To cement her chances ahead of the 2023 general elections, chairmanship aspirant for the office of national chairman of the governing All Progressive Congress (APC), Senator Ali Modu- Sheriff, has said the needs a well-grounded and rugged chairman who will remain relevant and attractive after the expiration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure in 2023.
Modu-Sheriff, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, stressed that for APC to retain its status as the ruling party as envisaged for the next 40 to 50 years, it requires “a rugged captain” who knows how to navigate the murky waters of the country’s political system.
According to him: “Today, as a party we are only six years in government, our aspirations are for APC to be in government in the next 30 to 40 years. Doing that doesn’t come on the platter of gold, we need to put in hard work. Therefore, I believe it is important for me to reach out to all leaders of our party; the youths, the women, different organizations 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.
“Doing that you needs a rugged captain. You don’t need a captain that will capsize. A ship has to be navigated by a knowledgeable person who knows the water and I believe I can do that for our party if given the opportunity by party men and women who are the decision-makers.
“There are so many people in the field but you can look at everybody and see where you can put your deposit. We don’t want a bank that will collapse after a short period.
So, I have been going around the country. I have been away, traveling 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.”
Appealing to party members for support, the former Borno Governor noted that unlike 2015 when President Buhari single-handedly brought over 12 million votes, the party will have to redouble efforts by 2023 to retain power.
Sheriff who promised an all-inclusive administration if elected said he would engage in wide consultations with all stakeholders and ensure that the people are allowed to own the party at all levels.
“We will make sure that everybody is given his or her respect and everybody is consulted so that the party survives. Survival of the party is paramount. If the followers of the party are not carried along the party will always have a problem,” Sheriff promised.
On his plans to resolve the crisis rocking the party, Modu-Sheriff said: “You know, political party administration is never a new thing to me. I was the Acting National Chairman of the ANPP. When the merger was coming, I was the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ANPP that makes up the APC.
“Party is about talking to people, listening to them, understanding their problems, finding amicable solutions to aggrieved people. Carry them along, make them feel important because they are important.
“Let them know that they have a right to aspire for anything and there is also the right to get angry because we are all human beings. We make the party.
“A lot of the problems that you see today are created not even by the principal actors but people that are surrounding these actors.
“We will find a solution to all the problems. I have the strength to visit the 774 local government areas of this country. I had done that when we formed the UNCP. I was one of the founders of the ANPP and I have gone to the 774 local government areas of this country and I will do that again. I have the experience and the political will. I will cement every uncementable.”