There is apprehension in one of the growing political parties in the country, New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), following moves by one of its biggest members, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau, to leave the party.
Shekarau, a two-term former governor of Kano State and current senator representing Kano Central, had defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to NNP, led by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, also a former governor of the state, in June alongside thousands of his supporters.
He was immediately offered an automatic return ticket to the senate after his defection. But none of his associates were offered any elective position by the party in the list submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Shekarau and his associates, according to Daily Trust, 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 candidates’ substitution by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and NNPP’s failure to yield to Shekarau’s demands, the senator is reported to be contemplating joining either the APC or Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
An associate of the former governor, who is also a member of the Shura Council, Shekarau’s highest decision-making body, said that the automatic ticket offered Shekarau to return to the senate was not part of the demands they submitted to NNPP before joining the party.
The associate, who spoke on condition of anonymity, 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, Shekarau’s spokesperson, Dr. Sule Yau Sule, said it was true that both the APC and PDP had been making overtures to his boss, adding that Shura council had a meeting on Sunday, where the senator briefed members of the council on the proposals from both parties and the challenges with the NNPP.
According to Sule, several people spoke for and against joining both PDP and APC, nothing that 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.
Sule added that the Council is also considering reaching out to the national leadership of NNPP.
“As such, it is not entirely true that we are mulling exit,” Sule added.
He said the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar and the party’s 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, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is also billed to meet with Shekarau later this week on the same issue