Alimodu Sheriff the Boko Haram Founder in the midst of Progressives
By Maxwell Adeyemi Adeleye
“It is dangerous for politicians to joke with enemies while preparing for electoral contest. Enemies in politics plot evil against their opponents. Always be ahead of your opponents in evil. In politics, when you take an electoral decision and your opponents kicks, just know that the decision is detrimental to their interest. Maneuver your opponents, destroy them by all means necessary” Nicholo Machiavelli opined in his widely read book, “The Prince.”
The seemingly engineered outrage currently trailing the appointment of former Governor of Borno State, Senator Alimodu Sherrif as the National Chairman of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has further shown that hyperbole is trademarks of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The manner the members of the APC are kicking against the appointment of SAS, as Sherif is fondly called by his admirers is enough reason to have a rethink that the emergence of the former Senator may be a threat to the APC in the core northern part of Nigeria.
The APC supporters and their agents within the ruling PDP have labeled Alimodu Sherrif the founder of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, Boko Haram that had killed over 20, 000 Nigerians in the Northern part of the country.
Interestingly, the present APC members labeling Senator Alimodu Sherrif a financier of Boko haram were the one defending him (Sheriff) when PDP, then as ruling party, slammed the Boko haram tag against the former Borno State Governor.
Alimodu Sherrif was one of the people that formed the ruling APC. He was in the opposition from 1999 until he had issues with Bola Tinubu’s clan in the APC in late 2014 over the chairmanship seat of the APC. He campaigned vigorously from the north to the south, east and west of Nigeria to have the amalgamation of the APC comes to reality.
As the National Leader of the defunct All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) that formed the APC, SAS led three sitting Governors,10 senators and 58 House of Reps members to team up with the defunct Congress of Progressives Change (CPC) and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to form the APC.
All through his days in the opposition ANPP and later the APC, SAS was restless. His name was ubiquitous. He was the beautiful pride of the then opposition currently ruling Nigeria. When APC was registered in 2013, SAS was one of leaders of the party that visited former Presidential Olusegun Obasanjo in his house at Abeokuta to solicit for his (Obasanjo) support for the party. The prince of Elkanem Politics led some APC chieftains to Yola and Abuja to lobby Atiku Abubakar back to the APC and they succeeded.
Furthermore, SAS was in Ado-Ekiti in 2014 to campaign for the failed reelection bid of former Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. Senator Sherrif was also in Osogbo in August 2014 to mobilize the Hausa Community for the successful reelection of Rauf Aregbesola as Governor of Osun State.
All through the aforementioned period, SAS was christened a change agent by the progressives. To them, he was a pan-Nigerian. They vehemently denied that SAS has nothing to do with Boko Haram. They tagged him a responsible and perfect gentle man of teetotal. The most interesting part of this scenario is that SAS is married to a daughter of President Buhari’s sister. In fact, Buhari himself handed over the lady, Zainab in marriage to SAS in 2012. Therefore, I want to ask, did President Buhari give his late sister’s daughter out in marriage to a Boko haram founder and financier?
Simply put, my verdict on the hues and cries that has greeted the emergence of SAS in the media space is that the controversial former Borno State Governor is arguably a treat to the survival of the APC in the North.
As Nicholo Machiavelli posited in The Prince, political tacticians should always think ahead of their opponents. PDP has caught APC red handed by unleashing a controversial character like Alimodu Sheriff against it to galvanize the North.
Today, the name SAS rings bell among the core Northerners. The noise about Boko Haram only exists in the imagination of those in the south, especially the western Nigeria that controls the media. The average people on the streets of Minna, Kaduna, Bauchi, Gombe, Maiduguri, Damaturu, Katsina, Kano, Yola, Jalingo, Dutse etc cares not about what those in the south are saying about SAS.
To the almajiris, SAS is their leader whom they so much trusts and believe in. Today, after President Buhari, the only leader who does not need money to gather one million people together within an hour in the core north is Senator Alimodu Sherrif. The APC knows this and that’s why they are kicking.
The rumor of Sherif/Fayose ticket in 2019, if true, may wreck the APC and that’s why they are having a sleepless night about who PDP members appoints as their chairman. Today, Fayose is like a brand selling like Sachet water in the south south and south eastern parts of Nigeria and Ondo and Ekiti axis of South West Nigeria. Fayose may also deliver Oyo State to PDP if he plan well. The APC leaders are aware of this obvious fact and that’s why they are using the media in their usual manner to twists the thoughts of Nigerians towards their interest.
Senator Alimodu Sherrif is a controversial figure just like Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State but there’s no man that will make history that won’t be controversial. There’s no man that ever made history in the political parlance anywhere in the word that is not controversial. The triumph of Obama in the United States was controversial. The historical victory of Buhari over Goodluck Jonathan in 2015 was enmeshed in deep controversies. The continuous reign of my beloved Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s clan in Lagos State has been with gregarious controversies.
Prior to 2015 general elections, the APC applied Machiavelli’s approaches against PDP and triumphed. Now, the PDP is repeating similar trait using a different format, fronting Fayose and Alimodu Sherrif. Anyone willing to defeat the current APC must always be at alert. You cannot joke with APC as presently constituted and succeed. The APC only think of evil while preparing for elections. Thus, they are shocked that PDP is thinking faster than them in the game of evil machinations. The have been caught unaware.
Consequently, when ever APC supporters say the duo of Sherrif and Fayose are criminals, my response has always been that Sherrif, a Boko Haram Founder and Fayose, a criminal in the midsts of progressives because the duo were once supporters of APC’s programs and policies branded as Change Agents.