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Crisis erupts in Kano PDP as Kwankwaso man, Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi, heads caretaker committee

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Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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By Muhammad Bashir

Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi, a former Secretary to Kano State Government and a top loyalist of former governor Rabiu Kwankwaso, has been appointed the chairman of the caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kano.

The national headquarters of the party appointed the 7-man caretaker committee, following dissolution of the Mas’ud Doguwa-led EXCO of the party in the state.

Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi
Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi

Mr Bichi confirmed his appointment as chairman of the caretaker committee in an interview with DAILY NIGERIAN on Monday night.

DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that other members of the caretaker committee include Dankaka Bebeji, deputy chairman; Shehu Sagagi, secretary; Sunusi Surajo Kwankwaso, organising secretary; Zainab Audu Bako, women leader; Jamilu Dambatta, publicity secretary and; Hafizu Gambo, youth leader.

Of the seven members of the caretaker committee, five are Kwankwaso loyalists, while the two were picked from the camps of a former minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali and former governor of the state Ibrahim Shekarau.

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However, the other faction of the party jointly led by Messrs Wali and Shekarau have kicked against the dissolution of the EXCO and alleged “lopsided composition” of the committee, arguing that there is a subsisting court order that stopped the dissolution.

Kano PDP boils

At the party’s state headquarters on Monday, thousands of party supporters including ward EXCOS from 484 wards in the state, local government EXCOS, state EXCOS and aspirants gathered to protest against the constitution of the caretaker committee.

ON FIRE: Uche Secondus’ posters being burnt during protests at Kano PDP headquarters on Monday, September 3, 2018

The supporters affirmed their loyalty to Doguwa-led EXCO, just as they burnt Mr Secondus’ posters.

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Prior to his defection to PDP, the national headquarters of the party had promised to cede 51 percent of the party to Mr Kwankwaso if he joined the party.

At a Kano PDP stakeholders meeting, Messrs Shekarau, Wali and Senator Bello Hayatu, told Mr Kwankwaso that the promise made to him is not binding on them.

DAILY NIGERIAN gathered that the party leaders insisted that Messrs Wali and Shekarau will go with 34 and 33 percent control respectively.

Tug of war over Kano Delegates

Although Mr Wali’s son, Sadiq, is vying for governorship seat and is neck-deep into campaign, just Mr Shekarau’s loyalist Salihu Takai also picked a nomination form, the tussle goes beyond governorship contest.

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It is however unclear who Mr Kwankwaso will sponsor for the governorship ticket from his camp, but sources said Mr Kwankwaso’s major interest is his presidential ambition and how to take control of Kano delegates.

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At least three presidential aspirants including Atiku Abubakar, Aminu Tambuwal and Ahmed Makarfi are allegedly fighting against the dissolution of Kano PDP leadership by the Secondus-led executives.

Inside sources said the presidential aspirants faulted the party’s decision over fears that a state caretaker committee led by Mr Kwankwaso’s loyalists in the presidential primaries.

With about 150 delegates drawn from 44 local governments, state and national positions, Kano has the largest number delegates to the presidential convention.

“Remember that Kano delegates gave Kwankwanso edge over Atiku during APC primaries in 2014. So Atiku is careful not to take chance again, just as other aspirants battle for share of delegates from Kano,” said a source familiar with Kano politics.

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