By Umar Muhammad Puma
Concerned by possible clash between the supporters of both Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and his predecessor Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Human Right Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has advised Kwankwaso to shelve his planed political rally in the state in the interest of peace.
Kwankwaso, the immediate past governor of the state, now a Senator, is planning a mega rally to test his popularity in the state at the end of this month.
The group, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, and signed by the national coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, cautioned against any political rally by Kwankwasiyya which they said will led to lose of lives and properties.
The right group tasked all politicians, interest groups in the state to maintain decorum and adhere strictly to the provisions of the law even when exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of peaceful assembly, as enshrined under chapter four of the Constitution.
“Kano State, being a cosmopolitan territory that is like a miniature Nigeria with millions of Nigerians from virtually all Ethno- religious backgrounds, and also as a legendry and thriving trading Metropolis known for the large markets that dot the city, it is politically suicidal to permit all kinds of political tendencies to forment trouble and constitute social nuisance that could imperil the economic activities of millions of Nigerians resident and doing legitimate businesses in the state.”
The group said it is unwise to proceed with the political rally, since it is not legally registered to participate in the coming state-wide local council polls in Kano state, just as the campaign period for the 2019 general elections, in which the serving Senator and erstwhile governor of the state is entitled to re-contest, can only begin in August 2018 in accordance with the time table just issued by the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC).
Citing section 221 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), HURIWA said only legally recognized political party is allowed to participate in any electioneering campaign to canvass for votes and to nominate candidates to stand for elective positions at all the levels of the electoral process.
“Specifically, section 221 of the 1999 constitution states that no association, other than a political party, shall canvass for votes for any candidate at any election or contribute to the funds of any political party or to the election expenses of any candidate at an election”.
The Rights group also backed the position of the Chairman of the state electoral commission (KASIEC), Professor Garba Ibrahim Sheka that the interest group known as Kwankwasiyya is not recognized as a political party for the purposes of the February 10th 2018 local council poll in Kano.
“The Kano State electoral umpire did not recognize any group called Kwankwasiyya in the list of political parties for the February 10th local government election, we have so far confirmed the participation of 36 political parties in the poll.
“We have just learnt that many supporters of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State and his predecessor, Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso were reportedly injured in Kano, at the Weekend, following a clash between the two political groups.
“We learnt that the incident occurred around 11am at Chiranchi quarters in Gwale Local Government Area of the state.
“We are concerned that the peace, stability and progress that Kano state is known for may be imperiled if these two groups continue to confront each other.
“We therefore call on the Inspector General of Police to ensure that there is no breakdown of law and order. We equally urge the immediate past governor to cancel any political campaign that violates the clear provisions of both the extant electoral Act and the Nigerian constitution”.
“We acknowledge the fundamental human right to peaceful assembly but we caution against holding any extralegal political campaign targeting the forthcoming Kano State local election if such campaigns are not carried out by legally registered political parties in accordance with the due process of the law”.
“The right to life of the Kano state people and her guests are so important that nobody no matter how influential and no matter the position either as governor or Senator should be allowed to disrupt the societal peace that may result in the denial of the inalienable human right to life”.