- An ex-governor of Kano state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, has spoken on how the disagreement between him and Rabiu Kwankwaso began
- Shekarau said that it all started when he and other members of the rAPC where left out of some top affairs in the party
- He claimed that on several occasions, he realised that while Kwankwaso was often in the know of key workings of the party, he was left in the dark
Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, a former governor of Kano state, who recently defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has given his own version of how the rift between him and Rabiu Kwankwaso, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the opposition, started.
In a recent interview conducted by Daily Trust, Shekarau narrated:"The bottom-line of the crisis is when Kwankwaso came under the umbrella of the rAPC; they negotiated with a technical committee set up by the party, which was led by former Governor Liyel Imoke.
"The negotiation led to an agreement of some privileges offered to members of the rAPC and they took the final report to the chairman, but none of the stakeholders of the affected states was carried along. They were supposed to carry the demands of those coming in through the party leadership; that these people coming in are requesting for ABC.
"Then the party will invite the stakeholders (for example in Kano, myself and Aminu Wali are the well-known leaders and elders of the party) and say, ‘this is what the former governor of Kano is requesting, what do you say?’
"If we have objection, we raise it and then the two of us will be brought to the table and negotiation will take place. When we arrive at a final decision, jointly, they will be asked to go back to the state and implement it.
"But none of us was involved and up to this moment, neither Aminu Wali nor I have seen the template, agreement or the terms.
"They are being kept under the table. But Kwankwaso, as a member of the technical committee from the rAPC, had the privilege of the complete agreement document and he called his men and told them and even released some of it on the social media. So we are getting embarrassed.
"People kept coming and asking us, ‘Kwankwaso has been granted 51% and you are going to take 49%, automatic ticket for all legislators that came with Kwankwaso.’ And we asked, ‘when did this happen?’
"We protested and the party leadership referred us to the Liyel Imoke committee that handled it. When we went to them, they asked us to please go and resolve and work together with Kwankwaso. We said, okay.
"A meeting was convened in Kaduna at the instance of Kwankwaso. Really, we were to meet in Abuja, but he said he would be in Kaduna that day, we all went – Aminu Wali, myself, Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo and Senator Mas’ud El-Jibril Doguwa, the state chairman.
"We met with former Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso. He asked us: ‘Where is your copy of the agreement?’ We said we didn’t know about it. He said he had his own and that if we didn’t have there would be no discussion. So the meeting collapsed.
"Our leader reported back to the committee and it initiated another meeting between the two groups and said each should bring five delegates.
"So, from our own side, Aminu Wali, myself, Senator Bello, Senator Doguwa and Engineer Sarki Labaran, who is an ex-officio member of the National Executive Committee (NEC), went, but Kwankwaso unfortunately did not attend.
"He sent an apology that he had some campaign already scheduled in Akwa Ibom and sent in four of his men – he would have been the fifth.
"So, I raised issues with Imoke and asked: ‘Your Excellency, can you tell us the indices used in arriving at the conclusion that Kwankwaso deserves 51% of the structure in Kano?’ And there was no explanation. Nothing! We asked: ‘what informed your decision?’
"We said we saw on social media, which we believe came from Kwankwaso’s men, about sharing of offices and told him we didn’t know about it, ‘can we have details?’ So, he said yes, there was some proposed sharing, it is the template, it is not necessarily to be applied, it is for a guide.
"We said, ‘can we have a copy?’ He said no, he too was having a copy because he was privileged to be a member. I asked: ‘what kind of argument is this?’ A and B are to go and negotiate, A has a copy of some terms while B hasn’t? So I started suspecting some foul play. But they said, ‘please go and negotiate, don’t mind the 51%.’ Still we could not arrive at anything.
"Aminu Wali, out of his wisdom, decided to convene another meeting, a third one; this time, about seven of us, members of the NEC – Aminu Wali; myself; Senator Bello Hayatu; Senator Doguwa; former Speaker Salisu Buhari; Alhaji Wada Masu and Sarki Labaran. Kwankwaso came, and we made observations.
"Our quarrel was the 51- 49, which to start with. We did not even accept, even if it is true, so how do you even implement it? Who do you look at in the face as an elected officer who has two more years to go, because the congress was held in 2015, and tell him you are removing him?
"When you come to the state will you remove the chairman? Would you remove secretary? If you say go, a Kwankwasiyya man will come in, you are violating two or three sections of the constitution.
"The first one is that whoever is elected and having been returned as elected has been issued a certificate by the party and only four conditions will lead to such officer leaving his office – death, resignation, impeachment or disciplinary action. Anything outside this four, if you remove any officer and he goes to court, you will lose.
"We said these were the issues and also asked them, ‘why do you want to disrupt the leadership of a party six months to an election? You are going to go with a parallel leadership within the party and Kwankwasiyya is not a party.
"It is a personal organisation that is personal to him, and whoever he brings to occupy an office is representing his personal interest, unlike an elected person who is representing the generality of the party.
"So, you are going to have two parallel executives; one answerable to the party and another answerable to an individual. This is not neat. And you want to go into an election with this kind of disparity?’
"Thirdly, the constitution provides that for any person to qualify to occupy an elected office in the party, you must have been a member of the party financially for a minimum of 18 months unless you are granted a waiver.
"And the process of the waiver has been explained. So, even if we are to go with this, they won’t qualify except they get a waiver. Another section of the constitution says any member of the party who defects and returns loses all the seniority and privileges he was enjoying before he defected.
"So why are you giving these people these outrageous privileges when the party’s constitution says they don’t deserve even one? We wrote all these to the party but they have not replied us.
"At the third meeting, we went with a proposal to Kwankwaso, saying let’s not touch the elected officers. The next election that is around the corner is the election of ad hoc delegates. We said, since this had not been conducted let’s see how we could share it.
"Since there are now, principally, three groups (we were operating two: the group of the old PDP who remained after the departure of Kwankwaso and the old ANPP that transformed into the PDP and when Kwankwaso came back we became three groups), it is fair to do a tripartite arrangement that will allow us share the three delegates, one each for the three groups.
"Kwankwaso will bring one, Aminu Wali, one and Shekarau, one. The matter would have been solved before going to voting. For the local government national delegates (we have 44 local governments in the state), we came up with a formula because they are not divisible by three, we shared 15, 15, 14. This was not done arbitrarily. For each senatorial district, we listed the local governments alphabetically.
"We also listed our names in an alphabetical order – Aminu, Ibrahim, Rabi’u. Kano Central has 15 local governments. The first five went to Aminu, the second five went to Ibrahim and the third went to Rabi’u.
"That way, nobody would say, ‘why did you give Aminu local government Y or X?’ And nobody would say, ‘why are you putting Aminu’s name first?’ This is because Aminu comes before Ibrahim and Rabi’u.
"The Kano North has 13 local governments and Aminu took the first five, Ibrahim four and Rabi’u, four. We took the Kano South, which is 15 and Aminu took five, Ibrahim took six and Rabi’u took five.
"So if you add horizontally, Aminu has five of the Kano Central, five of the Kano North and five of the Kano South, making 15.
"Ibrahim will have five of the Kano central, four of Kano North and six of Kano South, making 15. Rabi’u will have five of the Kano Central, four of the Kano North and five of Kano South, making 14."
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported that Shekarau had defected from the PDP to the APC. Shekarau announced his decision to join the ruling party after a closed-door meeting with the national chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole. Legit.ng gathered that the closed-door meeting was held on Friday, September 7, in Kano state.
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