The protracted feud between Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, rather than abate, has escalated, following last week’s 48-hour ultimatum given to the governor by the Kwankwasiyya Solidarity Forum to stop wearing the red cap, which is the symbol of the group, or risk legal action. KOLADE ADEYEMI reports.
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje and his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, used to be friends. For eight years, Ganduje was deputy governor under his former boss. When Kwankwaso was the Minister of Defence, Ganduje was his Special Assistant. Last year, he succeeded him as governor. Thereafter, the two leaders went their seperate ways
The die is cast between the two leaders. Ganduje has threatened to probe the defunct Kwankwanso administration, which he alleged, was marred with lack of transparency and financial irregularities. But critics have reminded the governor that he was part of the team.
The crisis between the duo started after the controversial condolence visit of Kwankwaso to Ganduje, who lost his mother. The visit sparked off the confrontation between the two leaders over who controls the soul of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State. the dust raised by the visit, which almost degenerated into violence, is yet to settle. The battle for supremacy has claimed a number of casualties, the latest being the APC Chairman, Alhaji Haruna Doguwa, and the organising Secretary, Sanusi Kwankwaso, who were indefinitely suspended. Both were accused of anti-party activities.
However, the Magoro Committee set up by the APC national leadership has endorsed Alhaji Abdullahi Sanusi, who was the former Commissioner of Environment, Special Adviser to Ganduje on Political Affairs, and the son of Galadiman Kano, as the authentic chairman of the party, thereby affirming Ganduje as the party leader, instead of Kwankwaso, who imposed his stooges in party offices before the expiration of his tenure last year.
Many politicians have disowned the Kwankwaso camp. The only politician who wears the red cap, which is the acclaimed symbol of the Kwankwasiyya ideology, is Ganduje. Kwankwaso’s supporters have criticised the governor for putting on the red cap. But, the governor has argued that putting on the red cap was a matter of personal choice. Ganduje described himself as a man of decency, decorum, responsibility, modesty and astuteness.
“These are rights and liberties guaranteed to any citizen by the constitution and therefore, nobody has the right to deny the me such liberties,” he said.
Also, the commissioners, members of the House of Assembly, loyalists and associates have practically dumped the red cap, as they now wear different caps.
Ganduje’s loyalists have dismantled the structure of Kwankwaso, known as Kwankwasiyya Amanaand substituted it with Gandujiyya Akida.
Their goal is to enable Ganduje take full control as the leader of the APC in Kano, following what they described as undue interference in the affairs of the state by Kwankwaso. The Special Adviser to Ganduje on Print Media, Alhaji Bala Kudu, said the legacies of Kwankwaso, including the group known as Kwankwasiyya and its symbol of red-cap, have been defaced in the Government House.
Shedding light on the new group, Akida, he said: “It means unshakable belief in certain issues that will be beneficial to the common man and the people of Kano state. It is a political ideology that has direct bearing to the people, their needs and aspirations as far as governance and distribution of democratic dividends are concerned.”
Kudu gave an insight into the genesis of the rift between his boss and his predecesssor. He said: “The main problem is that Kwankwaso wants to be totally in-charge. He does not want to come to terms with the reality on ground that he is now a senator and not the governor of Kano State. He wants to be dictating for Governor Ganduje from Abuja and that is totally unacceptable. It does not conform with the constitution of the APC, our great party. He wants to be the alfa and the omega of the APC in Kano. This is the dummy his sycophants are selling to him. But, every right thinking person knows that this kind of game cannot work here in Kano today.”
Kudu, who expressed surprise over the conduct of the ex-governor, added:“For 16 years, Governor Ganduje has been very loyal, dedicated and humane to Kwankwaso, who he served as deputy governor for two-terms. He also helped him out in other political assignments. So, one wonders why Senator Kwankwaso will forget so soon and now turn this long-rewarding relationship into a frosty one.”
There is no end in sight to the rift. The motivation behind the formation of Gandujiyya Akida is to create a political dynasty that will project the image and political ideology of Ganduje, which is totally different from the Kwankwasiyya Amana.
Many observers are of the view that, if Ganduje fails to asserts himself now, his second term ambition will be in jeopardy.
Kwankwaso is a strong politician. He has experience, followers and tentacles. Thus, the acrimony may linger, unless there is reconciliation. The result is that the attention of the governor will continue to be diverted. Party insiders have said that, unless there is a truce, Kwankwaso may plot the downfall of the governor.
President Muhammadu Buhari, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II, and the embattled former Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, have tried to settle the rift. But, their intervention has not resolved the rift. They have continued to meet a brick wall as the two leaders have refused to sheath their sword.
According to observers, the bitter confrontation is capable of undermining the party’s fortune in the state.
In public, the governor and his former boss pretend as if there is no quarrel. Ganduje, at a recent press conference in Abuja, declared that the rift between him and Kwankwaso, was over for good.The rift had heightened political tension in the state and the ruling party.
Kwankwaso and Ganduje were associates and partners in progress since 1999.They fell apart, shortly after last year’s polls. Their supporters have been trading accusations. Ganduje assured that he and his predecessor will work for the development of the state. But, he gave a condition. The condition is that there should be limitation to meddlesomeness.
The governor said: “We are all working towards the development of the state. While the former governor in the Senate and doing his own with the legislature, we are doing our own governance in Kano. So, let me assure you that everything is calm and there is no problem.”
The Commissioner of Information, Malam Mohammed Garba, chided Kwankwaso’s supporters for threatening a legal action. He dared the Kwankwasiyya Solidarity Forum to carry out the threat. The commissioner said:’’This underscores their lack of civility, decency and responsible politicking that has become the hallmark of top echelons of the Kwankwasiyya movement. It is laughable, pathetic, pitiful and a desperate attempt to misguide the public and bring the administration of Ganduje and his personality to disrepute.
“This deliberate distortion of facts and falsehood is capable of provoking the government to drop its non-confrontational stance and institute a commission of inquiry to probe the previous administration, particularlly its illegal land deals.
“Governor Ganduje secured the mandate of the people of Kano State by the will of Allah and only Allah has the right to take it back. Power belongs to Allah and He gives it to whoever He so wishes at any time.” The Nation