Sunday 2 September 2018

Party Control: One Month After Defection Senato Kwankwaso On Warpath With Shekarau, Wali, Others

One month after the defection of Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), crisis over the control of Kano PDP has started brewing in the state chapter of the party, Daily Trust on Sunday can report.

The battle over the control of the soul of the party is raging between Senator Kwankwaso on one hand and some of the party’s bigwigs in the state, comprising of former Minister of Education, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, Ambassador Aminu Wali, Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo, among other stakeholders, on the other hand.

When Kwankwaso rejoined the PDP recently, Shekarau expressed fears about the latter’s readiness to allow internal democracy and peace to reign in the party.

“I hope the PDP received reformed Kwankwaso. I hope it is not the old Kwankwaso I knew,” he cautioned at the time through his media aide, Sule Ya’u Sule. 

“I hope he would, this time around, abide by the rules of the PDP. I hope he would not repeat what he did after he joined the APC in 2015. I hope Kwankwaso is not coming to the PDP to repeat the injustice he did in 2015,” he observed
With the current development, Shekarau can be said to be living in fear as party sources said Kwankwaso was bent on taking over its control in Kano.

According to a source within the party, trouble started within the party about three weeks ago when Kwankwaso made a shocking revelation at a stakeholders’ meeting that the national body of the PDP had allocated to him 51 slots of elective offices at both state and national levels.

The source, who also attended the meeting, said Shekarau, Wali, Gwarzo and some other stakeholders present at the meeting vehemently rejected Kwankwaso’s claims and denied any knowledge about it. Following their reactions, it was learnt, Kwankwaso walked out of the meeting and later reported the matter to the PDP headquarters.

“It is unfortunate that the report of the Liyel Imoke-led committee has been thrown away by the PDP leadership in favour of Kwankwaso. If you can recall, the PDP has set up a committee under Liyel Imoke and mandated it to harmonise issues related to allocation of positions among defectors and other members of the PDP and the committee in its recommendations said it would not recommend any sharing formula, rather it advised that all states should use their peculiarity and share the positions between defectors and those they met in the party,” the source said.

“And I believe the committee’s decision is the best because each state has its own peculiarity in terms of differences among party members. Take Kano for instance, how on earth can they allocate 51 per cent to somebody that just returned to the party and share 49 per cent among the three other party elders that laboured for the party for three years and you expect peace in the state? It is not possible.”

He said that was why the stakeholders rejected it when Kwankwaso tabled the issue at the meeting in Kano. 
Another drama took place at a PDP stakeholders meeting that was held last week in Abuja when the issue was brought up, another source told Daily Trust on Sunday. Again, Wali, Shekarau and Gwarzo vehemently rejected the idea and insisted that Kwankwaso must not be rated above other stakeholders.

Daily Trust on Sunday observed that the political atmosphere within the PDP is taking a new twist, with Shekarau, Wali and Gawrzo’s camp strategising to retain their position as shakers and movers of the PDP in the state, while Kwanwkaso, on the other hand, is struggling to take over the control of the party ahead of the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The three PDP bigwigs had, last week, summoned a stakeholders’ meeting in their efforts to halt Kwankwaso’s plan of taking over the party. 

A reliable source confirmed to our correspondent that it was decided at the meeting that the PDP at ward, local and state levels should stop registering members of the Kwankwasiyya group into the PDP pending the determination of the controversial allocation of 51 per cent slots to Kwankwaso.

It was gathered that thousands of supporters of the three politicians also threatened to leave the party if Kwankwaso was allowed to take over its control in Kano. 

Unless something concrete is done to salvage the situation, the brewing crisis may divide the party before the next general elections.

When contacted on phone for comment, the former education minister’s spokesman described the recent political development in Kano PDP as unfortunate, lamenting that Kwankwaso had started implementing his plans to take over the party.
He said, “Unfortunately, Kwankwaso has started showing to the people that he is still the same person we knew.

“If you give Kwankwaso 51 per cent slots of positions, obviously he takes over the control by having the larger share. The remaining 49 per cent is going to be shared among Shekarau, Wali and Gwarzo. Let’s say Malam Shekarau will get 29 per cent, Wali and Gwarzo 10 each, obviously Kwankwaso is having upper hands. And knowing who Kwankwaso is, he will control the party according to his own wishes.He will determine everything.

“I can assure you that the Kwankwasiyya people will get what they want. He did this when he was in the APC, and if care is not taken, he will now repeat the same thing in the PDP. Kwankwaso denied members of the APC Legacy everything. If you were not a member of Kwankwasiyya you would not get anything. This is the same thing he wants repeated in the PDP today. If you are not a member of the Kwankwasiyya group he will never consider you. I said earlier when he returned to the PDP that we hoped we received a reformed Kwanwkaso. Now, he has vindicated; he is not reformed. Unfortunately, the PDP national body is more disposed to Kwankwaso than Shekarau, Wali and Gwarzo.

“We are waiting for an official communication from the national body of the PDP. We only read its decision on the pages of the newspapers, so we are waiting for the PDP to communicate to us officially, upon which we will take the issue to our people to decide for the next line of action we should take.”

However, Alhaji Haruna Umar Doguwa, Kwankwaso’s political ally, disputed the rumour that his boss was trying to take over the PDP in Kano, noting that people had misunderstood the whole issue.

Doguwa said: “I was part of the four meetings that were held, and there was no resistance on the part of Shekarau, Wali and Gwarzo. Kwankwaso did not attend the meeting at all. What actually happened was that when the issue of 51 per cent was raised at the meeting, the three stakeholders inquired about the authenticity or otherwise of the claims, and that’s all.”

On the stoppage of registering members of Kwankwasiyya, Doguwa also dispelled the allegation, noting, “Even today (yesterday), some members of Kwanwkasiyya will collect their membership cards in Rimingado Local Government Area of the State. I am not aware of any order to stop the registration of our members into the PDP. There is nothing like that to the best of my knowledge.”

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