Ganduje, Kwankwaso back in the trenches
• Group wants ex-gov to drop red cap symbol of Kwankwasiyya
• Power belongs to God, not you, governor tells senator
The intervention of the presidency in the crisis between Kano State governor, Abdullah Umar Ganduje and his predecessor in office, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso may not have yielded the desired result.
They had been a shining example among political office holders having endured a bond that was devoid of the usual acrimony that characterized most of such relationships in Nigeria’s political scape.
However, few months after Ganduje assumed office, a crack emerged and since then the gulf between them has been widening despite efforts to reconcile the two politicians.
For the two top gladiators of Kano politics who have worked together as governor and deputy for eight years, the bubble slipped off hand, few days back as the former governor was marking his 60th birthday anniversary.
The feud resurfaced when Kwankwaso political movement issued 48 hours ultimatum for the governor to denounce his affiliation with Kwankwasiyya ideology and remove the red cap that symbolizes the ideology of Kwankwasiyya.
In response, Ganduje said he was elected governor by the grace of God and through the goodwill of Kano people and not by the efforts of his estranged political godfather.
As part of the activities to mark the 60th birthday of
Kwankwaso and the 6th anniversary of the Kwankwasiyya movement, Alhaji Sharu Garba Gwammaja informed the reporters in Kano that Ganduje has betrayed the movement and deserved to be disowned.
Gwammaja who is the chairman of Hannun Karba, a sub-group within the Kwankwasiyya movement accused the governor of deviating from the ideology of Kwanwasiyya, which preaches selfless services insisting that it was high time he stopped wearing their red cap symbol.
He said: “Earlier, we have offered the governor the sum of N1m to remove his cap and he failed to do so. Now we have given him 48 hours to either remove the red cap, which is a symbol of Kwankwasiyya, or else we will drag him to court. He has deviated from the ideology of Kwanwasiyya and it is high time he stopped wearing our symbol.
“Ganduje is enjoying the sympathy of Kano people because of the red cap he is still wearing even though his actions are contrary to the ideology of the movement. So we want him to stop associating himself with the movement because he is not one of us.”
Gwammaja maintained that the true meaning of Kwankwasiyya is selfless service to the good people of Kano; Kwankwasiyya is provision of free education for all, promotion of peace and unity as well as respect to the rule of law, stressing that the governor has stood for everything contrary to their beliefs.
He appealed to the people of Kano to forgive Kwankwasiyya movement for wrongly presenting Ganduje to them as governor and expressed the hope that by the next general elections, they would rectify the ‘anomaly.’
But the governor who dared the movement to defy his authority reminded them that he was not ready to remain a stooge of any sort, noting that he secured the mandate to become governor from Kano people and not from Kwankwaso.
In addition, the governor who spoke through the state Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba, averred that the red cap was initiated and popularized by late Aminu Kano as a mark of a true disciple of Mallam’s philosophy.
He said that the allegations by the Kwankwasiyya movement was an attempt to hoodwink people over the rapidly declining popularity of the red cap across the state noting that more than 80 percent of those that hitherto wear the cap have since dropped it.
In particular, Garba claimed that the Kwankwasiyya movement and their associates were bent on tarnishing the good image of the state government and the person of the governor through spreading falsehood and distorted information for their selfish political interests.
According to him, the government will not be distracted in its commitment and resolve to implement laudable programmes, projects and policies that would improve the wellbeing of the people and development of the State.
“The threat of legal action against Governor Ganduje by the movement if he fails to stop wearing red cap within 48 hours is the most laughable, pathetic, clear indication of their ignorance of the law and history of political struggle in Kano.
“They should have known that the red cap was introduced by Late Aminu Kano and popularized by him, his followers and disciples for which Governor Ganduje was among. He was also at the forefront of its re-introduction during the second tenure of Kwankwaso in 2011. Who then could better claim the red cap doctrine?” he stated.
Garba noted that the wearing of red cap was a personal decision and not in any way meant to please any body. He insisted that anybody has the right and freedom to wear the red cap irrespective of what it symbolizes to any person.
His words: “For the avoidance of doubt and without any fear of contradiction, therefore, the decision by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to continue wearing the red cap is nothing but a personal choice and manifestation of his high sense of decency, decorum, responsibility, modesty and political astuteness.
“These are rights and liberties guaranteed to any citizen by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and therefore, nobody has the right to deny the Governor such liberties”.
Reacting to allegation of abandoning projects and policies initiated by Kwankwaso’ administration, the Commissioner for Information posited that the accusation was another futile ranting coming from misguided political stooges of the former governor.
“On the allegation of abandoning the 5km roads initiated by the previous administration in all the 44 local government areas in the state, it is on record that only three to four roads were completed before Kwankwaso left office, many have not reach any appreciable level while many have not even taken off despite the fact that 30 percent of all the contract sum have been paid to the contractors,” he declared.
He said that the cheering news was that the present administration has taken bold steps to address the problems.
Political observers argued that the problem was traceable to the period Ganduje commenced the restructuring of political structure and redesigned the policies and programmes inherited from Kwankwaso’s administration as part of measures to assert his independency.
The development resulted in internal rancor in the All Progressives Congress (APC), which saw many of the governor’s loyalists discarding their red cap symbol of followers of Kwankwasiyya movement.
The crisis further escalated when Ganduje sacked former secretary to the state government and state Accountant general both of whom the governor inherited from Kwankwaso.
The removal of Kwankwasiya inscription on public facilities also aggravated the quarrel and public concern over safety occasioned by the tension generated.
Although Ganduje had threatened to institute a commission of enquiry to probe Kwankwaso’s administration many contend that the move may end up futile since both of them ran the administration.
Besides, analyst recalled that the governor had claimed responsibility for all that transpired during the immediate past administration noting that he would end up shooting himself in the leg with such action.
President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the All Progressives Congress (APC) North West governors to mediate and reconcile the warring personalities. But the unfolding developments indicate that not much has been achieved.