By Sulaiman Muhammad Ayagi
It is neither a gainsaying nor an image laundering exercise to say that Kano State is witnessing genuine but uncommon transformation against the so-called “ranting of promoters of transformation agenda” at the national level. The state wouldn’t have been top-rated as the most visibly working environment; wouldn’t have been leading other comity of states in the country in the field of human capital development occasioned by unprecedented sponsorship of hundreds of thousands of indigenous and hitherto directionless youth but supposed-to-be future leaders through access to higher education within and outside the country. A large chunk of sons and daughters of Kano wouldn’t have been in Al–Hikma, Crescent, Bells, Igbenidion, Katsina and other private universities to taste the academic atmosphere of quality and uninterrupted learning environment; absolutely free of ASUU’s recurring demands occasioned by strikes. This mettle of aggressive and accelerated development is more-or-less, encouraged by His Excellency’s show of concern through personal visits to such universities in furtherance of interaction culture with the sponsored students in addition to regular payment of stipends, a development that reshaped their perception of what leadership entails.
These bewildered tertiary institution students who rarely interact with their state chief executive (in their life time); now freely and liberally interact with him. What a wonderful development! Kano wouldn’t have been a replica society amongst its contemporaries in social rejuvenation and infrastructural provision – making both natives and visitors to critically behold a new Kano in the making! Ala changes in roads network of the state capital and upgrading of semi–urban towns that requires extra skill of familiarity of the metropolitan city for some to identify roads to their destinations.
Though Nigeria is in an era of image laundering as some critics of the central government says that a large chunk of tax–payers funds is being used to promote the continued weeding of public confidence of the central government; especially as 2015 is fast approaching largely attributed by internal and external mocking of its leadership. However, the author would have sustained his past criticism of Kano Governor’s performance during his first tenure (1999 to 2003) but for the paradigm shift in governance is, of course, a case for celebration.
Whether one maintains partisanship or otherwise, all Nigerian animals irrespective of their localities or faith remained partisan! However, Governor Kwankwaso’s legacy will only be sustained for posterity if he, in spite of array of candidates jostling for “Africa House” look beyond the box. Anointing of potential successor by incumbent governors is no more a news but only made to be a political culture or strategy for a soft-landing machinery amongst out-goers in furtherance of self-seeking relevance in the scheme of things; nonetheless, such voodoo arrangement usually ends in frosty relationship.
Cases of god–father and god–son soar political relationship are too numerous to mention, however, prominent ones will suffice political science researchers’ indepth point to diagnose prescription, if possible, against this ugly trend. Nigerians are conversant with ex–governor Yerima/Shinkafi struggle for supremacy after the former broke all odds in the history of the polity to be the only living governor who voluntarily anointed his deputy to succeed in spite of apathy of such consideration by almost all his contemporary governors in 2007, to be precise. Other notable feuds are ex–governor Aleiro/Dakingari, ex–governor Goje/Dankwanbo, ex–governor Attah/Akpabio, ex–governor Kalu/Theodore Orji and ex–governor Akume/Suswan. One would have written endlessly but for economy of space. Of interest amongst the foregoing was that of “the then incumbent governor who declared his predecessor and benefactor as persona non–grata in his former state constituency.” What a wonderful fiction, so to say!
The All Progressive Congress (A P C), being the state ruling party is blessed with veiled and unveiled number of jostlers for the state seat of power. However, those who unveiled their identities are not limited to Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya, whose pedigree as persistently repeated is the “wisdom derived for returning a former chief executive” to the corridors of powers, a development that hinges largely on Governor Kwankwaso’s achievements consequent to his political sojourn over the years. Other prospects include Alhaji Usman Alhaji, Brigadier–General LawalJafaru Isa, one time military administrator of Kaduna State; a youthful minority leader in the house of representatives, Hon. KawuSumaila, Hon. Bala Jibrin Ibrahim, popularly called “Barau Maliya.” Others include promoters of the candidature of Alhaji Rabi’u Sulaiman Bichi, the current Secretary to the State Government and a close confidant, by virtue of years of political relationship of Governor Kwankwaso. Other than these crops of potential successors to the position of the state chief executive, in particular Rabi’u Sulaiman Bichi’s candidature no prominent member of the defunct kwankwasiyya elements is jostling for No. 1 position of the state. This may not be unconnected with political strategy and last minutes anointing of candidate(s).
The so-called political pundits’ claim attributed to Governor Kwankwaso that only “red cap wearing fellow” will succeed him lacks substance. This, is not only a political paradox but threat to scare prospective and qualified candidates from seeking public mandate for the position. Kwankwaso will not make such a silly mistake to impose unsellable candidate for the state chief executive deficient in leadership skill and lacking in political will; that will not only sustain the current tempo of development but reposition the state continuously as Nigeria’s emerging economy!
Sulaiman Muhammed Ayagi wrote in from Kano.