Saraki, Kwankwaso most likely to return to PDP – Poll

PDP prospective decampees
A photo collage of PDP prospective decampees

Although he occupies the third highest position in Nigeria, over 700 participants in a poll believe Bukola Saraki will most likely leave the ruling party.

Mr. Saraki, the current senate president, was one of the six politicians available as options for participants in the PREMIUM TIMES opinion poll.

All the listed politicians had something in common: they all joined Nigeria’s ruling APC from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the build up to the 2015 general election. This fact, may have been responsible for 13.7 per cent of participants (433) saying they believe all of them will return to the PDP.

A total of 3,170 readers participated in the online poll which lasted for five days and was carried out in a way that made it impossible for a respondent to vote more than once from the same computer or mobile device.

The participants were asked a single question: Who among these politicians do you think will go back to the PDP?

About 22.6 per cent of the participants (716 voters) said they believe Mr. Saraki, former governor of Kwara, would go back to the PDP.

Mr. Saraki was closely followed by Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano State, with 20.6 per cent (652 participants) saying they believe Mr. Kwankwaso will return to the PDP.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Al-Hassan, was the voters’ third choice with 17.6 per cent (559) saying they believe she will return to the PDP.

Of the six politicians suggested in the poll, former governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko, was considered least likely to leave the APC as only 2.6 per cent (83) of the respondents said they believe he will do so.

Results for the others include current Minister of Transport and former governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi (7.7 per cent, 244) and former Governor of Gombe State, Danjuma Goje, (5.5 per cent, 175 voters).

About 9.7 per cent of participants (308) said they believe none of the options will re-join the PDP.


Although participants in the poll were not asked to state the reasons for their stance, the politicians listed not only have a history with the PDP but also various reasons to return or not.

None of them has, however, stated that they plan to return to the opposition party.

Messrs. Saraki, Kwankwaso and Wamakko were among the top politicians, including former vice president Atiku Abubakar, who in 2013 defected from the PDP to form the ‘New PDP’ which later merged with the APC.

Mr. Abubakar recently returned to the PDP with the opposition party saying it will work hard to ensure the return of the others before the 2019 election.

For Mr. Saraki, he emerged senate president against the wish of the APC, and with the full support of PDP senators, with whom he still has a close relationship.

Mr. Saraki and his close associate, the current Governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, have however expressed continued loyalty to the APC. Mr. Ahmed recently said there was nothing to attract them to return to the PDP.

Mr. Kwankwaso, who governed Kano State on the PDP platform, was considered second most likely to join the PDP. A current senator, Mr. Kwankwaso has a well-documented, seemingly unresolvable dispute with his successor, Abdullahi Ganduje. Several peace meetings by the party including by President Muhamamdu Buhari failed to resolve the dispute. Mr. Kwankwaso recently boycotted a reception held for the president in Kano.

It is believed that APC would have to choose between Messrs. Kwankwaso and Ganduje for 2019. Should the latter, as incumbent governor be favoured, then the senator could actually re-join the PDP.

It is not surprising that about 18 per cent of the participants in the poll believe that Mrs. Al-Hassan, popularly known as ‘Mama Taraba’, might return to the PDP. She has openly declared her loyalty to Mr. Abubakar who she called her godfather.

Mrs. Al-Hassan has in recent times said that she would work for Mr. Abubakar, if he eventually declares his intention to run for the presidency in 2019, not minding the effect it could have on her job.

Although 8 per cent of the participants believe Mr. Amaechi will rejoin the PDP, the possibility of that occurring is slim as the minister is virtually at war with his successor as Rivers’ governor, Nyesom Wike. Mr. Wike is not only a PDP leader, but ensured his supported candidate, Uche Secondus, emerged the national chairman of the PDP at the recently concluded convention of the party.

The poilitician least expected by participants to join the PDP, Mr. Wamakko, successfully handpicked his successor as Sokoto governor, Aminu Tambuwal. Both men are believed to be enjoying a cordial relationship, unlike the Kano situation, thus limiting the possibility Mr. Wamakko will leave the APC.


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  • Frank Bassey

    Saraki and Kwakwanso are not likely to return to PDP. It will be to their own peril. The two are having heavy corruption millstone on their neck and the only way of escape is to remain in APC. The ruling party offers protection to the corrupt.

    • Ajibo

      If the ruling party is protecting the corrupt one’s has you have said,Saraki will not be going to court almost every month, for your information Appeal court just send Saraki back to CCT that he has a case to answer on his asset declaration,if really the ruling party is protecting the corrupt one’s SGF will not be removed from office because of Corruption,Kwankaso with all his contributions to APC will not be taking to EFCC by Kano State Government .

    • Nigeriamovingforward

      That’s why Saraki has been in court since Abi? If that’s APC protection then I wonder what kind of protection Pdp was providing.
      Oh I know, stealing is not corruption. Steal as much as you can…pdpigs.

      • Darlington

        Saraki’s corruption case was instituted to checkmate him. Where’s Babachir Lawal?

      • Frank Bassey

        If you don’t know APC is a burrow pit coverage for corrupt leaders, Babachir Lawal, – Amaechi, Orji Uzo Kalu, Koro …. You are an aggregation of negative inputs.

        • Pat

          After all, they stole public fund at the watch of PDP President. Hence, stop PDP means stop stealing of public fund!

          • Frank Bassey

            Does that address the issue of Babachir Lawal? Who approved the return, reinstatement and promotion of Abdulrasheed Maina, who ran away from Nigeria under PDP government to escape judgement? Is it not our pretentious president? Can you imagine such a dubious act by this government? You junkyard dog!

  • Darlington

    APC is approaching implosion.

  • Pat

    The better they leave and return to their base the better APC will be.

  • Okakuoofbenin

    I pity all of you here abusing yourselves trying to convince yourselves that there is a difference between six and half a dozen.