Barring any last minute change, a former governor of Kano State and current Senator representing Kano Central, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, will formally announce his defection from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) today.
Shekarau, who leads the factional G-7 of APC in Kano, has been at loggerheads with Governor Umar Abdullahi Ganduje albeit the Supreme Court judgment penultimate week finally sealed the G-7’s fate as the leadership of the party was eventually handed over to the governor.
Following the judgment and the subsequent endorsement of Nasir Gawuna, the deputy governor, as the preferred candidate for the governorship ticket of the APC by the governor, several APC bigwigs had defected to the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) led by another former governor of the state, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
Shekarau was also expected to officially announce his defection from the APC on Saturday but the plan was shelved for an undisclosed reason.
As other bigwigs of the APC were announcing their defection to NNPP on Friday, Ganduje had visited Shekarau in the night to forestall the defection after which both of them were summoned to Abuja.
However, Shekarau shunned the Abuja meeting after he reportedly gathered that it was not the presidency that called the peace parley.
After Ganduje’s visit, a team of associates of Kwankwaso had also visited Shekarau to ensure that the planned defection was still intact.
But while there was no official communication from Shekarau’s camp as to the reason for the change of plan on Saturday, Daily Trust gathered that Shekarau was displeased with his supporters’ reaction against Ganduje on Friday. The governor was booed when he arrived at Shekarau’s Mudunbawa Kano residence.
Tinubu moves to forestall defection
Daily Trust further gathered that Shekarau however went to Abuja on Saturday on the invitation of National Leader of the APC and 2023 presidential aspirant on the party’s platform, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
While the outcome of the meeting which lasted for several hours could not be ascertained, feelers from the camp of Shekarau indicated that the meeting has not been able to change the planned defection.
Similarly, it was reliably gathered that on Saturday evening, five forms of House of Assembly and two for House of Representatives were sent to Shekarau by the leadership of the Kano APC but the forms were rejected by the Shura Council, the highest decision-making body of Shekarau’s political structure.
One of the sources added that Shekarau returned to Kano this morning (yesterday) and directed all to be fully prepared for the new journey ahead on Monday.
Kwankwaso seeks last minute assurance
A few hours after Shekarau’s arrival, Kwankwaso stormed his residence to conclude the deal for his defection to the NNPP.
The outcome of the closed door meeting held between the two political giants could not be ascertained, but sources told Daily Trust that the defection is almost a done deal as all the associates of the former governor in all the 44 local government areas of the state have agreed to move to the NNPP barring any last minute changes.