The Kano State Deputy Governor, Hafiz Abubakar, has denied defecting from the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Abubakar made the denial in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES by his media aide, Abdulwahab Ahmad.
“The attention of the office of His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar MFR. Dsc. has been drawn to a story circulating in the social media to the effect that the deputy governor has defected from APC to PDP.
“It is important to inform all supporters, well-wishers, Associates and the General Public that such a very important decision is not taken on the pages of Social Media. The Deputy Governor is right now attending a very important national assignment in Abuja.
“The general public should note that whatever the future political direction of His Excellency Prof Hafiz Abubakar the state deputy governor and his teeming supporters and political associates would be, (it would be) in the public domain at the appropriate time after due consultations with all concerned elders, political Associates and relevant stakeholders,” the statement added.
Mr Abubakar is a known associate of Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former Kano governor and current senator who last week defected to the PDP from the APC.
Mr Kwankwaso was among scores of federal and state lawmakers as well as three state governors who left the APC for the PDP in the past two weeks.
Mr Kwankwaso, who enjoys a wide following in Kano, is expected to vie for the PDP presidential ticket. He has argued that he believes he is the best candidate to defeat President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, especially considering Kano is the state the president secured his largest votes in 2015.
Mr Abubakar had earlier petitioned the police and State Security Service (SSS) over alleged threat to his life and plans to remove him by state lawmakers.
In a petition addressed to Kano State Police Commissioner and copied to the Assistant Inspector General in charge of Zone 1 and the state director of SSS, obtained by PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday, the deputy governor called on Kano State Police Command to strengthen security around him and his residence to forestall security breach.
Mr. Abubakar alleged that the state government has released funds to mobilise youth from the 44 local government areas of the state to call for his impeachment or resignation.
“My attention has been drawn to orchestrated plots to frame me up on non-existing allegations to pave way for my impeachment from office by the State House of Assembly,” he wrote in the petition.
“Secondly, the state government was also alleged to have made funds available to the 44 Local Government Councils to raise groups and organise a protest in the state capital to call for either my resignation or impeachment from office.
“The concern here is that the protest, no matter how peaceful it was intended to be, could be hijacked by miscreants and turn it into violent one, thereby posing security threat not only to my person but to the state at large.
“Another worry is the fact that, I am residing in my private residence not the official residence that is located in the secure environment within the Government House, as Government is yet to provide me with the Statutory Official Residence. I travel no less than 40km to and from my residence to the office on daily basis.
“In view of the foregoing realities, I am calling on the State Police Command to strengthen security around me and particularly at my residence in order to forestall any unpleasant security breach.”
In reaction, the Kano State Government expressed dismay over the petition.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Youth and Culture, Muhammad Garba, and issued to journalists on Tuesday, the state government said the petition was unwarranted and unfair.
Mr Garba said even though the government holds the office of the deputy governor with high esteem, it sees Mr Abubakar as too insignificant for government to commit state resources to orchestrate plan to remove him from office, talk less of any attempt on his life.
According the statement, to prove that the allegations made by the deputy governor were false, he was at Tuesday’s state Executive Council Meeting, and he came with fewer security aides.
‘’At the meeting, when His Excellency had to excuse himself to embark on a trip, he directed the deputy governor to preside over as usual, and that all the resolutions reached at the meeting are binding, something that would not have been accorded him by his political godfather, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso,” the commissioner said.
Mr Garba pointed out that despite several “unguarded” comments by the deputy governor, the government continues to accord respect and support for his office both morally and otherwise.
The statement also debunked allegation that Mr Abubakar has not been provided with a statutory official residence, saying it was his choice to remain in the private residence as he personally brought the contractor that is handling the construction of his official residence.
It also advised the deputy governor to make a choice of quitting or remaining in the government.
The police spokesperson in Kano, Magaji Majia, also told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday that security has been beefed up in the office, convoy and personal residence of Mr Abubakar.
Mr. Majia who acknowledged that the police has received the deputy governor’s petition said the command has since acted upon the letter.
Mr. Majia added that the deputy commissioner of police in charge of operations has met with the deputy governor where Mr Abubakar expressed satisfaction with the security arrangement provided by the police.