The ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) may have decided to unleash the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on political opponents to intimidate opposition party presidential aspirants in the run up to the 2019 general election.
Following subtle threats from the EFCC, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant and governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Dankwabo, may soon dump his party and defect to the ruling APC. But his defection may be delayed until after the PDP National Convention on October 16.
Reliable sources close to the governor informed THE WHISTLER that Dankwabo had made up his mind to cross over to the APC because of the realization that he may not get the Presidential ticket of the PDP.
“He thinks it is safer for him to join the APC to safe himself the embarrassment of being hounded by the EFCC after leaving office next year, and especially if the APC returns to power,” the source explained.
THE WHISTLER learned that the EFCC was already working on his case and that of some other governors and legislators in opposition parties perceived to be working against the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari.
THE WHISTLER was also reliably informed that the EFCC has opened a file on Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State who defected to the PDP recently and immediately announced his intention to contest for president.
Addressing PDP delegates in Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State on Monday, Tambuwal alleged that the EFCC has become a political tool in the hands of the ruling APC to intimidate opponents. “”No matter how corrupt or bad you are they will clean you and relax your charges and no matter how good you are so long as you are in opposition they will paint you bad,” he said.
The out-going governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose has already been put on the watch-list of the EFCC while the anti-graft agency has also advised other security agencies and the Nigerian Customs Service to stop him from leaving the country through any of the land borders.
Governor Dankwabo announced his intention to run for the presidential ticket of the PDP on August 3 via his twitter handle.
“After wide consultations with party members & Nigerians of diverse backgrounds! I, Dr Ibrahim Hassan Dankwambo will be running for office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party,” he had stated.
He acknowledged that “most people” told him it was “suicidal” to remain in PDP in 2015 because of the Buhari “hurricane” that was sweeping through the North then but boasted that “we survived it.”.
But with a few months remaining for him to complete his second term in office, the maximum a governor could go, a new reality may be setting in.
The governor’s younger brother, Buhari Muhammed Dankwabo announced his defection from the PDP to the APC in September, sparking rumors that Governor Dankwabo may also follow suit.
But barely a day after his announcement, the younger Dankwabo returned to the PDP, citing no reason for his sudden change of heart. But there were speculations that his elder brother prevailed on him fearing it may jeopardize his presidential ambition.