The sole surviving member of Sokoto state’s old People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Barrister Mukhtar Shehu Shagari, and former Minister of Water Resources, has officially switched allegiance from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Shagari, who served as a Minister of Water Resources during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, received his APC membership card from the party’s secretary, Abubakar Yabo, alongside other state APC executives.
Having been a founding member of the PDP and the longest-serving Minister of Water Resources in former President Obasanjo’s cabinet for over 25 years, Shagari’s decision to join the APC in August came as a surprise. Critics of his move pointed out the lack of fairness by the national PDP leadership and highlighted his loyalty to the party.
Some also drew comparisons to other PDP contemporaries who had previously left the party, including former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 PDP Presidential candidate, who shifted between ACN, APC, and PDP.
State APC secretary Alhaji Abubakar Yabo confirmed Shagari’s membership in the party, making him an official registered member.
Shagari’s switch to the APC has led to speculation in Sokoto state, with some surprised by his departure from a party he’s long been associated with due to his conservative political ideology.
The membership card of Shagari in the APC reads, “All Progressives Congress APC Justice, Peace, and Unity. Registration Form: ‘Mukhtar Shehu Shagari (CFR) SOKO/SGR/014/26001 dated 27th May 2023.'”
In response to Shagari’s defection, the Sokoto state PDP leadership deemed it a betrayal, expressing disappointment that the former Deputy Governor left the party without his followers. However, they emphasized that the move would not weaken the party or alter its structure in the state. The PDP still remains the main opposition party in Sokoto, with its representatives in the state and national assemblies regarded as strong and reliable advocates for the people of Sokoto state.