The recent defection of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) members from Kaduna State and the Northwest zone has reportedly caused disquiet in the political camp of Vice President Namadi Sambo, who since 2011, has struggled to prove his political mettle to no avail as the opposition gains more ground every day in its quest to maintain a solid grip of a zone considered to have the highest voting power in the entire North.
The zone comprises of Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto States.
Sambo was until his elevation to the position of vice president, governor of Kaduna State.
His party, the PDP, recently lost Governors Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto) and Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and members of the House of Representatives from both states to the APC.
The dust had barely settled when Sambo’s home-base of Kaduna during the week, lost a former chairman of PDP in the state, Alhaji Yaro Audi Makama, who led 74 high profile members of the party, including seven former members of the state House of Assembly on an exodus to the APC.
A former governorship aspirant and finance commissioner in the administration of Gov. Ahmed Makarfi, Alhaji Suleiman Hunkuyi, has also left PDP for APC.
But amid all the gale of defection that has hit the PDP, Vice President Sambo has declared that he is not losing any sleep even as he held a series of marathon meetings on Christmas Day with some power brokers in the North on how to retain his grip on Kaduna State and improve the declining fortunes of the party in the Northwest zone.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Media, Alhaji Umar Sani, Sambo said the defection was not a “real loss”.
The media aide also confirmed the meeting with some power brokers on Wednesday night but insisted that it was routine and had nothing to do with the latest round of defections.
Sani said: “The defection was not a loss to the party or the VP in any way. But nobody or party will be happy to lose its members no matter how insignificant they are.
“Even in politics, nuisance value is important. Their absence however will not be felt. They were mere faces; they were not field members of the party.
“For instance, Ibrahim Yaro is physically incapacitated; he cannot win much political mileage. Also, Sule Buba was an Ambassador outside Nigeria and when he came back, he was given appointment at the pilgrims board by the late Governor Patrick Yakowa which did not last three months. The former PDP chairman, Makama, is also not a threat.
“The irony is that the biological children of all these people who defected are still in PDP. This shows that they cannot even win votes or sympathy for the new party in their homes.
“If a leader like Husseini Jallo leaves the party, one can get worried. But those who left were paperweight politicians.
Responding to a question, Sani added: “Those people were not loyalists of the VP; they were only political associates”.
He insisted that Sambo was not disturbed by the defection, saying: “We are not losing sleep at all. The VP is not shaken in any manner”.
When quizzed on why the VP met with some power brokers at the Villa if he was not truly bothered by recent political happenings in his home state and indeed the Northwest zone, Sani, said: “Politics is about permutations. We are hoping that our fortunes will improve substantially more than it was before.
“The VP is in control. He is always consulting all other stakeholders. He has been doing that. It has been an underground thing. That was why the meeting was held”, he explained.