Except for a last minute change, a former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, will announce his defection from the New Nigeria Peoples Party, NNPP, to Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, following a mouth-watering ‘bounty’ allegedly offered him by the the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar.
Mr Shekarau, who represents Kano Central at the Senate, had officially defected from APC to NNPP in a letter read during plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on June 29.
Despite securing the automatic senatorial ticket of NNPP, DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that Mr Shekarau had a meeting with the Labour Party presidential candidate Peter Obi on June 24 to serve as his running-mate.
When NNPP leaders learnt about Mr Shekarau’s planned defection, a 3-man delegation comprising the NNPP governorship candidate Abba Kabir-Yusuf, the senatorial candidate of Kano South Kawu Sumaila and a candidate of House of Representatives Kabiru Rurum, sought audience with him on Friday night in Abuja, but Mr Shekarau refused to see them.
Credible sources familiar with Mr Shekarau’s clandestine moves and separate meetings with the PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar; his running-mate Ifeanyi Okowa and; the national chairman of the party, Iyochia Ayu, said the former governor had “reached a deal” with the PDP and is expected to formally announce his defection soon.
According to an insider, the former governor on Sunday summoned an emergency meeting of his political advisory council, dubbed the Shura Consultative Assembly, and informed the members about the latest development.
DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that a 21-member committee will meet on Tuesday (today) at 4pm to finalise the defection arrangements and ways to manage public criticisms that may trail Mr Shekarau’s unexpected political detour.
A source familiar with the meeting said as part of the exit plans, the presidential candidate of PDP Atiku Abubakar will come to Mr 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.
Another source close to Mr Shekarau, however, said the senator decided to dump the NNPP and abandon his senatorial candidacy because the NNPP failed to accommodate some of his associates.
“The NNPP only offered the senatorial ticket to Shekarau without giving any ticket to Mallam’s associates. So there is deep resentment in among Shekarau’s associates who felt that Mallam only negotiated his senatorial slot alone and did not make efforts for them,” said the source.
Mr Shekarau’s spokesman, Sule Yau Sule, could not be reached for comment at the time of filing this report.