A former governor of Kano State, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, said yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari will win the majority votes in the North but will not garner as much votes as he did in 2015.
Shekarau said his prediction was premised on the strength of the opposition PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar who also hails from the North. He, however, said Buhari will ultimately defeat Atiku in the contest.
In an interview with this newspaper on the sidelines of the conference of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) in Ibadan, yesterday, Shekarau, a chieftain of the APC noted that the 2019 election would not be as simple as the 2015 poll.
But with massive mobilization, he said Buhari would win majority votes in the North and ultimately a re-election.
Commenting on the chances of Buhari and Atiku, he said, “I don’t think it is as simple as that. As a practical man, I wouldn’t say that it is totally out of place. You cannot wish away the issue of regional, tribal, religious influences in anything that you do about people. Both of them (Buhari and Atiku) are from the North.
“So I think it is going to be a very tall order in terms of the struggle that decides the votes in the North; there is no doubt about that. Buhari may not necessarily get all of the votes he got in 2015 but we are still very hopeful he is going to have majority votes, I have no doubt about that,” he said.
Shekarau who dumped the PDP for APC recently after the defection of his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, insisted that the national leadership of the PDP practically handed over the leadership of the party to Kwankwaso.
He said he was determined to sacrifice his presidential ambition for peace to reign in Kano State, noting that his members felt cheated by the way they were treated by the PDP leadership.
He said he was today vindicated because the PDP in Kano was currently disintegrated, adding, “A large chunk has left for APC, a large chunk left for PRP (Peoples Redemption Party), and many of them have withdrawn from participating in political activities.
“So what remains of PDP today? Just Kwankwaso and his Kwankwasiyya group and I am sure they are going to regret it in 2019.”
He said he was not certain if Kwankwaso was contesting with him in the Kano Central Senatorial election but noted that he was not a challenge to his aspiration.