Defection rumours in Jigawa APC after governor invites Tambuwal to commission projects

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A controversy is trailing the invitation of Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambawul, by his Jigawa counterpart, Muhammad Badaru, to commission roads and housing projects in Jigawa on Friday.

Mr Tambuwal defected in 2018 from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while Mr Badaru was reelected governor on APC ticket in 2019.

Mr Badaru’s new media aide, Auwal Sankara, in a statement on Thursday, said Mr Tambuwal had been invited to commission a 744-unit housing estate and township roads in Dutse, the Jigawa State capital.

The development caused disquiet among members of the APC on social media amid a speculation that the Jigawa governor would defect to the PDP.

On Friday, the Jigawa governor had said he had no regret in inviting Mr Tambuwal while responding to the speculations.

But a former APC chairperson in Jigawa, Habibu Sara, who is in a faction of the party at odds with Mr Badaru, accused the governor of planning to sabotage the party’s success in the 2023 general elections.

He described Mr Badaru inviting his counterpart from the PDP as shocking. He said party leaders were carefully watching things unfold and would speak out in due time.

Also, Faisal Jazuli, an APC chieftain from Kazaure, said Mr Tambuwal’s invitation had sent a wrong signal to party faithful in the state.

Mr Jazuli said the development would strengthen the suspicion that the governor was keen on sabotaging the APC in Jigawa.

“The governor should have invited an APC governor from a neighboring state or any of its leader to commission the project. Many party members are demoralised with the development because the invited guest comes from the opposition,” Mr Jazuli said.

“We urge the governor to come out and address party members and reaffirm his loyalty to the party and also to disassociate himself from accusations linking him to PDP. With this, he will bury the rumour that he is planing to dump the party,” Mr Jazuli added.

Responding to the allegations, Mr Badaru said he had no regret inviting Mr Tambuwal despite their party differences.

No regret inviting PDP governor – Badaru
Responding to the allegations, Mr Badaru said he had no regret inviting Mr Tambuwal despite their party differences.

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Mr Badaru said he had defended his action before the party leaders who expressed worry about the invitation.

The governor said he also received many phone calls from people outside the state asking, ‘Badaru why inviting Mr Tambuwal?’ “I replied them that he is a good man and he deserves our respect in Jigawa, because we are doing politics without bitterness.

“I did no wrong inviting him being a PDP colleague, we are friends, it is about friendship and respect. That’s how I defended myself from those questioning my action,” the governor said at the commissioning ceremony.

“I can’t change my friends or family because of political differences. Also, I cannot be arrogant and ignorant of somebody’s development just because of political difference. I have no regret inviting him because honour is given to whom is due,” Mr Badaru said.

PREMIUM TIMES earlier reported how the governor warned the party may lose the 2023 general elections in Jigawa, if the crisis in its state chapter was not checked.

The governor said if the party loses power in the state, he would have nothing to lose as an established businessman.

After Mr Tambuwal commissioned the projects, he left for the country home of former Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido, in Bamaina in Birnin Kudu Local Government Area of the state.

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