The Jigawa State Governor, Muhammadu Badaru, has dismissed speculations that he is backing former Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for president in 2019.
The speculations followed the inauguration of a presidential campaign office for Mr. Kwankwaso in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital last week. The event was said to have been attended by some aides of Mr. Badaru.
However, reacting to the speculations through his spokesperson, Bello Zaki, Mr. Badaru said it was “baseless and unfounded” the speculations that he had dumped President Muhammadu Buhari to back the ambition of Mr. Kwankwaso.
According to Mr. Zaki, the inauguration of the presidential campaign office of Mr. Kwankwaso was like any other political activity in the state that the state government has no power to stop.
The inauguration was coordinated by a loyalist of Mr. Badaru who is also the Managing Director of the state owned Jigawa Television (JTV), Ishaq Hadejia.
At the event, Mr. Hadejia was assigned by the Kwankwasiya Movement, the group that opened the office, to lead in spreading the ideology and campaign of Mr. Kwankwaso across the 27 local government areas of the state.
The movement said its mission was to sensitise residents of Jigawa on the need to embrace Mr. Kwankwaso to ensure that the north completes a presidential term.
Mr. Kwankwaso, who is a serving senator, was the runner-up in the All Progressives Congress presidential primary that nominated Mr. Buhari in 2014.
But Mr. Zaki insisted that the presence of Mr. Hadejia at the opening of the campaign office in Jigawa has nothing to do with Governor Badaru.
“Anybody in this cabinet of ours is not restricted to what only Governor Badaru wants. He is entitled to his right of loyalty and support'” he said of Mr. Hadejia.
“We are not aware of Kwankwaso presidential campaign and the inauguration of his office. We are not a party to it,” Mr. Zaki told PREMIUM TIMES.