The defection of former Kano State Governor, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, from the All Progressives Congress, APC, to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, though very unfortunate, is nothing to worry about. Shekarau, just like President Goodluck Jonathan, is a lucky politician whose relevance is overstated. While Jonathan rode to power through luck and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Shekarau rode to political stardom through the back of General Muhammadu Buhari.
In 2003, the people of Kano, just like during the 2011 presidential election, overwhelmingly voted for Buhari. During the electioneering campaign, Buhari categorically told his lieutenants in Kano to vote for Shekarau, a relatively unknown politician in the ancient city as governor. Fortunately for Shekarau, presidential and governorship elections took place the same day.
Buhari, as one may recall, won Kano for his All Nigerian People’s Party, ANPP. He also delivered the Government House, Kano to ANPP, sending Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso out of office.
As preparation for the 2007 elections gathered momentum, Kwankwaso signified his intention to return to power. Shekarau, knowing the gargantuan structure of Kwankwaso, spawned an intricate web of high wire intrigues against him by hurriedly setting up a Judicial Commission of Enquiry to probe his administration. The commission, within a month, came out with a controversial report banning Kwankwaso from holding public office for 10 years. The report, without being thoroughly debated upon by the members of the state House of Assembly, was gazetted.
Dissatisfied with the report, Kwankwaso dragged the state government, commission members and Kano Assembly members to court. Kwankwaso was then in Abuja, serving as Minister of Defence. His purported indictment made the re-election of Shekarau as governor in 2007 a walkover. With Buhari as presidential flag bearer of the defunct ANPP, Shekarau was re-elected with a wide margin.
In 2011, having had his integrity cleared by a court of competent jurisdiction, Kwankwaso declared his intention to return to Kano Government House. By this time, Shekarau, because of his presidential ambition, had used the instruments of state to hijack the ANPP structure from Buhari. The angry Buhari left ANPP with his teeming supporters for Shekarau to form the defunct Congress of Progressives Change, CPC.
In 2011, Buhari, just like Shekarau, contested for the Presidency, scoring about two million votes in the ancient city of Kano. Shekarau, as the then incumbent governor of Kano, scored less than 500,000 votes for his ANPP. Kwankwaso, then as the PDP governorship candidate, mobilised more votes for President Jonathan, the presidential candidate of the PDP in Kano than Shekarau did for himself and his party. When the presidential results were released, Buhari of the CPC came first; Jonathan of the PDP came second while Shekarau, the incumbent governor, came third. Shekarau also failed to retain Kano governorship seat for his party, the ANPP. The ANPP of Shekarau also lost 75% of the National and State Assembly seats in Kano to the PDP.
Now that Shekarau has left the APC he helped nurture to the PDP, all one can wish him is good luck.
Interestingly, Shekarau did not say that he left APC because Kwankwaso is not performing; rather his wish is to be placed above Kwankwaso, the man he succeeded as governor and the incumbent governor in the party. That is impossible. The general public might wish to note that Shekarau defected to PDP without most of his defunct ANPP members. Alhaji Gwarzo, the only Senator elected on the platform of the ANPP in 2011 has pledged his loyalty to Kwankwaso. The few ANPP House of Representatives members in Kano have endorsed Kwankwaso as their leader.
Maxwell Adeyem Adeleye,