An upset is currently brewing in the new but fast growing New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) following moves by other top parties to woo one of its biggest new entrants, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau from the party.
Shekarau, a two-term former governor of Kano State and current senator for Kano Central, had defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the NNPP led by Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, also a former governor of the state, in June this year with thousands of his supporters – a development many described as a major step in the new party’s move to claim Kano state from the APC.
He was thereafter offered an automatic return ticket to the senate after his defection but it was observed that none of his associates was offered any elective position by the party in the list submitted by the party to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It was gathered that Shekarau and his associates had continually demanded that the party implement the terms of agreement it reached with them before their defection, among which was nomination ticket for an unspecified number of the former governor’s associates.
However, following the official closure of substitution of candidates by the electoral umpire and the NNPP not yielding to Shekarau’s demand, the tension aggravated with many other political parties including the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reaching out to Shekarau to consider joining them.
An associate of the former governor, who is also a member of the Shura Council, Shekarau’s structure highest decision-making body, told our correspondent that the automatic ticket offered Shekarau to return to the senate was not part of the demands on the templates they submitted to the NNPP before crossover to the party.
The source said the NNPP had probably decided that having Shekarau run for the Kano Central senatorial district would be to its advantage. He however said the party’s decision to ignore the main demands by the Shura Council had been considered a red flag from the beginning of the union.
Confirming the development to our correspondent on Tuesday, the spokesman for Shekarau, Dr. Sule Yau Sule, said it was true that both the APC and PDP had been making overtures to his boss and it was based on that the meeting of the Shura Council was held on Sunday where Shekarau briefed members of the council on the proposals from both parties and the challenges with the NNPP.
Sule said at the meeting, several people spoke for and against joining both the PDP and the APC and afterwards a 30-member committee was set up to look into the development and recommend way forward.
“The 30-member committee will present its recommendations this Thursday. So, it is after that our next line of action will be made public,” he said, noting that the Council is also considering reaching out to the national leadership of the NNPP.
“As such, it is not entirely true that we are mulling exit,” Sule added.
He said the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar and the party’s national chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, as well as the vice presidential candidate of the APC had met with Shekarau in the last few weeks with their different proposals, adding that the presidential candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is also billed to meet with Shekarau later this week on the same issue.
But the chairman of the NNPP in Kano, Honourable Umar Haruna Doguwa, said Shekarau remains a member of the party.
“As far as the party is concerned, Malam Shekarau remains a bonafide member of our party, NNPP,” he said.