By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor and Omeiza Ajayi
The immediate past national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has delinked any political motif to his private meeting with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo last Thursday. He also denied meeting with the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun during his visit to the Presidential Villa.
Sheriff in a telephone chat with Vanguard also reacted to claims that he was pushing Senator Bode Olajumoke for the post of national chairman of the PDP.
Chief Odigie-Oyegun in a separate statement also denied meeting Sheriff.
Sheriff lost his position as national chairman of the PDP to Senator Ahmed Makarfi after the Supreme Court in July legitimised the May, 2016 Port-Harcourt national convention of the party that removed him from office. Since then he has been largely under the political radar.
His presence at the Presidential Villa on Thursday drew speculations with some newspapers alleging that he was making plans to return to the APC, having been one of the pioneer fathers of the party. Sheriff’s possible return to the APC is bound to upset political permutations in his native Borno State.
“My visit to the villa was to meet with the Vice-President and had nothing to do with politics, after all he is the vice-president of the country and I had issues bordering on national interest that I needed to see him about,” he said.
“When it comes to politics, I know what to do and where to go,” Sheriff added.
Pressed on reports that he was pushing for Senator Olajumoke to emerge as the new national chairman of the PDP, he responded:
“Bode is my friend and he is a very good gentleman, he is a good man,” he said.
He also denied reports that he met Chief Odigie-Oyegun at the Presidential Villa affirming that he has not seen the APC national chairman in more than two years. Odigie-Oyegun’s denial of the meeting with Sheriff was articulated in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.