As we approach the much-anticipated 2019 elections, the politics of this country has taken a new dimension as politicians and their godfathers are strategizing and re-strategizing towards the race. It is a struggle between a former governor and his successor in Kano, a long-time friend and a political associate before they parted ways. It was Kwankwaso that anointed Ganduje in 2015 and it is the same Kwankwaso that Ganduje is fighting for, for political reasons.
It has become obviously clear that Governor Ganduje is winning this fight because the idea of imposing/endorsing family members to political positions is difficult to be accepted by independent, experienced and educated people. Though it isn’t unconstitutional, it is difficult to scale through given the kind of society we find ourselves.
When Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state anointed his son-in-law, Uche Nwosu (Ugumba) to succeed him ahead of 2019 gubernatorial bid, against his long-time friend, a political strategist for three decades and Former Deputy, Eze Madumere, he was criticized from all angles over this decision. I was one of those that saw it as too selfish. If not for the intervention of the ‘federal might’, Okorocha could have nearly lost the control of the party structure in his state. Many of his allies abandoned him and criticized his decision of anointing a son-in-law as successor. It is greediness and selfishness, some people described the scenario. Consequently, this impasse cost Eze Madumere his position as deputy governor.
Something similar is happening in the ancient city of Kano, Kwankwaso has chosen to adopt the politics of endorsing in-laws as lawmakers and a governor respectively. Probably, Kwankwaso has failed to learn some lessons. Instead of endorsing an experienced person as gubernatorial aspirant that would be accepted by all, he ended up endorsing his son-in-law, Abba Kabir Yusuf, a former Works Commissioner in the state. Expectedly, this decision was not welcomed by the majority of Kwankwasiyya members and if this endorsement is not reversed, I doubt if Kwankwasiyya political dynasty will survive after losing in 2019.
Going into the election with Abba as a candidate is a gaffe. Let me be the first to congratulate Ganduje for this victory. Kwankwaso has today turned the politics of Kano to a personal affair, apart from Kabir; he has also endorsed his sons-in-law, Mukhtari Yarima and Nasiru Sule Garo for House of Representatives seat against his long-time loyalists, who have suffered day and night promoting the kwankwasiyya ideology with no single Kobo. He abandoned his former Chief of Staff, Yunusa Adamu Dangwani who was detained by men of the DSS for three months for being a staunch and long-time loyalist to the former governor.
He also abandoned Rabiu Sulaiman Bichi that nearly lost his life at Hawan Daushe because of Kwankwasiyya, not forgetting Hafiz Abubakar that resigned his position as Deputy Governor of Kano. Even though I’m against Hafiz’s bid for some strong reasons, it would be better to endorse any of the aforementioned for governorship race than Abba Kabir Yusuf who, seemingly, has no political weight than all the aforementioned.
By and large, this current political shenanigans by Kwankwaso would definitely be seen by Nigerians as nepotism, something that has clearly been kicked against and for which the Buhari administration is being criticised. I could vividly recall that he spent 30 minutes during his presidential campaign visit to Edo State criticizing nepotism in Buhari government and almost an hour doing so in Lagos. Why would he be caught guilty of what he variously criticises this administration for? It is also clear that his Presidential aspiration is a no-go area even in the PDP. It will be difficult for Kwankwaso to scale through the primaries, especially looking at the weak campaign team he is going around the country with.
Take a look to Saraki or Atiku’s campaign teams, you would know if Kwankwaso is serious in winning the PDP primaries. As far as I am concerned, Kwankwaso is never a product for the presidency. He is a tribalist and never a pan-Nigerian. Tell me any pan-Nigerian statement he made as a presidential aspirant. He is lacking in capacity, knowledge of international politics and the economy.
Whenever he is asked by journalists about his plans for the economy, he would be going blah blah, sighting examples with Kano in regards to the economy of a whole nation. Nigeria is beyond tribalists and people with convoluted ego, Nigeria needs someone with capacity, not a local champion. Kwankwaso should understand that defeating Ganduje is not an easy task, he is watching this scenario of endorsement comfortably. He may have burst into laughter for this choice of Abba Kabir, he is never a material to defeat Ganduje.
As someone that has been kicking against nepotism in his presidential campaign, it will be a bad PR finding him guilty of doing what he has been criticizing others for. Why the nepotism if you are serious to win Kano in 2019? As a presidential aspirant, if you mean well for PDP, you wouldn’t have endorsed Abba Kabir. If being an in-law pays this way, as an upcoming politician; I will be presenting myself to the daughter of a strong politician in Kano so that I would one day become a beneficiary of the politics of in-laws.
Mr Tudunwada is a media personality and can be followed on Twitter @adnanmoukhtar