Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has dismissed the fears that President Muhammadu Buhari’s electoral value would diminish if the aggrieved members of the New Peoples Democratic Party pull out of the ruling All Progressives Congress government.
In an interview with State House correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday, El-Rufai said President Buhari would be re-elected with or without the threatening former PDP members.
He said: “I don’t agree and I want to go back to 2003.
“What are we talking about?
“Who are these new PDP people that are threatening?
“This is Kwara, Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Rivers but I don’t think (Minister of Transportation, Rotimi) Amaechi is part of them.
“So let’s take these four states, go back to 2003 and check.
“Buhari then under ANPP (All Nigeria Peoples Party) won in all these four states.
“Go back to 2007, Buhari won in these four states.
“Even when (former Governor of Kano State, Ibrahim) Shakarau was running as a presidential candidate in 2011, Buhari defeated him in Kano.
“And, I have no doubt in my mind that even if the people threatening to leave, leave, it will have absolutely no impact on the presidential elections.
“The president will win Sokoto, Kwara and Adamawa easily.
“Kano is already in the bag.
“I mean if you saw the crowd that welcome the President without the former governor (Rabiu) Kwankwaso.
“Kano has always been the President’s base.
“To me that is not the issue.
“The issue is that they have written, they have expressed grievances, some of the grievances are legitimate and should be looked into.
“But to threaten to leave the party is neither here nor there.
“If they are honest with themselves, they know that President Buhari will win those states with or without them.”
El-Rufa’i visited the State House on Tuesday to update Buhari on the outcome of last Saturday’s Local Government election in his state and the use of electronic voting system during the exercise.
It was the first time a state adopted the use of electronic machines to conduct elections in Nigeria.