Despite a heavy downpour that lasted over four hours on Monday morning in Kano, a huge crowd besieged the Kano home of Senator Ibrahim Shekarau as the former governor of the state officially defected from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Shekarau was received into the PDP at his Mudunbawa residence by its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the party’s national chairman, Senator Iyorchia Ayu, among other bigwigs of the party.
This is coming barely three months after Shekarau defected from the All Progressive Congress (APC) to the NNPP. The former governor’s latest defection to the PDP was celebrated as a homecoming by the party leaders. He left the party in 2018 for APC.
Shekarau, a two-term governor (2003-2011) and current senator representing Kano central at the red chamber, had blamed injustice as the reason for the collapse of his romance with the NNPP led by Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
Daily Trust reports that Shekarau’s latest defection has once again changed the political permutations in Kano, where it was earlier believed that his union with Kwankwaso would give APC a run for its money in 2023.
Shekarau had also harped on injustice as the reason for his latest defection, just like the previous defections. He told the crowd and party leaders on Monday that even if it took over 100 defections to achieve justice for himself and his associates, he would not hesitate.
He also said he had written to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the NNPP to announce his withdrawal from the senatorial race for Kano Central under the NNPP.
With the official closure of substitution of candidates by INEC, political pundits believed that Shekarau would most definitely settle for political appointments should the PDP emerge victorious in the 2023 presidential election.
After he was registered into the PDP by the party’s North-West Vice Chairman, Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, the party’s national chairman, Ayu, thereafter presented the party’s membership card to him.
“Today is one of my happiest days as the chairman of the party because Kano is very important to this party. PDP started from Kano for those who don’t understand. Abubakar Rimi started mobilising us including other leaders to start the fight against dictatorship,” Ayu said.
He said even though it took a long time to get Shekarau back to PDP as the party leader in Kano, he was not swayed by the other names suggested to him to appease to lead the PDP in Kano.
Also speaking, Atiku said the heavy turnout of party faithful and supporters of Shekarau for the event despite the heavy rainfall was an indication that Shekarau “is a man who has his followers’ support and love.”
The former vice president also reiterated the confidence of other speakers that with Shekarau now on board, the PDP is on course to victory in the 2023 general elections. “Your defection will certainly be of great importance to the PDP in Kano and the country at large,” Atiku told Shekarau.
Court of Appeal sacks ‘Kwankwaso-backed’ Kano PDP exco
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Monday set aside the decision of a Federal High Court which recognised Shehu Sagagi as the chairman of the PDP in Kano.
Mr Sagagi, who was anointed by Kwankwaso to lead the party in the state, is accused of being loyal to his former party leader, who had defected to the NNPP.
The National Working Committee, NWC of the PDP on March 29 dissolved the state, local and wards executive committees of the Kano State chapter of the party and appointed a 6-man caretaker committee as a replacement.
On May 25, Justice Taiwo Taiwo issued a perpetual injunction restraining the PDP headquarters from removing Mr Sagagi from office until the end of his tenure in December 2024.
But the Court Appeal on Monday set aside Justice Taiwo’s judgment, saying it was internal affairs of the party and that the party had powers to dissolve the Kano executives.
From Clement A. Oloyede & Salim Umar Ibrahim (Kano)