Despite still in the 2023 Presidential race under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Sokoto State, Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s ambitions of clinching the state’s South Senatorial District seat at the National Assembly when he leaves office in 2023 may have upset the political balance in the state.
The move by the governor may have also forced the defection, Wednesday, of the current Deputy Minority Whip of the Senate, Ibrahim Danbaba, to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Both Danbaba and Tambuwal are from the same senatorial zone of Sokoto South.
Tambuwal is believed to have one hand on the ticket which he seeks to secure if his Presidential quest falls flat, as it is looking to, following the decision of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), last Friday, to cede the Presidential slots to the Bauchi Governor, Bala Mohammed and former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, as its flagbearers, while crashing the ambitions of Atiku Abubakar and Tambuwal.
Tambuwal who has already purchased the Presidential Nomination forms of the PDP to contest the position in 2023, is also reported to have also acquired the senatorial forms for the Sokoto South zone.
Fearing his chances of retaining his seat at the senate on the platform of the ruling PDP in Sokoto State, Danbaba defected to the APC which had promised him the ticket in 2023.
The lawmaker’s decision to join to the APC was conveyed in a letter read at the start of plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday.
Danbaba was nominated by the PDP on July 15, 2021 for the position of Deputy Minority Whip following the defection of the former Deputy Whip, Senator Sahabi Alhaji Ya’u, representing Zamfara North Senatorial District, from the PDP to the APC.
Danbaba’s defection brings the total number of APC Senators in the upper chamber to 71, and PDP 37.
The lawmaker, in his letter, explained that his decision to leave the PDP was informed by the lingering and multifaceted crisis at the zonal level.
Senator Danbaba’s letter reads: “I write to formally inform you and distinguished colleagues of my decision to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
“My decision is anchored on the continuing multifaceted crisis that have bedeviled the PDP, especially at the zonal level which has created not only credibility problems, but has undermined party discipline, cohesion and focus.
“The situation at the state level has not helped matters either as depicted by lack of political sanity, focus and credible leadership.
“I have in APC, the political ideology in consonance with my personal political philosophy. This Ideology also seems the best suited to meet the expectations and aspirations of my constituents.
“While thanking you, Mr. President, please, accept the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Attempts by Senators Philip Aduda (PDP, FCT) and Lilian Uche Ekwunife (PDP, Anambra Central) to rely on point of orders to stop Danbaba’s defection were unsuccessful as the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, ruled them out of order.
Senate Ekwunife, while relying on the provisions of Section 68(g) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), requested that Danbaba’s seat be declared vacant.
Lawan, however, explained that the reasons advanced by Senator Danbaba were valid and excusable under the law.