Former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau is reportedly planning to dump the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) following some “irresistible offers” made to him by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Shekarau To NNPP For PDP
The senator representing Kano Central district, had defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the NNPP led by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, also a former governor of the state, in June this year with thousands of his supporters.
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).
According to Daily Trust, 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 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, said 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 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 that Atiku and the PDP 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, Bola Tinubu, is also billed to meet with Shekarau later this week on the same issue.
Credible sources familiar with Shekarau’s clandestine moves and separate meetings with Atiku, said the former governor had “reached a deal” with the PDP and is expected to formally announce his defection soon.
Another source familiar with the meeting said as part of the exit plans, the Atiku will come to Shekarau’s Mundubawa residence to “woo” him before the formal announcement.
“The truth is that Atiku has made some mouth-watering offers such as ministerial and parastatal slots to Mallam. This is in addition to appointing him as the North West campaign coordinator and in charge of campaign finances in the region,” said the insider.
This comes barely one month after NNPP presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso picked Bishop Isaac Idahosa as his running mate for the 2023 general elections.