Senator Ali-Modu Sheriff, a front line All Progressives Congress (APC) national chairmanship aspirant, says he is not interested in contesting the presidency in 2023 as is being widely speculated.
Sheriff said this on Friday in Abuja at a news conference, adding that his aspiration is to be the next national chairman of the APC and to lead the party to electoral victory in 2023.
“So many speculations are going round, Ali-Modu Sheriff is not looking for APC national chairmanship position, he is looking to be the presidential candidate.
“Please, I want to put it on record today, I am not looking for President. I am looking for APC national chairmanship position.
“So that I can lead a campaign like we did in 2014 to make sure that our father and leader, President Muhammadu Buhari hands over power to another APC man as a president.
“If I want to be president, I am not afraid of anybody, but I don’t want to be president but the national chairman of the APC,” Sheriff said.
He, however, noted that the APC at the moment required a national chairman who enjoyed massive political goodwill across party lines with the capacity to drive development at all levels.
Sheriff added that with massive experience in political party administration, he was strategically placed ahead of other aspirants with requisite goodwill to lead the APC to electoral victory in the 2023 general elections and beyond.
The two term former governor of Borno said he had been progressively involved in the enthronement and sustenance of democracy in the country.
He said that haven been elected to the Senate thrice, from 1994 to 1995, and a delegate to the Justice Karibi-Whyte Constitutional Conference that brought about the 1999 Constitution, he remained the best man for the job.
“In 1999, I was elected to the upper chamber of the National Assembly and subsequently emerged as Senate Minority Leader from 2003 to 2011.
“I was elected for two consecutive terms as the governor of Borno.
“As a former governor of Borno for two terms, besides massive infrastructural development, I left over ₦69 billion in the state’s confers in my hand over note,” he said.
While noting the array of aspirants for the APC top job, Sheriff said all of them were eminently qualified, but only one person could have the job.
“With the greatest respect and humility, I make bold to declare that I am that person because I have the skills and experience to unite different interests within the party and across the diverse groups in the country,” he said.
This, the former Borno governor said, had placed him as the most suitable man for the job.
He said his mission was to transform the APC into a vehicle of greatness for Nigeria and to model the party to bring about a united Nigeria.
He added that with the collaboration of government and support of Nigerians, he would achieve technological greatness for the country.
He said his desire was to contribute immensely to the transformation of Nigeria, using the APC as a tool to enthrone a better society for all and to make the people digitally inclined.
Sheriff said that he also intended to transform the APC into a political institution for all, especially for the empowerment of youths and women for more political participation.
He commended the APC National Progressive Women for holding the just concluded conference, saying it was the first of its kind by any political party in Nigeria since the democratic dispensation.
Sheriff assured that the conclusions and communique reached at the conference would form part of his comprehensive agenda for the transformation of the APC if he became its national chairman.
This, he said was particularly with regards to the 35 per cent affirmative action for women.
“The APC under our leadership will collaborate with the Federal Government to ensure continuity of the social investment programmes in the interest of all Nigerians at large.
“We will also work with the National Assembly to ensure necessary laws with legislative backings.
“We will ensure resolution of all contending issues within the APC to ensure a united party ahead of the 2023 general elections so we can go into the contest as a united front,” he said.
He added that his administration would work to bring government at all levels closer to the people, and create a political institution where party administration and good governance would be taught.