The Oasis Reporters
Saturday, October 28, 2017
Former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim Shekarau, has written to the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, indicating his interest to run for the Presidency in 2019 on the platform of the opposition party.
This was revealed by his Spokesperson, Sule Ya’u Sule, saying that Shekarau, who was also a former Education Minister, has sent a notification letter to the PDP of his intention to run.
Sule added that Shekarau had also communicated his political ambition to various elders, community leaders, opinion leaders, political associates and religious leaders regardless of their ethnic and party affiliations.
“Malam Shekarau deliberately refused to make his ambition public because he does not want the relevant stakeholders to read it for the first time on the pages of newspapers,” Sule stated.
“He first notified them before making it public. He is now making necessary consultations,.”
Shekarau was said to have received requests from individuals and groups from different quarters urging him to contest for the presidency in 2019.
It will be recalled that Mr. Ibrahim Shekarau first ran for the presidency against Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in 2011 while wrapping up his second and last tenure as the first governor in Kano state to do two successful terms in it’s history.
After losing in the 2011 bid, he joined then president Jonathan’s government as Education minister.
Ibrahim Shekarau was a successful governor in Kano state who expanded the scope of the plans for greater Kano that his predecessor, former Defense Minister, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso had initiated.
One of the projects was the Tamburawa Water Works which Kwankwaso futuristically planned to serve the water needs of Kano’s burgeoning population for the next 50 years.
Suddenly, Ibrahim Shekarau initiated a probe into the project started a year before the end of his predecessor’s tenure. Then started exhuming the already laid down pipes. Many feared that he was canceling the project.
His team of engineering assessors had observed a faulty laying structure that would have impeded the free flow of water.
The pipes were re-layed and Kano had more water than any other state in Nigeria.
Another project was the donation of the hundreds of electricity transformers to the national Power Holding Company, the country’s electricity supply agency that had given Kano state more darkness than light.
All the Transformers were inherited from the previous administration and Rabiu Kwankwaso had emblazoned his name on them all. They were to help him win reelection but unfortunately, were not installed before he left office.
In an act of political sagacity, Ibrahim Shekarau went ahead to donate them to the electricity agency without erasing the name and memory of Kwankwaso.
Kano’s electricity improved remarkably after the installation.
The open acknowledgement helped in no small measure to advertise Kwankwaso and made it a lot easier for him to win another four year tenure after Shekarau’s maximum two terms.
Kano gained all round.
Coming from a star studded credential as a development expert, Shekarau would be facing challenge for the PDP ticket from the former governor of the neighboring state of Jigawa, Sule Lamido, had also sent a letter of notification to PDP leaders and members on his interest and readiness to run for the presidency in 2019.
Equally in the race is Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, who has declared interest in running for the position despite the fact that the party has zoned the position to the North.
What makes the Shekarau bid more interesting is that he is ethnically related to Nigeria’s north east where his parents came from originally and as a region, always felt shortchanged each time the presidential pendulum swings north.
The north west usually grabs it, to the detriment of the north east and north central.
As a unique point, Ibrahim Shekarau of the then ANPP which later metamorphosed into the ruling APC today, and had once fielded Muhammadu Buhari as a presidential candidate in 2007 and 2011.
But when Rabiu Kwankwaso decamped from the PDP in a rebellious move to the APC and feeling that he could not politically co-habit with his predecessor who also became his successor in the same party because of their differences, he left the APC to the PDP in reverse decampment.
Shekarau grew up in the Giginyu area of Nassarawa quarters, Kano, a state he later governed having been adopted by the largely Hausa speaking people of Kano as one of their own.
Shekarau is expected to leverage on his north east ethnicity and his north west acceptability to pose a credible challenge to the power base of the dominant Fulani minority clan that has always maneuvered their way to present most of Nigeria’s leadership from the north.