Friday, July 1, 2022

Kano PDP governorship tussle: The Kwankwaso ‘choice’ and crack within

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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There is disquiet in the the Kano chapter of the PDP, especially Kwankwasiyya camp, led by a former governor of Kano State Rabiu Kwankwaso over choice of governorship candidate and members of state and National Assembly.

While the other camp led by Aminu Wali, armed with court order, still insists the Mas’ud Doguwa-led state executives are the bona fide party leaders, the Kwankwaso camp is mainly concerned about fielding candidates for election.

The confusion is that both camps sell nomination forms to aspirants.

Following his defection from APC to PDP on July 24, Mr Kwankwaso smoked out former governor Ibrahim Shekarau from the PDP, silenced Aminu Wali and Bello Hayatu, and then effectively took over the control of the party at the state level.

At the instance of Mr Kwankwaso, the national headquarters of the PDP dissolved the state executive committee of the party and appointed a seven-man caretaker committee loyal to him.

Since he took over the control of party, all attention shifted to him as to who gets what in the party.

So far nobody from the camp of Kwankwasiyya obtained nomination form, as it is against the code of conduct the political movement to obtain a form without express clearance of the leader.

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Although the former governor has set up a four-man reconciliation committee to reconcile aspirants vying for state and National Assembly seats, he kept the issue of endorsing governorship candidate to himself.

Members of the committee include Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi, Maliki Kuliya, Umar Doguwa and Hamza Maifata.

Since the resignation of deputy governor of Kano State, Hafiz Abubakar, on August 5, speculations were rife that he would be fielded by the Kwankwaso as the PDP candidate, being the highest-ranking political leader who abdicated his position to join Kwankwaso in PDP.

“The fact of the matter is that Kwankwaso wants to reward his loyal disciples by fielding both governor and deputy from his camp, a decision that did not go down well with members of the old PDP who dumped Shekarau and align with him,” insiders said.

Led by Hamza Maifata, a wealthy business man and former member of the House of Representatives, the camp is currently pressurising Kwankwaso to either field Takai as flag-bearer or, in the least, running mate.

But Kwankwaso appears to have different permutations as reliable sources said he ordered Hafiz Abubakar to prepare to be senator or “something”, while he ordered Takai to represent Kano South at the Senate.

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“Takai did not join Kwankwasiyya to aspire for Senator. We want governorship ticket or running mate, otherwise we will breakaway,” a furious member of the Takai camp told me.

“Kwankwaso cannot eat his cake and have it. A combination of candidate and running mate from Kwankwasiyya camp is a recipe to failure.”

But other observers say that Takai is featherweight without Shekarau as most of his supporters are loyal supporters of his former godfather.

But in the event of dropping Hafiz Abubakar as candidate, inside sources said Kwankwaso may pick from array of Kwankwasiyya hopefuls such as Aminu Abdulsalam, Yusuf Dambatta, Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi, Aminu Dabo, Yunusa Adamu Dangwani or Ahmed Garba Bichi.

Already there is deep resentment in the camp over ‘demotion’ and ‘dropping’ of two of the 10 members of the House of Representatives who followed Kwankwaso to PDP. While a member representing Takai/Sumaila Federal Constituency, Umar Durbunde, was asked to contest for state House of Assembly seat, Shehu Aliyu Yammedi, a member representing Karaye/Rogo was dropped. Also dropped is Yusuf Babangida Dawo-Dawo, one of the six members of the State House of Assembly who stood by Kwankwaso.

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Aminu Wali’s son, Sadiq, who has already obtained his nomination form prior to the crisis, is being considered by Kwankwaso for House of Representatives seat. “Since Kwankwaso reserved judgement of Nassarawa Local Government, it is clear he wants to push it to Sadi Wali. But Sadiq will not accept it,” said insiders.

Political observers argue that Kwankwaso must field a candidate from Kano city to neutralize Ganduje’s incumbency factor and his deputy, Nasiru Gawuna’s formidable grassroots support.

“None among Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi, Aminu Abdulsalam, Yusuf Dambatta, Aminu Dabo, Yunusa Adamu Dangwani and Ahmed Garba Bichi come from Kano city but Hafiz Abubakar,” said a source.

With Hafizu and Takai probably out of the race, Kwankwaso will have to shop a candidate from Kano Central, preferable Kano city, to confront Ganduje-Gawuna-Shekarau combo at the polls.

While others believe Kwankwaso may go the Rochas way by anointing his in-law Abba Kabir Yusuf from Kano city, insiders believe such decision would cause unimaginable political exodus in the camp, and ultimately a loss at the poll.

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