The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, on Saturday, held talks with the immediate past Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, on his presidential aspiration and plans for Nigeria.
In a tweet on Saturday evening, Mr Obi announced, “I met with my dear friend and brother, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. We spent time exchanging views on matters pertaining to national interest, nation-building and broad concept of diversity, education, social inclusion, the economy, consumption and production patterns.
“Quite a constructive engagement. My sincere gratitude to him for the warm reception and insights.”
The LP candidate’s meeting with Mr Lamido comes barely two weeks after he met with the incumbent Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero in Kano. He also held talks with the Emir of Gaya, Aliyu Ibrahim.
The meetings are believed to be part of Mr Obi’s moves to make inroads into the core northern states.
Kano has a large voting population
While Mr Obi and members of his “Obidient” movement are making serious impacts in the southern part of the country and the North-central zone, the predominantly Muslim core northern states mainly in the North-west and the North-east geo-political zones of the country have remained their weak links.
The meeting with Mr Lamido and similar others in recent weeks, also appear to be part of the moves by the LP presidential flagbearer to break the ice in the two zones where he is still an unknown candidate or distrusted by many people.
Mr Obi, a former banker and Anambra State governor, is believed to have a chummy relationship with Mr Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
He was among those who openly criticised the deposition of Mr Sanusi as emir of Kano, arguing it was an action that could rub off negatively on, not just the Kano emirate, but Nigeria at large.
He did so in a series of tweets on 11 March, 2020.
Mr Sanusi was controversially deposed as emir of Kano and banished to Nasarawa State by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State on 6 March 2020.
The deposed traditional ruler later left Nasarawa and moved to Lagos State.
“The removal of Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Emir of Kano has impacted more negatively on Nigeria than on the former emir himself. His removal portrays clearly the recklessness of our country today.
“A few weeks ago, while speaking to investors in London, their primary concern about investing in Nigeria was the unceasing lawlessness and insecurity. The recent reckless executive action in Kano further validates their fears.
“We must be better and act better if we seriously plan to play on the global stage,” Mr Obi tweeted at the time.
Vice presidential offer
There were speculations that Mr Obi wanted Mr Sanusi as his running mate for the 25 February election but the former CBN Governor was said not to be favourably disposed to the number two position due to the fact that he is more of spiritual and traditional leader than a politician.
It was also speculated that the former Kano governor and now NNPP presidential candidate, Rabiu Kwankwaso, was also proposed to be the running mate to the LP candidate ostensibly based on the high premium he (Obi) places on their populous state.
Mr Kwankwanso openly repudiated the offer as condescending.
He allegedly scorned the offer based on his reasoning that he was older and more experienced in governance than Mr Obi.