National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Abdullahi Umar Gnaduje, has blamed the late move by the founder of New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Senator Musa Kwankwaso for the defeat of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Court of Appeal and the Elections Petitions Tribunal.
According to Ganduje, Senator Kwankwaso desperate bid to run for the presidency made him leave the Peoples Democratic Party for NNPP with his supporters like Gov. Yusuf too late in the day.
Reacting to the Appeal Court judgement, Ganduje opined that Kwankwaso was so desperate to become president that he did not notice INEC had closed accepting nomination forms, when he joined the NNPP.
“They were in PDP and when the crisis heated up and they were punched repeatedly they left the party and started groping for a platform. Unfortunately, they ran into a political party symbolizing fruits. They were given tickets because their leader was daydreaming; their leader was ambitious to be the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but he was frightened.”
“And because they desperately wanted a governor in Kano State, the party gave them a ticket to contest. But they made a serious blunder because when they joined the party, INEC had closed submission of nomination forms. But they were blind and uneducated. They went into the ring without making careful observation of this.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the governor, who ran under the platform of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), winner of the March 18 election, but the APC rejected the result and headed for the tribunal.
The lower court had voided 165,663 votes of Yusuf on the grounds that they were not signed or stamped by INEC.
The governor’s votes were then reduced to 853,939 while those of Nasir Ganuwa, his APC rival, remained at 890,705.
NNPP and Governor Yusuf had challenged the ruling at the Appeal Court, but still lost. The court held that Yusuf was not a member of the party under which he contested.