Former governor of Kano State, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, on Monday formally defected from the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The senator representing Kano Central was received into the PDP by the party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and the national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, among other bigwigs.
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This was coming barely three months after Shekarau left the All Progressives Congress for ‘a new home’ in Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s NNPP. His stay in NNPP was however short-lived on the grounds that the party failed to meet some of the agreements they reached before he defected.
Shekarau drew the line with the APC after he fell out with the incumbent Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, because of what he (Shekarau) described as ‘exclusion from the party activities.’
Before his defection from the APC, the leadership crisis in the party in Kano led to the formation of G7 – a faction of APC formed by some aggrieved lawmakers led by Shekarau.
When it appeared that Shekarau and his supporters had finally found a new abode in NNPP, the relationship was cut short as key members of his camp did not get the party’s tickets to contest elective positions.
Meanwhile, some political analysts had seen this coming, saying the two political giants – Shekarau and Kwankwaso – do not share the same political ideology and cannot survive under one roof.
Responding to the allegation, the NNPP spokesperson, Abdulmumin Jibrin, said Shekarau arrived in the party at the time they had submitted names of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He said, “We’re planning to accommodate his supporters when we win election. We can accommodate them in Kano alone. Government is wide; but we don’t have any problem with him.”
Shekarau’s decision to pitch his tent with the PDP a few months to the 2023 general elections may come with its political consequences considering the fact that the former governor is returning to the party he left four years ago at the time the PDP had submitted names of candidates to INEC.
The senator had said he had written to INEC, announcing his withdrawal from the senatorial race for Kano Central under the NNPP. It now remains uncertain if Shekarau would have a shot at any elective post when his tenure as a senator runs out next year.
‘Two kings can’t rule a town’
Commenting on the development, a PDP chieftain in Kano State, Yahaya Umar Bagobiri, likened Shekarau and Kwankwaso to two kings seeking to rule a town.
He said, “You cannot have two kings in one town. It’s either one forfeits his authority or the other leaves the town. Shekarau had complained against alleged injustices meted out to him by the leadership of the NNPP. He said he was the only person given a slot, despite the number of his followers wishing to contest for political offices. The two political giants differ in political ideologies.”
Bagobiri stated that Shekarau was back into a political party that gives opportunities to all, saying the former governor would play a vital role in the 2023 elections because of his political relevance in Kano.
‘Shekarau’s popularity at stake’
But a political analyst, Dr Abbati Bako, faulted Shekarau’s perpetual defection, saying the political leader’s “popularity is at stake”.
Bako said, “First of all you have to understand that defecting from one party to another is not good in any political democracy because ideology is the most important element. In advanced democracies, you cannot see this kind of political shenanigans, one member moving from one political party to another.
“Our politicians should understand that ideology is the most important element of political democracy. Malam Ibrahim Shekarau’s defection from one party to another is not a good omen for his political career. It will reduce his political integrity or popularity in political democracy.”
‘NNPP, PDP’s chances slim’
Bako added that the number of people that would vote for NNPP in Kano State would reduce drastically following Shekarau’s defection from the party.
“The possibility of the NNPP to win governorship election in Kano State is less than 30 per cent, while the PDP chances is almost 20 per cent because of (Sadiq) Wali’s unpopularity. He is inexperienced and people hardly talk about him.”
Bako claimed that Shekarau’s defection had opened more chances for the APC governorship candidate, Dr Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, to win the election in Kano State.
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