Borno State Governor Kashim Shettima and his Zamfara State counterpart Abdulaziz Yari have denied media reports linking them with plans to defect to the Peoples Democratic Party ahead of 2015 elections.
In separate reactions to media reports yesterday that said the two governors were being pulled by their political ‘godfathers’, Shettima and Yari said through their aides that they have no intension of leaving the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP).
Isa Umar Gusau, spokesman for the Borno State Governor, described the reports as an attempt to distract the governor’s attention from his efforts to bring peace to the state.
“Governor Kashim Shettima is primarily focused on two things only for now. First, he is working day and night, seeking ways to end the security challenges in Borno State.
“The governor’s other focus is supervising ongoing public projects and programmes as well as initiating new ones with emphasis on creating jobs through agriculture and other areas,” Gusau said in an email to Daily Trust yesterday.
He added that Shettima “is not moved by 2015, he knows that he has an obligation to deliver good leadership to Borno people; he also knows that it is God that gives power, no human scheming can guarantee power.”
For his part, Zamfara State Information Commissioner Ibrahim Birnin Magaji said the “fabricators of such rumours would be ashamed of themselves.” Yari’s political adviser Muhammad Galadi also denied knowledge of plans by his principal to move out of the ANPP. “If there is anything like decamping to another party, I must know about it,” he said. Sheriff, through an aide, had earlier denied planning to defect to the PDP. Daily Trust could not reach Yarima yesterday for his comments.
Media reports yesterday said President Goodluck Jonathan was reaching out to former Zamfara governor Ahmed Sani Yarima and his Borno counterpart Ali Sheriff, who are expected to bring along their “protégées” Shettima and Yari. Meanwhile, a national ex-officio of the PDP in Zamfara State Alhaji Farouk Ahmad Gusau yesterday said his party is indeed talking to Yarima and Sheriff on the matter. He said if the talks succeed, Yarima and his team will be welcomed to Zamfara state chapter of the party.
Alhaji Faruk said he saw Yarima and Sheriff, who is now chairman of the ANPP board of trustees, at the residence of the PDP national chairman and that their visit might be in preparations for defecting to the PDP.
“I saw them attend a meeting there and it lasted for several hours and I believe they want to dump their party,” he said.