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Tinubu, Kwankwaso Meet in France, Ex-Kano Governor May Join Government of National Unity

President-elect allegedly proposed reconciling current Kano Governor Ganduje and his predecessor.

More details have emerged on Monday’s meeting, reportedly, in Paris between President-elect Bola Tinubu and leader of New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Rabiu Kwankwaso. A House of Representatives member-elect from Kano State, Abdulmumin Jibrin, was said to be at the centre of it all.

Although details of the meeting were still sketchy at the time of filing this report on Tuesday night, THISDAY reliably gathered that it was largely brokered by Jibril, a close associate of Kwankwaso and the first Director General of Tinubu’s presidential campaign. Jibrin had resigned from that position to join the then fledgling NNPP under which he contested and won a return to the House of Representatives in the February 25 elections. 

A source, who pleaded anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said Jibrin’s relationship with both Tinubu and Kwankwaso provided him the vantage position to broker the meeting.

“Yes, he was in the middle of it, don’t forget Kwankwaso is his political mentor and, of course, he was Tinubu’s first campaign DG,” the source said of Jibril. “So, he was able to broker rapprochement between them after some calls back and forth, a deal was reached that culminated in the meeting in France,” the source added.

After the meeting, which some allies of the two political leaders believed to be privy to the discussions described as successful, Kwankwaso was said to have agreed to work with Tinubu and be part of his proposed Government of National Unity (GNU). 

In addition, THISDAY gathered that one of the highpoints of the meeting was a proposal by Tinubu to reconcile the outgoing Kano State Governor, Abdulahi Ganduje, and Kwankwaso. The two men had fallen out about eight years ago, after Ganduje succeeded Kwankwaso.

A source, who was privy to the meeting, said Kwankwaso’s wife and Jibrin accompanied the former Kano State governor to the meeting, while Tinubu’s wife and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, were also part of the meeting.

The meeting, it was gathered, started about 12.30pm and ended about 4.45pm on Monday.

The source said, “The president-elect and Senator Kwankwaso met for over four hours behind closed doors in Paris on Monday.

“Senator Oluremi Tinubu was also there to receive Kwankwaso’s wife, Hajia Salamatu, who came with her husband.

“Discussions were centered around their long term friendship since their days in the National Assembly in 1992, national unity and development, priorities for the new government, National Assembly contests, and the plan by the president-elect for a government of national unity, which Kwankwaso has in principle accepted to join.”

It was gathered that Tinubu told Kwankwaso to reach out to his political associates on the need to work together, as they later agreed to hold subsequent meetings.

The source revealed that Tinubu also hinted at reconciling Ganduje and Kwankwaso.

Ganduje succeeded Kwankwaso in 2015, but the duo, who had been together for about 15 years, fell apart shortly after.

Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

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