Former governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, is in limbo, with one leg in ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and another in opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
While PDP leaders are claiming that Mr Shekarau is still in the party, some APC leaders are already celebrating his return to their party.
The chairman of APC in Kano, Abdullahi Abbas, on Wednesday said the return of Mr Shekarau to the party “was a testimony that the ruling party remained the most peaceful platform where politicians irrespective of their status and background could actualize their political aspirations without impunity, injustice and imposition.”
But Sule Yau Sule, Mr Shekarau’s spokesman, on Thursday night told DAILY NIGERIAN that the former governor will take final decision on his political future on Saturday.
Timeline of crisis
On July 24, former governor of the state and serving senator, Rabiu Kwankwaso, announced his defection from APC to PDP, raising concerns over the possibility of the two sworn political enemies to remain in one party together.
On July 29, Messrs Kwankwaso and Shekarau had their first formal meeting in 15 years, promising to sheathe the sword and bury the hatchet towards the success of the PDP at the state and national level in 2019 elections.
But on September 4, the embattled former governor of Kano State announced his defection to APC through his spokesman Sule Ya’u Sule.
Hours after his defection raised dust in the political scene, Mr Shekarau recanted in an audio clip aired on local radio stations, saying he is still in the PDP and making consultations on his political future.
The deal and the booby trap
Credible sources told this newspaper that Mr Shekarau had been in contact with vice president Yemi Osinbajo since the gale of defection struck across both ruling and opposition party.
Inside sources said the ruling party had made a number of promises to Mr Shekarau, including a ministerial slot, should he dump the PDP and join APC.
While vice president started the overture, the governor of Kano State Abdullahi Ganduje struck a deal with him on the eve of his ‘defection’.
Sources familiar with the meeting said Mr Shekarau demanded a senatorial slot (for himself) and deputy governor position (to nominate one of his associates) from Mr Ganduje.
DAILY NIGERIAN reliably gathered that Mr Shekarau is pushing for the appointment of Umar Maimansaleta as deputy governor, but Mr Ganduje is not keen on the idea.
“You know Shekarau is critical to our success at the poll and we want to do whatever possible to retain him. Much as Ganduje wants Shekarau in the APC, he doesn’t not want to appoint a deputy whose total loyalty will be to someone not him.
“Ganduje simply doesn’t want a repeat of Professor Hafizu case. So he is more inclined to appointing somebody with grassroots support from his camp.
“Ganduje may accept to take Maimansaleta as deputy but it is just a mere Greek gift,” said a source who preferred anonymity.
According to the source, Mr Ganduje may set a booby trap for Mr Shekarau by accepting the offer of Mr Maimansaleta as deputy, but plot his rejection at the Kano State House of Assembly.