will require a “rugged captain” as national chairman, in order to steer the ship for the party.
He made this statement during a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday, according to a video shared by his media aide, Kolo Adams, with PREMIUM TIMES.
The former governor, who is an aspirant for the position of the party’s national chairman (should it be zoned to the North east), disclosed that he has started consultations with APC leaders across the country on the need for its repositioning ahead of challenges that may arise after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure.
“Today, as a party, we are only six years in government. Our aspirations are for the APC to be in government in the next 30 to 40 years.
“He (Buhari) brought that to the table and what are we going to face after the exit of His Excellency, the President? It is we, the APC members, that will tell the world that we are capable of getting their trust even when he finishes his tenure.
“Doing that doesn’t come on the platter of gold; we need to put in hard work. You need everybody.
“Therefore, I believe it is important for me to reach out to all leaders of our party; the youth, the women, different organisations to tell them that we must come together to get our party to run for the next 30, 40, 50 years by the grace of God. And doing that, you need a rugged captain; you don’t need a captain that will capsize,” he said.
Mr Sheriff, a former senator, said his plan for the party is long term so it does not collapse along the line, hence the need for consultations across the country.
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“I have been away, travelling from one state to the other and I will continue doing that until everybody in our party is consulted. I meet them in their homes to say that, yes, I want to run for the national chairmanship of this party and I believe I can lead us well because party politics is different.”
His comment comes weeks after he admitted that the APC has lost the trust of Nigerians.
Mr Sheriff, who was once the national chairman of Nigeria’s main opposition party, PDP, had said the APC must work harder than ever before to gain the confidence of Nigerians in order to retain power beyond 2023.
He is among other key political players jostling for the position.
Others are former governor of Nasarawa State and serving senator, Tanko Al-Makura; his counterparts from Borno and Gombe, Kashim Shettima and Danjuma Goje, who are also serving senators; former governor of Zamfara, Abdulaziz Yari; a former member of the House of Representatives from Bauchi, Ibrahim Baba; and a former chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria in Abuja, Sunny Moniedafe from Adamawa State.
The party is expected to hold its national elective convention before the end of the year.