For three days, Vice-President Namadi Sambo relocated to Kaduna to meet with the Peoples Democratic Party leaders in the North West to save the party from losing to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Sambo was jolted by the erosion of his political base in Kaduna North by the APC.
But the VP said he was not threatened by the defection of PDP chieftains to the APC in his backyard.
Investigation, however, showed that contrary to his tough stance, Sambo spent the Christmas period to invite PDP leaders from Kano, Zamfara and Sokoto states to save his zone from being won by the APC in 2015.
Out of the five governors who defected to the APC, two(Governors Rabiu Kwankwaso and Aliyu Wammako) are from the North West.
It was learnt that Sambo was worried that the votes from Kano alone are enough to cause a major upset for the PDP.
In 2011, while President Goodluck Jonathan secured about 400,00 votes, the former CPC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, got more than 1.6million votes.
It was only in Kano in the North West that Jonathan could not secure 25 per cent of the votes cast.
Findings revealed that with Kano and Sokoto states governors in the APC, the unpredictable direction of Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and the influence of the APC in Zamfara State, Sambo’s mind was not at rest.
The development made him meet with over 100 party leaders in Kaduna from Monday to Wednesday to save his zone from losing to the APC.
Some of those he met were ex-Speaker Ghali Na’aba, Amb. Aminu Wali, Senator Hamisu Musa, former governors of the old Sokoto State Garba Nadama and Yahaya Abdulkarim, former Governor of Zamfara State Aliyu Shinkafi, a former Military Administrator of Nasarawa State, Col Bala Mande.
Others were the Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Mukhtar Shagari; Amb MZ Anka; Amb Bashir Yuguda; Hon Bello Maradun Matawalle; Amb Jabbi Maradun; Alh Isa Mayana; Alh Bello Usman Tafidan Gusau; Hon Ahmed Ibrahim;Minority Leader House of Assembly, Sule Belo; Ibrahim Mallaha; Yusuf Ciroman Anka; former Speaker of Zamfara State House of Assembly, Barr Bature Sambo Gusau.
Also at the session were Alh. Arzika Tambuwal, Hon. Ahmed Mohammed Gusau, Sen. Abdallah Wali, Sen. Abubakar Gada, Sen. Garba Ilah Gada, Sen. Ladan Shuni, Alh. Yusuf Suleiman, Alh. Bello Dange, Alh. Abdullahi Kiro Yabo, Arc. Aliyu Muhammad, Alh. Mahe Dange, Alh. Umaru Gwadabawa, Alh. Muhtari Aliyu, Alh. Magajin Kojiyo, Alh. Umaru Garkuwan Sifawa, Alh. Abubakar Saidu Sifawa, Alh. Umaru Falke Tambuwal, Alh. Aminu Hurumi Tafidan Sifawa, Alh. Bello Abdullahi, Hon. Bello Yahaya Wurno, Alh. Abubakar Makame, Alh. Tamabri Abdullahi, Haj. Rabi Giyawa and Haj. Maryam Kende, amongst others.
A reliable source in most of the sessions between Monday and Wednesday said: “The VP was really troubled by the trend in the North West and he pleaded with the leaders to assist him to check APC menace.
“One could notice that the presidency was just uncomfortable with the defection of some of the governors. I think Sambo is under pressure to deliver his zone to justify his being a running mate.
“The imminent loss of Kano and Sokoto states appeared to have given him sleepless nights because apart from Rivers and Lagos states, Kano State is one of the electoral bases with huge votes.
“He said he did his best to prevent the defection of the PDP governors in the zone to the APC but they opted to go.
“He also unfolded plans to strengthen the party and empower PDP leaders from the grassroots to the state level.”
The source said one of the issues that came up was how to woo ex-Governor Ibrahim Shekarau into the PDP to checkmate the APC in Kano State.
“I think it was obvious to the leaders at the meeting that they were incapable of curtailing APC Tsunami in Kano State.
“This is why they are looking for more leaders to join forces against the APC,”the source said.
Another source said some leaders also spoke of being marginalized in the scheme of things.
“Some of the leaders were unhappy that they were invited at the hour of need. They expressed fears that they might be dumped after being used.
“The VP, however, promised a sense of belonging for all in the party. He was virtually suing for peace and harmony. The APC is really tormenting everyone in this zone,”the source said.
When contacted, the spokesman for the VP, Alhaji Umar Sani, said: “The VP did not relocate to Kaduna because of defection from the PDP to the APC; he just went for Christmas.
“The real reason for the meeting was at the instance of PDP leaders in the three states. It was not that the VP invited them for the meeting.
“The three states that had no governors on the platform of the PDP decided to come and brief the VP on the political situation in their states. You know since the governors in Sokoto, Zamfara and Kano are no longer from the PDP, the VP as the leader of the zone automatically fills the vacuum.”
Responding to a question, Sani added: “The VP is not threatened at all. If he was threatened, he would have started consultations with his state(Kaduna) where you hear the noise of defections.
“The noises you are hearing from Kaduna were based on false reports. Only 13 defected from the PDP to the APC in Kaduna North and we have received more than 500 defectors into the PDP.”
Asked of the essence of the meeting, Sani said: “The VP wanted to know the situation and how the PDP leaders can revamp the party in the affected three states. He met with these leaders on how to fill some lacunas.
“He also had audience with these leaders to update development in their states and give the National Executive Committee meeting of the PDP a comprehensive brief next week.
“The VP cannot fold his arms and watch the events in the three states unchecked. If he does, they will accuse him of not giving them purposeful leadership.”
Meanwhile, the PDP stakeholders from the North West Zone have expressed their confidence and total support of the leadership of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The PDP stakeholders, comprising members from the National Working Committee of the Party, State and Zonal EXCO, party elders, legislators and members of state and federal executives, from Kano, Zamfara and Sokoto states, made the declaration in a press release after they paid a courtesy call on the Vice President Sambo yesterday in the Hassan Usman Katsina House Kaduna.
The stakeholders, who said they were in Kaduna to felicitate with the vice president on the occasion of the year 2014 and to brief him on the political situation in their various states, expressed their willingness to “further develop more strategies and tactics so as to forge a common front to ensure peaceful political activities and compliance to due process.”