The for­mal re­cep­tion ush­er­ing Malam Ibrahim Sheka­rau into the All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) has no doubt, set a new tone for a tense po­lit­i­cal ri­valry with the Peo­ple’s Demo­cratic Party (PDP) in Kano State.

Weekly Trust - - Analysis - Malam Ibrahim Sheka­rau Gan­duje’s role in Sheka­rau’s re­turn I have rea­sons to re-join APC Sheka­rau 5 mil­lion votes for Buhari Sen Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso Osh­iom­hole cam­paigns for Buhari

Muideen Olaniyi & Yushau A Ibrahim, Kano

Malam Ibrahim Sheka­rau, a for­mer gov­er­nor of Kano State, was re­ceived last Sun­day at a grand rally to wel­come PDP de­cam­pees and some mem­bers of the Kwak­wasiyya Move­ment at the Sani Abacha Sta­dium.

The rally was at­tended by the APC Na­tional Chair­man, Com­rade Adams Osh­iom­hole, the party’s Na­tional Vice Chair­man, North west, Barr. Inuwa Ab­dulka­dir, Gov­er­nor Mo­hammed Badaru Abubakar of Ji­gawa State, Sen­a­tors Kabiru Gaya, Bara Jib­rin, and Rep Al­has­san Ado Doguwa among oth­ers.

The Sar­dau­nan Kano left the APC in 2014 shortly after for­mer gov­er­nor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso joined the party over what pundits see as ir­rec­on­cil­able dif­fer­ences be­tween the two po­lit­i­cal big­wigs.

With the re­turn of Kwankwaso to the PDP, the APC wooed Sheka­rau after what an­a­lysts see as the PDP’s ar­range­ment that prac­ti­cally handed over the party struc­ture to the founder of the Kwankwasiyya Move­ment.

Gov­er­nor Ab­dul­lahi Gan­duje while speak­ing at the oc­ca­sion on the rea­sons for em­brac­ing the for­mer gov­er­nor, said:

“The politi­cians that have the record of trans­form­ing Kano State and politi­cians with who we share same be­liefs are be­ing con­vinced to come into our fold and join the APC. That is why we thank Al­lah (SWT) for bring­ing into our fold a man who is highly re­spected, a man who is the sym­bol of the or­di­nary peo­ple, a man I have to con­vince the chair­man of our party to come and beg in or­der to join the APC.

“Our chair­man agreed, came to Kano, vis­ited his house and begged him to join APC. And to­day, he has joined the APC and is even con­test­ing Kano Cen­tral se­na­to­rial dis­trict elec­tion. Mr. chair­man, we are pre­sent­ing to you thou­sands of sup­port­ers of Malam Sheka­rau of dif­fer­ent sta­tus, ex­pe­ri­ence and stand­ing who also left the PDP. I as­sure you, by now, I as­sure you, we have taken more than half of PDP in Kano State as more than half are with Malam who is now with in APC.”

In his re­marks at the grand event, Sheka­rau said the APC would win all po­si­tions in 2019 in Kano State.

The for­mer gov­er­nor, who was ap­plauded in­ter­mit­tently by his sup­port­ers, ex­pressed to­tal com­mit­ment and loy­alty to the party.

He said, “To­day is in­deed a very great mo­ment of his­tory in my life. On be­half of all my sup­port­ers and well-wish­ers far and near who have joined us in mov­ing into the APC from the PDP, to­day is a mo­ment of great plea­sure for us to be part and par­cel of mem­ber­ship of the APC.

“As past speak­ers have said and as recog­nised by all, I have the great honour of be­ing one of the mid­wives of the APC. His­tory is to­day re­peat­ing it­self. In 2014, we had rea­sons to step aside. To­day, by the grace of Almighty God, we have greater rea­sons to step back­wards into the APC.”

With the re­turn of Kwankwaso to the PDP, the APC wooed Sheka­rau after what an­a­lysts see as the PDP’s ar­range­ment that prac­ti­cally handed over the party struc­ture to the founder of the Kwankwasiyya Move­ment

Though the rally set the tone for an im­pend­ing ri­valry be­tween Gan­duje and Kwankwaso’s in-law, Abba Kabiru Yusuf on one hand as well as the se­na­to­rial con­test be­tween Kwankwaso and Sheka­rau on the other hand, it was also used to cam­paign for Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari as the gov­er­nor re­stated his com­mit­ment to de­liver five mil­lion votes to the pres­i­dent in 2019.

Gan­duje said, “Let us talk about Kano. APC is only party in Kano. We have the high­est num­ber of party mem­bers. Our ef­fort is not only to win gov­er­nor­ship, pres­i­den­tial, Na­tional Assem­bly and state House of Assem­bly elec­tions, our in­ten­tion is to pro­vide the high­est num­ber of votes for the APC in Nige­ria.

“If you re­mem­ber, we promised Mr. Pres­i­dent a min­i­mum of five mil­lion votes. Kano is the home of the pro­gres­sives. Our great leader, Malam Aminu Kano, was a pro­gres­sive. Abubakar Rimi was a pro­gres­sive….What do you ex­pect from Kano apart from a pro­gres­sive gov­ern­ment, ad­min­is­tra­tion and vot­ing? That is why we are all united to give Mr. Pres­i­dent over five mil­lion votes from Kano State,” the gov­er­nor said.

The APC Na­tional Chair­man, Adams Osh­iom­hole, who equally used the rally to cam­paign for Buhari, said op­por­tunists should never be al­lowed to gov­ern Nige­ria again.

Osh­iom­hole, who said the fo­cus of Pres­i­dent Buhari was to re­build the whole coun­try, ad­vised Nige­ri­ans not to hand over Nige­ria to those with the his­tory of tak­ing from the na­tion and not giv­ing. He voiced op­ti­mism with the en­dorse­ment of Pres­i­dent Buhari by 14.8 mil­lion APC mem­bers, adding that un­der Buhari as a re-elected pres­i­dent, Nige­ria would wit­ness sus­tain­able growth.

“We haven’t fixed all the prob­lems and we did not prom­ise to fix them over night. What they could not do in 16 years can­not pos­si­bly be fixed in three and half years.

“But I be­lieve that we have shown the most im­por­tant qual­ity that we need in a leader which is to have a man of honor, a man of in­tegrity and a man you can trust and that man is Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari. Whether in Amer­ica or in Bri­tain, they ap­pre­ci­ate him, other African heads of state ap­pre­ci­ate him and at home, we the or­di­nary peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate him. But those who made money with­out work don’t like him and as long as they are con­cerned, he should not stay one day longer.

“I want to ap­peal to our op­po­nents in the PDP to stop cry­ing even be­fore the elec­tions take place. When they win, ev­ery­thing is per­fect, but when they lose, noth­ing is right. I see them writ­ing let­ters to the United Na­tions.

“Nige­ri­ans will not for­get and if they do, we will re­mind them that it was the PDP un­der Pres­i­dent Oluse­gun Obasanjo that in­tro­duced do or die pol­i­tics. If you re­mem­ber, he said the 2007 elec­tion was a do or die for him.

“For­tu­nately, we did not die and he is still alive. He will be alive to see a coun­try that grows from strength to strength and not de­terred by the bit­ter­ness of the past. But his dream to rule by proxy will never suc­ceed.

“Nige­ri­ans can never go back, we must move on and un­der Pres­i­dent Buhari, we will achieve sus­tain­able growth and de­vel­op­ment t for the good of the or­di­nary Nige­rian.”

The rally was graced by party mem­bers and sup­port­ers from the 44 lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of Kano State who car­ried plac­ards, ban­ners and APC flags to show sup­port for Pres­i­dent Buhari, Gov­er­nor Gan­duje, Sheka­rau and other party lead­ers.

The pres­ence of camel and horse rid­ers added beauty and en­ter­tain­ment to the colour­ful rally that pre­pared ground for 2019 elec­tion cam­paigns in the state known as the Cen­tre of Com­merce.

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