Kano Central: Kwankwaso dodged Shekarau to avoid humiliation and political extinction
When the self-centered and illusionist political giant Dr Rabiu Kwankwaso lost PDP presidential primary election, is no gainsaying that the whole world saw how devastated he was.
He portrayed the look of down casted and prostrated individual. Never in the history has the world witness this appearance from the presumed lionhearted and arrogant politician.
The political brouhaha that erupted during the primary election was witnessed by the global world.
Well the rest is history. Then a politician like him is known to be the one who never lay-low and therefore expect to bounce back within a blink of eye.
To once again gain political relevance and lives to fight another day, he just has to continue to be into the centre of corridor of power as he is used to.
The ultimate should be the Upper Chamber, the Senate of the Federal Republican where he is currently serving as a member.
That’s the norm in Nigerian politics, is the place where all power political elites, be it former governors, senators all run for cover to continue being relevance or at least to safeguard their ill-gotten-loot.
Therefore, the general assumption of everyone was that the same Kwankwaso will easily go back to retain his exalted seat having also pocketed the opposition party PDP by using deceit, fail promises and money power to frustrated and sent the pillars of the party to decamped and safeguard their integrity. Then what’s on earth will stop him from taking that action? Simple and the answer are quite obvious. His political miscalculation led him to dug his grave. It’s led to emergence of his arch rival and political albatross, the powerful Sardauna, two time governor and former minister as his opponent for the seat. PITY. Sardauna was two time governor of the state and also a former minister during last PDP administration. Also a former ANPP presidential candidate who contested with the current Head of State. He has a strong political base and massive fellowship among millions of people in the state and beyond. The rivalry and long existing acrimony between the two political giants was well known and documented. There is no need to elucidate more.
When Sardauna was on the saddle of power as a state governor, he effectively used that opportunity to smelted his name in gold in the anal of history of Kano state. His secret was simply his unprecedented achievements during his two terms on the saddle and his policy that centered on human development endeared him to many. No disputing the fact that in the history of the state, no government has developed human capacity and disbursed resources to its logical destination like his administration. Local government funds goes direct to their coffers without any intrusion. Funds are available in all ministries to execute projects base on trust. That’s naturally led to financial power among populace. With honesty and probing integrity, coupled with fear of God, Mallam Shekarau become a force to reckon with any time any day.
Kwankwaso was also a two time governor of the state and former minister. A recently defeated candidate at primary election of PDP by Atiku, he has on his own part performed credibly well despite the massive looting and over inflated allegations that accompanied his tenure.
A former assumed Godfather of the state governor Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the man is known to love power and knows how to probe the popular slogan of “power corrupt, and absolute power corrupted absolutely” ..
Called him a power monger who love to exhibit a self-centered attitudes beclouded by arrogance and feeling of overflowing egocentric nature. He is fond of calling shot and decided what oath to be done according to his whips and caprice, irrespective of its logical consequences.
A former boss of the current governor when the later was his deputy, their bond was very tight especially on the surface, with privileges of being his two times deputy during their tenure, he believed that his annotated deputy shall be answerable to him and shall be allow to run the government from Abuja. No wonder it doesn’t comes to out of blues when the things fall apart between the two political allies less than a year of the present administration calendar. No need to dwell on what led to the fracas, been a well-known incident, what matters was how the wounded Kwankwaso sworn to unseat his former deputy and installed one he can remote-control from his bedroom.
The assumed political giant has a popular group of loyalist called Kwankwassiyya movement which is an existing illegal institute within lawful institute.. The governor and almost all his cabinets members and followers were all former members of the said movement which are easily identified with red cap as a symbol. It is a kind of taboo for any member to mingle with colour of cap part from red no matter the nature of the dress.
As a senator in the same party with his estrange son, made him fight hard to gain control of the party and in the process render the governor defenseless and at his mercy. Dirty politicking erupted that led to several confrontations, but in the end the governor won, and since then the all powerful Kwankwaso begins to nurse idea of decamping to the former party he once curse and abuse at any giving opportunity. But when it comes to power struggle, morality hardly existed in Kwankwaso’s dictionary of politics.
Kwankwaso also nursed ambition to be president be it for real or political trade up. One can’t say precisely. As a member of the ruling party then, he and others who nursed the same ambition quickly realizes that the president was not willing to serve only one term as they initially assumed, and as such anyone who is consumed with the said dream realized that the decamping to other parties will be the only alternative left for them. As it has becomes a norm in our political equation that no party member dare challenge a sitting president from the same party. In that case many of his kind decided to decamp.
Kwankwaso was then facing two greatest dilemmas. Having no chance to challenge the president was one obstacle, but most irritating and annoying was his inability to take control of the party at state level. The state governor political sagacity ensured that he gained an upper hand which in the long run all Kwankwaso loyalists were stripped from appointed position and influence.
The governor victory over his former boss doesn’t come on the platter of gold. It was after several intrigues and political confrontation from all angles. Having realized that all his political calculation in APC has crushed, he took the last option and decamped to PDP as the only option left.
At times he joined PDP, the party was under the control of three powerful and probing politician; namely Senator Aminu Wali, Senator Bello Hayatu and the all powerful Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau. His decamping to join those heavyweights caused jittery and sleepless night to the ruling party at both state and national level. In fact, not few people perceived it to be the end of APC in Kano going by the caliber of the personalities involved. But true to his nature, Kwankwaso once more displayed his egocentric nature, uncompromising and arrogantly insisted that he will be the one in control as such everyone has to dance to his tune. What transpired was well-known issues that need not to be elaborate.
The ruling party who were watching the event with keen interest decided to seize the golden opportunity and cajoled Dr Sardauna to joined the party which he was among the initial founding fathers. To convince the world how highly they regarded him, the state governor, the national chairman and high place dignitaries of the party boarded a flight from Abuja and landed at Sardauna mansion. At last he was offered a ticket of senatorial sit of Kano central on the platter of gold, part from other juices appointments that await his lieutenants. To safeguard guard his integrity and unquestionable self discipline, Sardauna accepted and decamped to where he originally belonged.
As for Kwankwaso, having lost the ticket of PDP presidential ticket to Atiku Abubakar, his last option is to retain his senate seat. But to surprised of many, he decided not contest despite the fact that he doll out all elective positions under PDP according to his whips and caprice.
What then stopped him from re-contesting his senate seat ? The answer is quite obvious. The fear of defeat and humiliation. Having painful lost the presidential election; a man like Kwankwaso cannot withstand another defeat. A defeat in the hand of his biggest rival and political enemy will no doubt bring his assumed political dynasty crushing. In fact having known the pedigree of Dr Mallam Shekarau who arguably enjoyed massive fellowship from populace, coupled with his integrity and unblemished record, facing him in another contest will be suicidal move that will be catastrophic if he lost. In order to safeguard his assumed political relevance, staying away from the contest will be the last option for a man who loved to be treated like a demigod.
I can find perhaps the reasons not the rhyme of Kwankwaso endorsement of his personal choice in every available elective post in his conquered party. An endorsement in our own political culture is about two things: money and careful calculation of power grab. His endorsements are not likely to translate into electoral capital. No. It is simply a game. His endorsements are not about the most competence and the most qualified candidate. Is not for what is best for Kano but what is best for a man who considered himself as demigod. Then, what stop him from endorsing himself?
The fear of Shekarau is the beginning of wisdom for a man whom his political relevance if any is dwindling by the day.
Only God knows his next move.
Sharif Aminu Ahlan, Lecturer, Sa’adatu Rimi College of Education, Kano.