By Wale Odunsi
A former Kano State Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, is currently in Ondo State.
He arrived in Akure, the state capital, on Saturday.
The former Senator flew in with Abba Kabir Yusuf, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Kano in 2019, and other loyalists.
Other PDP stalwarts, including national and state executive officers, serving and former governors, lawmakers and ministers, will storm Ondo as from Sunday.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is being expected.
Kwankwaso is regarded as one of Nigeria’s biggest grassroots mobilizers.
Sources say he is interested in running for the presidency again in 2023 and is trying to make points with his full participation in elections.
This might be one of the reasons the supporters of Atiku – also eyeing the 2023 presidency – urged him to return from Dubai.
Like he did ahead of the Edo election won by Governor Godwin Obaseki, Kwankwaso will meet the Northern community in Ondo.
PDP governorship candidate for the election, Eyitayo Jegede, is expected to attend.
Kwankwaso commands a large following in Kano; his supporters spread across and outside the North-West region.
The political machine of the former Defence Minister is Kwankwasiyya, coined from his name.
In September 2018, when he met PDP delegates in Lagos during his nationwide tour in the build-up to the presidential primaries, Kwankwaso announced that the movement’s membership in Kano had passed 2.5 million.
PDP’s Jegede, a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, will slug it out with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The poll has been fixed for Saturday, October 10, 2020.
Also in the race is Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi, governorship candidate of the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP).
Interestingly, former Governor, Segun Mimiko, who Jegede served under, is ZLP National Leader.
Jegede, Mimiko’s protégé, was PDP flag bearer in the 2016 election. Nigerians will soon find out if he’ll be lucky this time.
Permutations are reportedly ongoing for the ZLP to join forces with the PDP to dethrone the APC.