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2023: Nigeria’s President can come from any zone – Sheriff

Ahead of 2023 general elections, former governor of Borno state, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff has called on Nigerians to look beyond tribe and religion in determining the next President of the country.

Sheriff stated this in Abuja yesterday while playing host to an All Progressives Congress, APC, pressure group, Frontier for Quality Leadership and Good Governance.

According to him, “Unless we all believe in ourselves as a nation, and believe all of us are equal, and believe that a good leader will emerge from any part of the country, regardless of his religion, tribe or where he comes from, we will not succeed in getting the country we dearly love.

“We must put our differences aside and look for leaders from anywhere. We must also believe that leadership is from God. Nobody makes himself a leader, it is only when God chooses you to be a leader that you can become one.

“If you must blame any leader you must look at the followers. What have we done to help our leaders to be strong? We have to do soul searching.”

Sheriff who represented Borno Central at the National Assembly from 1999 to 2003 also enjoined to search for a leader capable of easing their pains and making their lives more dignified.

“If the man that will bring succour to Nigeria is coming from a mountain in Ogoja, we should go and look for him, if it is in the extreme end of Adamawa, we should go and look for him. If he is coming from the end of Anambra, we should go and look for him. We must do soul-searching and look for a leader.

“When I see people criticize leaders on what they know nothing about, I pray for them because you will only know the challenges of this country when you are saddled with responsibility. You know the complex situation of our country. When we have leaders, we should pray for them that God should intervene. We should not curse our leaders,” he said.

He further pointed out that the challenges facing Nigeria are not peculiar, saying: “whether we like it or not, the whole world is in crisis, whether it is a hurricane in South America destroying things everywhere or natural disasters from different parts of the world. In our country, we are facing different challenges. Everyday, we wake up with a different challenges and these challenges are not only for our leaders. We must understand that.”

Sheriff, who disclosed that he has been making consultation on how the party can be reposition in post Buhari era, added the APC needs a good captain,” adding that he will vie for the national chairmanship position if same is zone to the North- East.

“I will go into the race if it is zone to my place. But if not, we will look for a better candidate,” he added.

Earlier, Director-General of the group, Hon. Richard Adams, who led the group to visit Sheriff, urged him to declare interest in the office of the national chairman.

He said: “We have seen in you what it takes to be a leader. We are looking at the possibility that a leader can come from anywhere

“It is not very common to identify a great leader. In profiling and looking at your political CV, you are a leader Nigeria needs. It is not an easy mandate to pass through the ladders and become what you are today.

“The impression you have kept on ground is unbeatable in any system. To leave 69 billion naira in your state coffer while you were governor is not easy. That feat has not been traced to anybody till date.”

In a letter announcing Sheriff as patron, the group said, “we have studied trends and events in leadership of Nigeria viz-a-viz the yearnings of Nigerians in particular and Africa in general and have concluded that there is a deficit of quality leadership that impacts good governance

“We humbly wish to offer/appoint Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff as one of our patrons, to help the team and jointly proceeds towards looking for assisting, admonishing and eventually producing excellent quality leaders for us to have good governance.

“Your antecedents, effort and capacity have convinced us, that with your likes, a little effort is needed to perpetuate quality leadership.

“We Kindly appeal to you to oblige our request and reverse the decadence in leadership in Nigeria and Africa,” the letter read in part.

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