By Mustapha Usman
Supporters of Kwankwasiyya, a political movement loyal to the immediate past governor of Kano State, Rabi’u Kwankwaso have rejected the decision to pick his son-in-law, Abba Yusuf, as People’s Democratic Party, PDP governorship candidate in the state.
Mr Kwankwaso, a serving senator and presidential hopeful under the platform of PDP, had endorsed the Kwankwasiyya candidates for the Senate and governorship positions on Saturday night after a marathon meeting in Kaduna.
However, DAILY NIGERIAN learnt that the choice of Mr Yusuf as the party’s flag bearer for the state’s gubernatorial race drew the ire of many supporters and was roundly rejected by the Kwankwasiyya group.
According to the supporters, the combination of Mr Yusuf and Aminu Abdussalam as his deputy, would not make a formidable force to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in the state.
Speaking, Mu’azu Magaji, a Kwankwasiyya stalwart and PDP governorship aspirant, said the decision took him by surprise and was not happy with it.
According to him, he did not expect Mr Kwankwaso to play the politics of nepotism, for which the Kwankwasiyya supporters criticised President Muhammadu Buhari.
He noted that the choice of Mr Yusuf as the flag bearer of the opposition PDP in the state would be a snag to Mr Kwankwaso’s quest to unseat the incumbent governor of the state, Abdullahi Ganduje.
“We don’t want a situation where we would replicate the politics of ignorance, as being played by Governor Ganduje and politics of nepotism, as exhibited by President Buhari.
“Kwankwaso is a leader that believes in giving equal opportunity for education, youth promotion and entire societal development. In 2015, he did the same by choosing his best political friend, Abdullahi Ganduje, now he has replicated by chosen his son-in-law, Abba Kabir Yusuf.
“This ticket cannot dislodge APC in Kano State. I believe Abba is a very nice person and workaholic, but we want a more formidable combination that would yield a result. We want a politics of fairness, equity and credibility,” Mr Mu’azu emphasised.
He, however, called on Mr Kwankwaso to reverse the decision by picking Mr Abdussalam as the governorship candidate, while Mr Yusuf his running mate.
Another Kwankwasiyya adherent, Adnan Tudunwada expressed sadness over the choice of Mr Yusuf by the PDP leader in Kano.
Mr Tudunwada described the choice as “a wrong choice”, saying that the candidate lacks political prowess to defeat Mr Ganduje in the 2019 election.
“The man is personally arrogant. He will not sell well and to be sincere, he cannot defeat Ganduje in the forthcoming election,” Mr Tudunwada told DAILY NIGERIAN.
“I thought Kwankwaso is serious about defeating APC in Kano State. Abba Kabir Yusuf is not a good politician. He lacks a good relationship with people, especially we, the Kwankwasiyya supporters.
“I am very sad with this decision and I had to call Oga to immediately reverse it if he wants success come 2019,” he disclosed.
But another Kwankwaso supporter, Ibrahim Musa, described the choice of Mr Yusuf as a competent one, noting however that winning election is beyond competence alone.
According to him, there is a need for exhibiting true democratic process in taking such a big political decision in a bid to achieve success in every front.
“Abba is a competent choice, but winning an election is beyond matters of competence alone. You need a consensus of opinion on this. You need the right mix to give a symbol of balance. Optics is vital here in Kano politics that is ruled by mobs. A mob that is driven by emotions,” he said.
He, however, advised Mr Kwankwaso to heed to advice and suggestions from his political associates, saying: “Kwankwaso needs to bend a bit by allowing himself to lose a battle in order to win a war. There are so many frontiers in this fight. He can’t afford to lose his team at this moment.”
But, Auwalu Sani, a Kwankwasiyya member from Dala Local Government area, stated that he is ready to support any candidate fielded by his leader.
Mr Sani said he is a Kwankwasiyya loyalist who believes in leadership by example, stressing that his unflinching loyalty to Mr Kwankwaso would not even tempt him to reject any decision made by the leader.
“We are steadfast followers and we believe in leadership. Kwankwaso has made a right choice for me. I am ready to support any person Oga has fielded.
“I am also hopeful this combination of Abba Kabir Yusuf and Comrade Aminu Abdussalam will give APC a tough time in 2019,” he said.
Mr Sani also noted that the anger that trailed the announcement of Abba Yusuf as the PDP candidate would certainly wear out in the next couple of days.
He argued that all those that earlier rejected the decision would later accept it in the next two days.
However, reacting to the development, a spokesperson to Mr Kwankwaso, Binta Spikin, said she does not think there is resentment in the Kwankwasiyya camp over the decision of Mr Kwankwaso to choose his in-law.
According to her, members of the Kwankwasiyya movement have an unflinching loyalty and obedience to Mr Kwankwaso.
“I am sure this decision is welcomed by all and sundry within Kwankwasiyya. I believe this combination of Abba Kabir Yusuf and Aminu Abdussalam will win the 2019 election.
“Although I am not the spokesperson of Kwankwasiyya, I can assure you that this is a strong combination to defeat APC in Kano,” she stressed.