The Presidency and the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have kick started an intensive lobby to win over former two-term governor of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau.
This is to suppress the strength of former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Shekarau defected the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in January 2014) joined the Goodluck Jonathan government and was later appointed Minister of Education.
Shekarau and former Governor of Sokoto State, Attahiru Bafarawa, both founding fathers of APC, decamped after accusing the APC of giving the party’s structures in their states to governors who had decamped from the PDP.
One of them, Kwankwaso, a Minister of Defence during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, joined the APC with other aggrieved PDP governors on November 23 2013.
But he went back to the PDP last week in bid to remove incumbent Kano Governor Abdullahi Ganduje from power next year.
Ganduje was Kwankwaso’s deputy for eight years (1999-2003 and 2011 to 2015) but the two fell apart shortly after the 2015 election.
A source revealed that as part of efforts to get Shekarau on board, pending corruption cases against him may be re-examined and stepped down for safe landing.
He said: “As part of the grand plan to bring Mallam Shekarau back into the APC fold, top government officials in Abuja and Kano are currently pleading with him.
“Governor Ganduje and some National Executive Committee members of the party have been co-opted in the bring-back-Shekarau arrangement.”
It is unclear if former Lagos Governor Bola Tinubu, who had been leading the President Muhammadu Buhari’s reconciliation team to woo back ex-APC, is also in talks with Shekarau.
The meeting was held at the latter’s Asokoro residence and was prelude to an extended meeting with other PDP leaders.
The leadership at the national level are said to have ceded 51 percent stake in the party structure to Kwankwaso, while Shekarau and other stakeholders hold 49 percent.
Aside being a serving senator, Kwankwaso has in his political kitty, nine members of the House of Representatives (who defected with him), Kano deputy governor, Hafiz Abubakar, about ten members of the Kano House of Assembly and millions of Kwankwasiya members spread across Nigeria.