There are intrigues and changes in the political equation of Kebbi State ahead of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship primaries slated for May 20, 2022 and the 2023 general polls.
These followed the withdrawal of Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), from the state governorship race.
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President Muhammadu Buhari had directed all his ministers seeking elective offices ahead of the 2023 general polls to quit not later than May 16, 2022 and focus on their political ambition. But Malami, who was seeking the party’s ticket to contest the 2023 presidential poll, took many by surprise when he withdrew from the race to continue with his ministerial duties.
Prior to his withdrawal, Malami was said to have been tipped as Governor Atiku Bagudu’s preferred successor. Bagudu’s tenure of office would end on May 29, 2023.
Malami, who was to slug it out with two other contestants, Dr Yahaya Abdullahi and Abubakar Garry Mallam, at the APC primaries, was seen as Bagudu’s likely successor because of his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari at the centre and the state top government functionaries.
With his withdrawal, many envisaged one of the remaining two top contenders would emerge as the governor’s preferred candidate, but hope seems to have dimmed for them as there are hints that a different person had been drafted into the race to pick the party’s ticket.
Political pundits say the Deputy National President of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nasir Idris, appears to be the man to beat at the primaries as he was brought into the race at the eleventh hour after Malami had exited.
Before Idris joined the race last week, there were hints that he would not entangle into the race until he is assured of emerging the flag-bearer.
With his entry into the race, the equation has automatically changed with the political atmosphere very dicey in the state.