A member of the House of Representatives, Shamzudeen Danbazzau, says the emergence of a ‘third force’ in the 2023 presidential race will impact positively the chances of the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu.
Mr Danbazau, a member of the APC from Kano State, said the presence of Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party will provide what he termed a “spoiler effect” that will ultimately pave the way for Mr Tinubu to emerge victorious in the 25 February election.
According to him, the votes that will be garnered by the duo will divide the votes that ought to go to Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The lawmaker said this on Thursday during a press briefing at the National Assembly.
Both Messrs Obi and Kwankwaso were members of the PDP before defecting to LP and NNPP respectively to pursue their presidential ambitions.
Mr Obi, who served as running mate to Atiku in 2019, is securing large followership in the South-east and South-south — two zones believed to be strongholds of the PDP.
Also, Mr Kwankwaso, a two-term governor of Kano State, has a cult followership in the state and other neighbouring states in the North.
Speaking on the spoiler effect, Mr Danbazzau said other candidates will draw votes from the same source, clearing the path of victory for Mr Tinubu.
“The spoiler effect—if you are not familiar with the spoiler effect—the spoiler effect will give Asiwaju Tinubu the win. When you have two parties going toe to toe, and you introduce a third wheel, and that third wheel is popular, that person that is introduced, the attention will be shifted from the second strongest to the third wheel,” he said.
He dismissed the speculations on the health status of Mr Tinubu, insisting that he is fit to rule the country.
“Tinubu is healthy. There is nothing wrong with him. If you remember last night, Kashim Shettima even mentioned that he is diabetic and has hypertension. But Bola Ahmed Tinubu has no ailment. He is very fit. Did you not see him dancing Buga? He is well. There is nothing wrong with him,” he said.
The lawmaker said the same spoiler effect will be applicable in Kano State, where APC governorship candidate Nasir Gawuna is facing Abba Yusuf of the NNPP, Sha’ban Sharada of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) and others in March.
Mr Danbazau, who briefly defected to the NNPP in 2022 after he lost the APC primary, said the effect of Mr Kwankwaso will not stop the APC from winning the elections in Kano.
On the state of security in the country, Mr Danbazau said the situation has improved under the current administration. He noted that bombs are no longer going off in Abuja and other places.
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“We have made progress now because I recall that between 2014 and the end of 2015 – for that period I refused to go for any Eid-el prayer. I used to go for Friday prayers, I stayed at home or went to the barracks to pray. But now since around 2016, I have not missed any Eid-el prayer, and I have not missed a Juma’at prayer. So that speaks a lot.
“I remember there was a time there was an explosion at Banex. We don’t have this kind of occurrence anymore. We can name so many instances like what happened in Karu, Louis Edet House, the United Nations (office in Abuja), Zaria, Kaduna, and Emir’s Palace in Kano. All these types of occurrences have stopped. Now the insecurity has become something that is in isolated pockets, but it is still being addressed,” he said.
The lawmaker stated that there have been significant investments in military hardware to aid the fight against insurgents and other criminals.
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