President Muhammadu Buhari last night stepped into the ongoing crisis in the Kano State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) between Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and one of his predecessors, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, Daily Trust Saturday reliably gathered.
Kano is unarguably the vote bank of the ruling party and losing it to the opposition might affect its chances at the national level.
A source familiar with the development said the presidency dispatched a jet Friday night from Abuja to Kano to convey Ganduje and Shekarau for an emergency meeting towards resolving the crisis.
The meeting is said to be a major part of the plan to forestall the planned decamping of Shekarau to the new but fast growing New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP)
The presidency’s intervention came at a time when more bigwigs of the APC in Kano State have dumped the party and joined the NNPP led by a former governor of the state, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
Crisis in the Kano APC took a new turn after the Supreme Court victory of Governor Ganduje-led faction in the state and the subsequent endorsement of his deputy as the party’s flag-bearer for the governorship election in 2023.
Bigwigs like a former speaker of the state House of Assembly, Alhassan Rurum and a former aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on legislative matters, Abdulrahman Kawu Sumaila, both from the Kano south senatorial district, had felt betrayed by the endorsement, on the basis that Kano south has not produced a governor or deputy since 1992.
On Friday, they joined the director-general of the Tinubu campaign group, Abdulmumin Jibril Kofa; House of Reps member for Tofa/Dawakin Tofa/Rimingado constituency, Abdulkadir Jobe; the immediate past commissioner for budget and planning, Nura Dankadai, with their supporters, touched down with Kwankwaso at the Kano airport, and thereafter head to the Miller Road, Kwankwasiyya House, where they held series of meetings.
Earlier, a deputy Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Zubairu Hamza Massu, also announced that he had dumped the party. He is also from Kano south and has joined the NNPP. His action now brings to five, APC lawmakers in the state Assembly who have joined the NNPP, while the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has also lost 10 of its lawmakers to the new but fast growing party.
Shekarau, who was also expected to join Kwankwaso at the airport and later at the Kwankwasiyya house, was absent in the entourage. He was earlier expected to return with the group and also announce his decamping to the NNPP.
It was learnt that Ganduje had visited Shekarau last night to encourage him not to defect.
Meanwhile, a former governor of Abia State, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, has warned that if the APC does not address the massive decamping of its members to the NNPP, Kwankwaso, the presidential aspirant of the party may be on his way to coast to victory in the 2023 presidential election.