After announcing his exit from ruling the All Progressives Congress (APC), the senator representing Kaduna Central in the National Assembly, Shehu Sani on Sunday insisted that nothing would stop him from contesting in 2019.
Mr. Sani had on Saturday announced his resignation from the APC after the party put forward Uba Sani, an ally of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, as its candidate for the constituency.
In a statement he posted to his Facebook Page Sunday morning, the senator said, “This is to thank all my supporters and friends for the show of solidarity and assurances of support over my decision to exit the APC.
“I assure you that in the next two days you will be informed of my new party. And be rest assured I will contest in the upcoming elections Insha Allah.”
It remains unclear which political party Mr. Sani will join, and which position he plans to contest.
According to INEC’s schedule of activities for the 2019 elections, the submission of lists of candidates and personal particulars of contestants closed on October 18 for presidential and national assembly candidates.
Political parties however have up till November 2 to submit lists of their candidates for governorship and state houses of assembly positions.
The parties also have till November 17 to withdraw or replace candidates for president and National Assembly elections, and up till December 1 for governorship and state Houses of Assembly candidates.
It is possible Mr. Sani is talking with one of the small political parties to use him to replace one of their candidates so he could contest the Kaduna Central slot once again. The senator did not answer or return multiple calls made to him on Saturday morning.
Mr. Sani had on Saturday made his resignation known in a letter to the party chairman of the APC in ward 6, Tudun Wada north, Kaduna.
The letter reads, “I present to you my highest compliments and wish by this communication to formally offer to you my resignation from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
“As I exit the APC at this point in time. I wish to formally thank the party for availing me the platform upon which I am currently serving this country in the honoured capacity of Senator of the Federal Republic.
“I wish the party well in all her future endeavors and ask sir, that you please accept the assurance of my highest considerations.”
Controversies had trailed the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to grant automatic return ticket to the senator and others.
Days after the APC headquarters announced Mr Sani as its only candidate cleared to contest the Kaduna Central senatorial seat, the Kaduna State Government and its officials opposed the decision, eventually forcing the APC leadership to reverse the decision.
Mr Sani and Mr El-Rufai fell out shortly after both men were elected senator and governor respectively in 2015, and have been at daggers drawn ever since.
Despite being of the same party, they have both attacked each other publicly including using uncouth language.
At the peak of party defections and due to the lingering crisis with his state governor, many had expected the senator to leave the APC but he was persuaded by national leaders of the party including Mr Oshiomhole not to do so.