The National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has said he is willing to accept Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso if he decides to defect to the ruling party.
The former Kano State governor said this was the best time for Kwankwaso to rejoin the party as he had always wished to.
Ganduje disclosed this in a media chat with media organisations in Kano on Saturday night, noting that it would be easier for Kwankwaso to lobby since someone from his state was now in charge.
He said, “Nobody will say Kwankwaso is not a good politician, at least he is a two-term Kano governor, although in disrupted tenures. He was Minister of Defence, even though he doesn’t know what defence is, and was once a senator, even though he never said anything throughout his stay there.
“But, if he is willing to decamp to APC, our door is open, especially now that someone from his state is the party chairman, it will be easier for him to lobby.”
Asked why Kwankwaso’s name was missing in Tinubu’s ministerial nominees, Ganduje said the appointment issue was first heard from Kwankwaso, and not Tinubu himself.
He said, “It is true that President Tinubu promised to run a unity government, and he stood by his words. Nyesom Wike from PDP is now a minister nominee. But Kwankwaso is the one who said he would be given appointment initially, and not the president himself.”
Recall that Ganduje was a deputy when Kwankwaso was Kano’s governor between 1999 and 2003 and between 2011 and 2015. The two political allies, however, parted ways during the first tenure of Ganduje as governor and have since then not been on good political terms.
Why Tinubu changed mind on Shetty
Meanwhile, Ganduje has revealed that President Tinubu changed his mind on the appointment of Maryam Shetty after the social media outcry that greeted her nomination.
Tinubu had on Wednesday submitted the name of Shetty, from Kano State, alongside 18 others as ministerial nominees to the Senate.
Shetty’s nomination, however, sparked controversies, especially on social media, and she was dropped and replaced with Mariya Mahmud Bunkure, a commissioner in Ganduje’s administration.
Ganduje said it was the social media reactions that led Tinubu to change his mind about the nomination.
He said, “When she was first appointed on Wednesday, people seriously reacted on social media, and, you know, these platforms are very powerful. So, he (Tinubu) called me and asked whether I was the one who recommended her name and I told him no.
“He then asked me if I knew her well, to which I told him not that much. He then asked who then smuggled her name if it wasn’t from me.
“That was when he decided to replace her and asked for a replacement of another female nominee because he has a certain percentage of females he wants in his cabinet. So, we recommended Dr Mariya for him since we worked with her as a commissioner and we have seen her capacity.”