A former deputy governor of Kano State, Hafiz Abubakar, has picked a governorship nomination form of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to challenge the son in-law to the party leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso.
DAILY NIGERIAN reliably gathered that Mr Abubakar picked the form at the party secretariat in Abuja on Wednesday.
Mr Kwankwaso at the weekend anointed his son in-law and former commissioner for Works, Abba Kabir Yusuf, as the sole candidate from the Kwankwasiyya camp.
Justifying the choice of his in-law, Mr Kwanwkaso said both Mr Abubakar and Salihu Takai are not suited to be governors but senators “at the moment”.
Mr Kwankwaso argued Mr Yusuf was the brain behind mega projects executed by his administration between 2011 and 2015.
“The first commissioner of Works we appointed was not competent. But when we appointed Abba as commissioner, we accomplished all the mega projects in Kano,” he said.
But sources close to Mr Abubakar said the former deputy governor’s decision to pick the nomination form was to challenge Mr Kwankwaso’s assertion that he (Mr Abubakar) is not suited for governorship ticket.
“Kwankwasiyya is now divided. There is Kwankwasiyya Amana and there is Kwankwasiyya Surikiyya. Those who believe that Kwankwasiyya as ideology is beyond Kwankwaso’s family are breaking away.
“I can tell you, the Kwankwasiyya Surikiyya camp will soon be replete with sycophants with no political value,” said a source familiar with Kwankwasiyya politics.
But Mr Yusuf’s choice has sparked disaffection in the Kwankwasiyya camp, with some ranking members of the group threatening to challenge the choice.
One of the ranking members who spoke to DAILY NIGERIAN said, “We are just waiting for appropriate time to break away.”
Looming Crisis in Kano PDP and hurdles before Kwankwaso’s son in-law
With a subsisting court order against the caretaker committee loyal to Mr Kwankwaso, there are indications that the Kwankwasiyya camp may not have an easy ride in its plan to impose Mr Abubakar as a candidate.
Out of over 6,000 delegates to the Kano PDP gubernatorial congress (primaries), Mr Kwankwaso has control over only about 1,500 (yet to be elected) delegates.
“Even the 1,500 delegates left for Kwankwaso, have to come through a congress organized by Mas’ud Doguwa-led party executives to be legally accepted.
“There are a lot of hurdles for Abba K. Yusuf to cross before becoming the PDP flag-bearer,” said a party leader, Ado Rano.
On Monday, police in Kano dispersed members of the caretaker committee of the party loyal to Mr Kwankwaso while holding meeting at Sokoto Road in Kano metropolis.
Police spokesman in Kano, Magaji Majia, said the police acted based on a court order which stopped them from parading themselves as leaders of the PDP in the state.
“So any meeting they hold outside PDP secretariat is illegal, and police will not condone any form of illegal assembly,” he told DAILY NIGERIAN.
Justice N.S. Umar of Kano High Court in an interim order dated August 28, ordered that a status quo ante be maintained by all the parties involved, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
Umar Mai Goro Rano and four others dragged the national and Kano state leadership of the PDP before Justice Umar, challenging the plans to restructure the party’s executive committee.
The court ordered the respondents and any other person or persons to restrain from interfering or tampering with the tenure of the existing leadership of PDP in Kano state.
“This honourable court restrains any other person or persons from disturbing and or intimidating the administration of the State, Local Government areas or ward officers from doing anything or taking any steps that are likely to interfere with or disturb the officers tenure which are protected under section 47 (1) and section 223(1) (a) of the 1999 constitution”, Justice Umar ruled.