By Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Ahead of the National convention of the All Progressive Congress (APC) a group known as the Vision for a Better Progressives and United Nigeria (VIPUN) has endorsed Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, former National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to be the next chairman of the party.
The group, rising from a National Executive meeting convened in Owerri, the Imo State capital, on Tuesday, noted that APC needed ‘a dynamic, focused and self-willed leader that can galvanise and genuinely reconcile all members, stakeholders and interest groups ahead of the all-important 2023 general elections.
According to the National Coordinator of VIPUN, Peter Akubuo, who read the communique to newsmen, the APC has gone through a lot of upheavals in the last couple of years and thus the need for a unifying figure that can reposition it to remain on the winning ways.
‘You will agree with me that they were democrats and progressives, particularly those from the opposition parties that came through for the APC, when the party was at the verge of collapse, following the betrayal of some highly placed members of the party, who jumped ship at a very critical point,’ he stated.
‘One of the democrats that threw his weight behind the APC during those trying period, was the former National Chairman of the major opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff.
‘The former Governor of Borno State collapsed a major faction of the PDP into the APC and all the lawmakers loyal to him, defected to the APC, giving our party, the much-needed majority at the both Chambers of the National Assembly.
‘Sheriff has continued to work from behind the scene to keep the APC from collapsing,’ Akubuo stated.
While appealing to delegates and other members to give their support to Sheriff, Akubuo said: ‘Again we are approaching another critical point in the life of our party, the National convention. Ahead of this important meeting, where the delegates will be electing the leaders of our great party, we are here today to appeal to the National delegates to vote for Ali Modu Sheriff as the National Chairman of the APC.
‘Having understudied his commitment to progressive and party politics, as well as the enhancement of democratic tenets, we are convinced beyond all doubts and emotions that Sheriff is the best for the APC top job.
‘To realise President Muhammadu Buhari’s plea that the APC should not be allowed to die after his tenure, we should support Sheriff to emerge as the National Chairman, because he is about the only one who has what it takes to check the PDP, which is desperate to oust APC from power in 2023.
‘With his enormous goodwill both within the PDP and other opposition parties, will further deplete the size and fortunes of other political parties to the advantage of the APC.
‘Finally, we are very optimistic that our party, the APC, will retain power in 2023 with Sheriff as the National Chairman,’ Akubuo said.