•Ex-VP donates N50m to victims of banditry
Francis Sardauna in Katsina
Former Katsina State Governor, Ibrahim Shehu Shema and 10 out of the 14-member working committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, boycotted the mega rally of the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku Abubakar in the state.
HISDAY discovered at the Muhammadu Dikko stadium, venue of the rally, that 19 out of the 34 local government chairmen of the opposition PDP, believed to be loyalists of Shema, were also absent at the event.
This is as Atiku, has donated the sum of N50 million to victims of banditry in Katsina state.
However, Shema, who has been holding series of meetings with critical stakeholders at his residence in Katsina over the 2023 elections, might work against the state governorship candidate of the party, Senator Yakubu Lado Danmarke, because of their long-standing feud.
Also, a former chairman of the party, Hon. Salisu Yusuf Majigiri and the embattled acting chairman of the party, Alhaji Salisu Uli as well as their teeming supporters shunned the PDP mega rally.
Their reasons for boycotting the campaign rally, THISDAY gathered, might not be unconnected with the leadership tussle rocking the party in the state that apparently metamorphosed into factions.
Reacting to the development in a telephone interview, Salisu Uli, said they boycotted the rally, because of the “disrespect” accorded to the leader of the party (Shema) by the governorship candidate.
“I want to inform you that 10 out of the 14 state working committee members of our party as well as 19 out of the 34 local government chairmen have boycotted today’s (Tuesday) rally because Lado and his supporters have disrespected the leader of the party, Ibrahim Shehu Shema,” he said.
Asked whether they were in support of Atiku, Uli said: “We are fully in support of our presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and we are going to vote for him in 2023.”
But the state chairman of the PDP presidential and governorship campaign, Ibrahim Umar-Tsauri, told journalists at a press conference on Sunday that the party remained one united big family and was ready to unseat the ruling APC in the state.
Also, the immediate past Secretary to the State Government, Dr Mustapha Muhammad Inuwa, who is the director-general of the campaign council, claimed they have resolved their 8-year-old feud with the erstwhile governor, Shema.
Meanwhile, Atiku announced the N50 million donation, yesterday, when he paid homage to the Emir of Katsina, Dr. Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, at his Palace in Katsina, the state capital.
Atiku, who was in Katsina in continuation of his campaign, was accompanied by his running mate and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa; National Chairman of the PDP, Senator Iyorchia Ayu; Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal; former Governors of Niger, Kano, Jigawa and Kaduna, Aliyu Babangida, Ibrahim Shekarau, Sule Lamido, Ahmed Maikarfi, among others to the emir’ palace.
He sympathised with the people of Katsina and other northern states over the spate of insecurity and other challenges bedevilling the region, and vowed to eradicate the security and economic challenges bedevilling the region if elected president of the country in the forthcoming 2023 general election.
“I sympathise with the people of Katsina and other northern states that are facing security and economic challenges. I want to assure you that if elected as president of Nigeria I will end all these challenges.
“On behalf of myself, I donate the sum of N50 million to victims of banditry in the state, who have relocated to other places as a result of bandits attacks in their communities.”
Responding, the emir lamented the upsurge of insecurity in the country, adding that the emirate would support only a candidate with vision to tackle the challenges afflicting the nation.