Following what seem like a sure stamp of approval for President by the Kano State electorate, President Buhari scored another political coup after some key members of the PDP defect to the ruling APC.
A former governor of Jigawa State, Ali Sa’adu, was among opposition politicians who defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday. Five former commissioners who served under former governor Sule Lamido were also among the defectors. Mr Lamido governed as a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a party he still leads in the state.
The APC national chairman, Adams Oshiomole, while receiving the defectors stated that there is a culture of equality in the APC where the founders of the party and newcomers are treated equally without preferential treatment. Mr Oshiomhole said he believes that with the defection of these personalities and many of their followers, the PDP is dead in Jigawa.
Mr Oshiomhole was represented by deputy national chairman of APC, Niyi Adebayo. The ex-commissioners that announced their defection from the PDP are Auwalu Harbo of special duties; Jinjiri Dutse of rural infrastructure; Nasidi Ali of Agriculture; Fatima Jalo of women affairs and Yakubu Ruba, the then attorney general and justice commissioner.
Other top politicians that joined the APC include a former lawmaker representing Dutse/Kiyawa federal constituency and PDP governorship aspirant, Ibrahim Tijjani; a party chieftain, Danladi Auyo; and Ahmed Rufai. Mr Rufai was an aspirant for the House of Representatives and is the husband to ex-minister of education, Rukayya Rufai.
In his remarks, the National Secretary of APC, Maimala Buni, said the defection witnessed in Jigawa does not come as a surprise because of the prudent style of administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Mohammad Badaru. He said Jigawa, like other North-west states were comfort zones of the APC.
President Buhari won all the North-west states in the 2015 presidential election. All the seven states in the zone were, until the recent defection of Governor Aminu Tambuwal, governed by the APC. In his remarks, Governor Badaru mocked the PDP presidential campaign, saying only one page of its 53-page policy document was devoted to agriculture. At the event, an election campaign committee for the APC was inaugurated.
Ahmad Mahmud was named the chairman of the committee. Mr Mahmud, a former deputy governor, was tasked to ensure the victory of Messrs Buhari and Badaru; as well as all other APC candidates. Other APC leaders at the event include its national vice chairman, Inuwa Abdulkadir; Kano State deputy governor, Nasiru Gawuna; and a senator, Danladi Sankara.