Ali Modu Sheriff Confirmed as PDP Senatorial Candidate, Set to Battle Incumbent Ahmed Zanna
The immediate past governor of Borno state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has been confirmed as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Borno Central senatorial district in the forthcoming general elections.
His emergence as the consensus candidate of the PDP was confirmed by Umar Sanda, the acting Secretary of PDP Youth Wing in Borno State.
With his emergence as the senatorial candidate for Borno Central senatorial district, the stage is set for a rematch between him and Senator Ahmed Zanna who defeated him in 2011 as the candidate of the PDP.
Zanna, who is the incumbent senator would be flying the ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
He defeated Zanna had been elected to the Senate on the platform of the PDP in 2011 after he defeated Sheriff who as the outgoing governor of the state had flown the ticket of the now defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, a party which merged into the APC.
Zanna and a large section of the mainstream PDP as it was had left the party for the APC after Sheriff who could not find accommodation led his supporters into the PDP.
Sheriff is the only governor of the state to have served for two terms. His attempt to return to the Senate on the platform of his former party, the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP at the end of his governorship stint in 2011 ended in failure as he was defeated by the candidate of the PDP
Before now, Sheriff had been understood to be favouring a close associate, Mohammed Imam for the senatorial position. His support for Imam followed the failure of Imam to get the governorship ticket of the PDP during the consensual talks in Abuja.
Instead of Imam, PDP loyalists went for party veteran, Gambo Lawan a development that was said to have left Sheriff and many of his supporters in the cold. Many of them who sought other elective positions in the PDP lost to the old members of the PDP.
With Sheriff’s anointment as the PDP Senate candidate, Imam who Sheriff was wanting to console with that position it was learnt could be positioned for a ministerial or ambassadorial position if the PDP returns to power at the federal level.
Sheriff’s capacity to pull such strings is not in doubt. As governor he is believed to have successfully positioned his acolytes in the Federal Government. His sister in law, Hajiya Yabawa Wabi was appointed by President Goodluck Jonathan in September 2010 as Minister of State for Finance and the appointment was largely believed to have been influenced by Sheriff who was an ANPP governor.
The appointment was said to have caused serious revulsion within the ranks of the PDP in the state at that time as they saw it as demoralising for the president to patronise someone they believed was tormenting them at home.
The road to Sheriff’s anointment as PDP senatorial candidate was paved last week when the security agencies removed the cloud of suspicion around him on the spate of insecurity in the state.
Sheriff who had been accused by international peace negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis of being one of the sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgent campaign had been cleared of the allegation by the Department of State Services, DSS last Tuesday.
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