The former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and ex-Governor of Kano State Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, recently convened in Abuja for a meeting of significance.
The gathering occurred at the residence of Kwankwaso, who holds a leadership role in the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), on the evening of Tuesday. Kwankwaso took to his Facebook page to confirm the meeting, expressing, “I had the pleasure of hosting my compatriot, the former Vice President, His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at my residence this evening. I extend my gratitude to Waziri for this fraternal visit. – RMK.”
Though specific details about the meeting have been kept under wraps by those in close proximity to the two leaders, there is an emerging consensus that it may be linked to the nation’s political landscape and recent occurrences.
Before his official assumption of office, President Bola Tinubu from the All-Progressives Congress (APC) engaged in discussions with Kwankwaso, his rival from the NNPP, regarding potential collaboration. Sources indicate that the president was considering a Government of National Unity and had contemplated including Kwankwaso and some of his associates in his administration.
Despite these deliberations, Kwankwaso and his known associates did not make it onto the ministerial roster, while Abdullahi Ganduje, the immediate past governor of Kano and a prominent adversary of Kwankwaso, exerted influence in the cabinet.
After the meeting between Tinubu and Kwankwaso, Ganduje expressed concerns, voicing a sense of abandonment. In a leaked conversation, Ganduje was overheard telling Alhaji Ibrahim Masari, one of Tinubu’s aides, about the uproar in Kano surrounding the meeting. Ganduje was heard saying, “What could I have told him? Now he (Tinubu) is seeing Kwankwaso as an alternative to us? No problem. Because we don’t have a government? And it is even because of him (Tinubu) that we lost the government. Even if he would see him (Kwankwaso), he ought to have called us too. Or don’t you understand, even if symbolically.”
Subsequently, Ganduje’s stance shifted in the following weeks as he aligned himself with Tinubu’s camp. He ascended to the position of National Chairman within the ruling party and played a role in nominating a replacement for Maryam Shetty, whose nomination was rescinded to accommodate Ganduje’s former commissioner in Tinubu’s cabinet.
Prior to the elections, Atiku and his allies had attempted to forge a political coalition with Kwankwaso against the APC and its presidential candidate, but these efforts fell through. While a source close to the former Vice President conveyed that the recent meeting was merely a fraternal exchange, forthcoming days will unveil whether a new political alliance is being discreetly cultivated.
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