A prominent governor in northern Nigeria on Wednesday dumped President Muhammadu Buhari’s All Progressives Congress for the opposition, in the latest defection to hit the ruling party.
Sokoto governor Aminu Tambuwal helped Buhari secure victory in 2015 but decided to rejoin the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) amid rising dissatisfaction with the president’s leadership.
“I have consulted widely especially with the people of Sokoto and they have confidently assured me of my next political move,” Tambuwal said on Twitter.
“I hereby defect officially to the @OfficialPDPNig. Power to the People,” the governor announced to celebrating supporters in the state capital.
Tambuwal, a former speaker of the House of Representatives was a prominent PDP member before he left the party along with four PDP governors in 2014.
He was instrumental in Buhari’s victory over president Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election.
Tambuwal is rumoured to be eyeing the presidency, but he has not made it public.
His defection comes a day after Bukola Saraki, the senate president, and current Kwara state governor Abdulfatai Ahmed quit the ruling party for PDP following irreconciliable differences with Buhari’s administration.
Saraki loyalist and APC spokesperson Bolaji Abdullahi also quit the party on Wednesday.
“Politics is local, and my personal stake in the issue of Kwara makes it incongruous for me to continue to sit as part of the working committee of the party,” he said in a statement.
“Clearly, I cannot continue to function as the spokesperson of a party whose expectation of that role is incompatible with my personal principles,” he added.
Last week, Governor Samuel Ortom of the central state of Benue ditched the APC over the government’s poor handling of farmer-herder violence which has claimed at least 1 300 lives since January.
Ortom’s defection came after dozens of federal lawmakers dumped the APC for the PDP in a sign of growing discontent at Buhari’s leadership as elections approach.
Buhari, 75, is seeking a second, four-year term in elections set for February, despite claims he is too old and questions about his health following a lengthy, undisclosed illness.
The former military ruler has also been criticised for his handling of rising violence as well as the alleged used of security services to target his perceived political opponents.
– News 24