Kano 2019: Kwankwaso, Shekarau in closed door meeting

Two former governors of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau
Two former governors of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau.

Two former governors of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso and Ibrahim Shekarau, met Saturday night in Abuja after their last chance meeting at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Abuja in 2011.

Mr Kwankwaso was among members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) who recently decamped to the People Democratic Party (PDP), while Mr Shekarau had decamped from APC to PDP in 2104 before the general election of 2015.

The meeting is coming at a period the presidency and leadership of APC are reportedly intensifying efforts to woo Mr Shekarau back to the party.

The Saturday meeting was held at Mr Shekarau’s Asokoro, Abuja, residence and it was a prelude to an extended meeting with other party leaders without any official statement issued from ongoing manoeuvres.

Meanwhile, the presidency and the leadership of APC have reportedly kick-started an intensive lobby to woo the former two-term governor of Kano and Minister of Education, Mr Shekarau, to the ruling party as part of efforts to check and diminish the influence of Mr Kwankwaso ahead of the 2019 general elections.

A presidency source who confided in PRNigeria in Abuja revealed that as part of the wooing plan, pending cases with anti-corruption agencies may be re-examined and stepped down to offer Mr Shekarau safe landing.

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The development is coming as the control of PDP’s structure in Kano State may spring up in the ongoing negotiations over who leads the party structure in the state.

In the bid to make Messrs Kwankwaso and Shekarau work together amicably, 51 per cent of control of PDP’s structure has been reportedly conceded to Mr Kwankwaso as a serving senator and having the incumbent deputy governor, Hafizu Abubakar, and some legislators in the state among his strongest loyalists while 49 per cent of the control structure was reportedly offered to Shekarau and other groups in PDP.

Mr Shekarau and former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, were among the founding members of APC who decamped to PDP in 2014 after accusing the APC of giving the party’s structures in their states to governors who had decamped from the PDP.

The presidency source said: “As part of the grand plan to bring Mallam Shekarau back into the APC fold where he was founding father, top government officials in Abuja and Kano are currently pleading with him while Governor Ganduje of Kano State and some National Executive Committee members of the party have been co-opted in the bring-back-Shekarau arrangement.”

Though Mr Shekarau had been in the South-west in recent time, it is not confirmed yet if he met with Bola Tinubu who has been given the mandate to lead the pack in wooing other erstwhile APC chieftains back to the fold.

PRNigeria however gathered that the move may be an uphill task as Mr Shekarau is believed to be unhappy with the treatment meted on him when Mr Kwankwaso decamped to the APC and was given the party structure in Kano.

In a recent interview, Mr Shekarau explained that he would like the senator representing Kano Central and others to return to PDP to remove APC from power next year.

“Since 2011 when we met at airport, we have never met each other again”, Mr Shekarau had said.

“I did not defect to PDP from APC because of Kwankwaso. It is not true that we discussed his intention to return to PDP.

“But I will wish and pray Kwankwaso and others will return to PDP. Their return will give the party the power to dislodge APC,” he said.

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