Why reps kingmaker, Jibrin, ran into troubled waters
Jibrin’s suspension must have been endorsed by Mr. Abdullahi Abbas-led APC in Kano who made no pretense in accusing him of working against the interest of both the party and that of the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje-led administration.
The chairman of the Bebeji chapter of the party, Mr. Suleiman Gwarmai, justified Jibrin’s suspension, claiming it was borne out of the realisation that Jibrin who represents Kuru/Bebeji constituency in the lower legislative chamber indulged in anti-party activities during the last general election.
Prior to his suspension, Jibrin who chaired the President Muhamadu Buhari’s re-election campaign organisation in Kano State was in the eye of the storm when he ordered the retrieval of dozens of campaign vehicles used to canvass for votes for APC in his constituency during the 2019 poll.
Jibrin’s ordeal could be traced to the reverses suffered by the APC in his Kiru/Bebeji constituency during the governorship and state House of Assembly poll. He was accused of tacitly working for the Kwankwasiya Movement championed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain and the former governor of the state, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
This is not the first time the controversial politician has been suspended in his political career.
On September 28, 2016, the 8th House of Representatives suspended Jibrin for 180 legislative days over his role in the budget padding saga, which pitted the National Assembly against the executive arm of government.
But the punitive measure this time around, which came barely two weeks after Jibrin failed to make the list of the chairmanship positions of juicy committees of the House, has led to speculation that his ordeal must have been masterminded from his home state where key leaders of the party have an axe to grind with him.
There are talks that Jibrin’s adversaries in his constituency are already working in concert with his rival in the PDP to provide damning evidence of votes rigging, aimed at nullifying his election at the Kano State election petitions tribunal.
A source also claimed that the leadership of the APC in Kano must have prevailed on the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, who is believed to have the ears of Gbajabiamila, to ignore Jibrin in spite of the role he played as the head of the Gbajabiamila/Wase campaign organisation.
However, Gbajabiamila at an interactive session with reporters claimed that there was no iota of truth in such speculation, adding that it was Jibrin himself that actually declined a committee chairmanship offer from him.
A member of the House Ad Hoc Committee On Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Yusuf Gadi, who spoke on behalf of Gbajabiamila said: “Jibrin had repeatedly made clear his intention to leave the House of Representatives. My persuasions and that of some other leaders convinced him, reluctantly, to stay a bit longer. Jibrin wants a fresh challenge and his preference will be to return to the university and pursue his professorial ambition, face his private business or serve in the executive arm of public service.”
Jibrin who is widely considered as a kingmaker due to his yeoman’s role in the emergence of Gbajabiamila and his predecessor, Yakubu Dogara, appears unruffled over his ordeal.
His name was conspicuously missing in the list of 43 ministerial nominees from President Buhari ratified by the Senate during the week, thereby narrowing down his options.
In March 2015, the lawmaker, who is now a third termer aspired for the speakership of the House but later stepped down, co-sponsored and supported Dogara, who went on to win and emerged Speaker of the 8th Assembly against all odds that were stacked against him.
Dogara appointed Jibrin as the Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, a position he held from 2015 until his resignation in 2016 over his role in the budget saga controversy.
In the recent House leadership election, as Campaign Director-General, he helped Gbajabiamila to become the 9th Assembly Speaker after defeating his opponent, Mohammed Umar Bago, with 283 votes.
Jibrin was first elected into the House representing Kiru/Bebeji Federal Constituency of Kano State under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2011 before decamping to the APC in 2014. He was later re-elected in 2015 and 2019.
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