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Buhari, Ganduje Unable To Stop Kwankwaso – Johnson |The Republican News

By TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE

Mr. Ladipo Johnson, a lawyer and politician is the Lagos State Coordinator of Kwankwasiyya Movement. In this interview with TEMITOPE OGUNBANKE, he speaks on the political tussle between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, and his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, among other issues. Excerpts…

 

What is your take on the political face-off between former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso and his successor, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje?
The problem in Kano State is basically the fact that a serving senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Kano Central, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, had not been able to go into his senatorial district for almost two years now base on the fact that he keep been told that it is not safe for him to go back to Kano and that the mammoth crowd that normally support him whenever he is in Kano will turn to bloodshed and riot. That some people might hijack his visit and use it for breakdown of law and order. He was scheduled to visit Kano on January 30 but the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Rabiu Yusuf, wrote to him, advising him not to come.

The presidency later intervened and he had to postpone his going back to Kano.
The question begging for answer is; why would a Nigerian not be allowed to go to his home? Why would a serving senator not be allowed to go into his senatorial district? If in truth the police has an intelligence, which they claim to have that certain miscreants wanted to hijack his going back and cause trouble, why will police not apprehended those people? That should have been the normal thing.

They should have put necessary things in place to make sure that thing was peaceful in the state. They keep telling the man not to come. So, when will it be alright for him to go to his senatorial district? Surely as we move nearer to election time, the atmosphere will be more tensed and the problem is that incumbent Governor Ganduje and Senator Kwankwaso are not on the same page politically at the moment.

Why are they no longer in good term politically, considering that they were political allies for many years?
It is best known to the governor. Ganduje was the only deputy governor that got the support of his principal; who supported him, campaigned for him and ensured that he became governor. He was deputy governor to his principal for eight years. He was special assistant to Senator Kwankwaso when he was Minister of Defence. But within three months of getting into government, Governor Ganduje turned against his benefactor. But that is neither here nor there; people can disagree and be on different platforms but democracy has to be practised in civilise way. People has right to make their own choices as to who to support and what to do as whether you want to contest or not.

Don’t you think the tussle between the two political gladiators is about 2019?
I keep saying that if going to Kano by Kwankwaso has nothing to do with 2019; his being stopped definitely has to do with 2019. It is disturbing that a sitting governor will use the Commissioner of Police in that state to come up with spurious excuses as to why a state is not safe for one citizen to go to his senatorial district. It just doesn’t make sense. What he should have done if he has that intelligence report is to arrest those he feels want to hijack or cause trouble in the state. These are the issues that must be look at and you cannot blame people for feeling that it must be political.

Do you agree that the political drama in Kano State is a ploy to frustrate Kwankwaso’s presidential ambition?
The first question is; why is Ganduje afraid of Kwankwaso? The second question is; who else is afraid of Kwankwaso on a national level? It is clear that 2019 is around the corner and politicians have begun to jostle and I am one of the staunch supporters and believers in Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso. I believe he is dynamic and he has the capacity to move us forward as a country. So, stopping him from going to Kano is only temporary. He has to be allowed back into his house and back to his senatorial district. And if he chooses to move from being a senator to contesting for the office of President of Nigeria, they will find out that Kano State or incumbent governor of Kano will not be in a position to stop what would be a natural flow of support.

Don’t you think the disagreement between Kwankwaso and Ganduje will affect the chances of the APC in Kano State?
I bet to disagree. Two elephants are not fighting. Ganduje is by no means politically comparable to Kwankwaso. The grass may suffer if there is a breakdown of law and order and that is why Senator Kwankwaso agreed to postponed his visit to Kano. But it is frightening that in this present day, a senator is being prevented from going back to his senatorial district. It is unbelievable when people heard that Kwankwaso has not been to his senatorial district for over two years. Anytime he wants to go, they will tell him that it is not safe because of the crowd. It is not his fault that mammoth crowd do troop out to welcome him anytime he visited Kano having served the people of Kano.

Kwankwaso is believed to be among those interested in running for presidency in 2019…
Naturally for a man who campaigned for only 40 days in 2014 and came second in the APC presidential primaries to the current president; it would be assume that even if he doesn’t have the interest, quite a lot of people would want to ask him to consider throwing his hat in the ring for the presidential election. If you go through his profile, he has always been a man who has served his country in various offices from being Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives to Minister of Defence, representative to Sudan and Darfur, member of the board of the NDDC, governor for eight years and now a serving senator. It is reasonable to believe that he may be interested and like I said earlier even if not interested, people would tell him to throw his hat into the ring to move this country forward.
Personally, myself and millions of Kwankwasiyya Movement members across the country believe that this is a man that can push and move Nigeria forward. He has the capacity and passion for this country. The beauty about him is that those who like Kwankwaso and those who detest him have one thing in common; they will tell you he is a performer. And for me as a young person thinking about my family and future generations, we need someone that can move us forward drastically as a country. So, for me, I don’t know when he is going to throw his hat into the ring but I am personally one of those who will keep pushing him and tell him to come and serve Nigeria.

There is probability that President Muhammadu Buhari will seek for re-election in 2019? Don’t you see him as stumbling block to Kwankwaso’s aspiration in APC?
No, I have never seen Buhari as a stumbling block to Kwankwaso. What happened the last time as far as I am concerned is the fact that we possibly made our move from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to APC slightly late. And by the time we got there, the party structures had gone and we didn’t have access to the delegates.

I don’t see Buhari as a stumbling block, I am confident that if Kwankwaso and Buhari are presented to the people of Nigeria, I don’t think the choice would be difficult.
It will be left to Senator Kwankwaso and his advisers to determine how they will pursue the primaries of the APC. A lot of things may still happen.

What I know is that the two men whether presented within the party or outside the party from different parties; if presented to the people of this country, I am very confidence that the generation of younger Nigerians will cast their votes for a more virile, passionate, reliable and renowned performer who has a passion for the masses of this country.

There is speculation that Kwankwaso is being lured by the PDP and that he may soon defect to the opposition party to realise his presidential aspiration if the coast is not clear for him in APC…
I wouldn’t know whether he will be going to the PDP or why he should consider the PDP. I understand that the PDP is looking and shopping for presidential candidates that they believe can defeat or match the president in the North. I know for certain that with the work that has been done and the support base that Senator Kwankwaso have, especially in the North, the PDP may want to tap into that or may decide not to.

That is left to them. All I know at the moment is that we in the Kwankwasiyya Movement have been talking to people and working with people at the grassroots level because there are millions of Nigerians who are not happy with the state of the economy and who are not happy at the pace that of lack of development in the country. We hope and realise that 2019 is the time when we can make our votes count and bring about what we want in this country.  (New Telegraph)

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Ohanaeze, Afenifere, Balarabe Slam Kwankwaso For Supporting Anti-Igbo Threat

 Rabiu-Musa-Kwankwaso
                                     Rabiu Kwankwaso

Adelani Adepegba, Ihuoma Chiedozie, and Olaleye Aluko

The pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere and the Ohanaeze Ndigbo have condemned Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso’s opposition to the call for the arrest of northern youths, who said the Igbo should leave the North before October 1.

Prominent Nigerians and groups including Afenifere, Ohanaeze and the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, have demanded the arrest of the youths by security agents.

But Kwankwaso was reported on Thursday to have opposed the call for the arrest of the youths. According to a national newspaper (not The PUNCH), the former Kano State governor in an interview with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday said the youths should be engaged in dialogue.

However, Afenifere and Ohanaeze, in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Thursday described the former governor’s position as unfortunate.

The Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Mr Chuks Ibegbu, who spoke with one of our correspondents in Enugu, said  Kwankwaso’s position should be probed.

The Ohanaeze spokesman said, “Nobody is above the law so the security agencies should investigate him.

“We want to warn that those that are fanning the embers of disunity should desist from doing so, because, if at the end of the day, the country descends into anarchy, they will also lose out.”

Ibegbu added that Kwankwaso’s statement did not come as a surprise.  “We have not forgotten that when he was governor, he stated that there was no need for more states to be created in the South-East. He said the land mass of the South-East would not support a new state, but he chose to forget the fact that state creation is not just about land mass but population.

He advised Kwankwaso, whom he said wanted to be President of Nigeria, to turn a new leaf.

The spokesman for Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said he was not surprised by the ex-governor’s utterances, noting that he had always been known for his bigotry.

He stated that Kwankwaso was trying to position himself as a defender of the Arewa.

Odumakin said his statement had further confirmed the widely held notion that the northern youths had backers.

He said, “He (Kwankwaso) is trying to position himself as a defender of the Arewa and anyone who knows him over the years would have observed his bigotry and it shows clearly that he doesn’t believe in Nigeria.

“When a crisis happened in Ife, it was Kwankwaso that was making incendiary remarks and yet there are rumours that he wants to be president of Nigeria. We have noted his utterances.”

“When people like him talk about one Nigeria, it is pure deception. I endorse what the Southern Nigeria Youths Coalition said that they wanted a referendum to determine the future of the country. I support their plan to retaliate any genocide against the Igbo in the North,” the Afenifere chieftain said.

Also, a former governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said  Kwankwaso’s call to negotiate with Arewa youths was wrong, adding that the northern youths drumming the quit notice should be arrested.

Balarabe Musa said the arrest would serve as “deterrence” and uncover the sponsors of the youths calling for a quit notice.

He said, “There is nothing wrong in inviting the youths, but definitely, the position of the Kaduna State Governor, El-Rufai, calling for arrest is the position of the majority of Nigerians. The call of people is that these young ones must be held responsible for their actions, not just to teach them a lesson for their crime, but also to expose those behind the quit notice.

“This is because the quit notice is clearly illegal and unconstitutional. How can you tell another Nigerian to quit and then give a date? That means that after that date, the youths can do anything illegal. The Federal Government and 80 per cent of Nigerians are clearly opposed to this notice. All the steps being taken by the government are correct and the government should immediately arrest these youths. Kwankwaso is wrong and the Kaduna State governor is right.”  (Punchng.com)

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Kano APC Crisis Worsens As Kwankwaso’s Faction Rejects Chairman

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Rabiu Kwankwaso

John Alechenu, Abuja

The crisis rocking the Kano State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has deepened following the rejection of the appointment of Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas as the state chairman by a faction loyal to former Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Our correspondent gathered in Abuja on Sunday that Kwankwaso’s loyalists, under the aegis of the Kwankwasiyya Movement, have written to the party’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, seeking the annulment of the appointment.

Abbas is a loyalist to the current state Governor, Umar Ganduje.

Kwankwaso and Ganduje have been embroiled in a battle of supremacy for the control of the state’s party structure while attempts to work out a compromise have yet to bear the desired fruits.

In a letter jointly signed by the APC’s National Treasurer, Alhaji Bala Gwagwarwa, and the former state party chairman, Umar Doguwa, the Kwankwasiyya group asked Odigie-Oyegun to reverse the decision taken by the Inuwa Abdulkadir-led North-West Zonal Committee.

In a letter dated January 27, 2017, which was sighted by The PUNCH on Sunday, the two party leaders said the decision taken by Abdulkadir, appointing Abbas as the Kano State chairman, was unacceptable.

They argued that the decision to appoint Abbas was at variance with the provisions of Section 21 (b) and (c) of the APC constitution.

Section 21(b) (i) reads, “A complaint by a member of the party against a public office-holder, elected or appointed or another member against a party organ or officer of the party shall be submitted to the Executive Committee of the party at all levels concerned which shall not be later than seven days of the receipt of the compliant, appoint a fact-finding committee or disciplinary committee to examine the matter.”

According to them, the National Vice-Chairman breached the provisions of the section by unilaterally constituting the Senator Mohammed Magoro-led fact-finding committee to look into the Kano crisis without recourse to the zonal body.

They enjoined the Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee of the party to reverse the appointment of Abbas in the overall interest of the party in the state in particular and the nation in general.

They explained that they wrote several letters of appeal to the NWC, the last one being that of December 13, 2016, calling for a reversal of the decision of the fact-finding committee.

They said to their utter disappointment, Abdulkadir ignored their concerns and issued Abbas an appointment letter.

The letter written to Odigie-Oyegun on the subject, which was sighted by our correspondent, partly read, “Sir, while our appeal is still pending in your office, another absurdity was perpetrated by Inuwa Abdulkadir by writing a letter of appointment to a purported new chairman for the Kano chapter of the APC.

“It is in this regard that we are once again compelled to write this letter to you and appeal for justice to be done in this matter in line with the stipulated provisions of the APC constitution.”

Attempts to get the reaction of Odigie-Oyegun were unsuccessful. Calls to his mobile were not returned. A response to a text message sent to him was still being awaited as of the time of filing this report. (Punchng.com)

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