In Nigerian politics, it is not easy for a pious, straightforward and Godly person to join politics. It is like a white horse passing through a dark society. When Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, a simple, honest and dignified teacher went into politics in 2003, he was convinced of the fact that he was going to liberate the people of Kano State and correct the various anomalies in the governance of the state. Shekarau simply had mission and vision to accomplish, even if it means subjecting himself to trials and tribulations.

God, who knows the good mind of Shekarau, helped him to win the governorship election of the state in 2003, in spite of his financial incapacitation. The people's governor dedicated his first term of four years to human development and awoke the people's consciousness on societal reorientation popularly called "Adaidaita Sahu" There are other marvelous achievements Shekarau recorded in his administration between 2003 and 2007 as compared to what his predecessors did.

As we know, Nigeria is such a wonderful country and whose wonderful people hardly recognize men of hard work but of hopelessness. So, it did not amuse any visitor that witnessed the gang up and various conspiracies against Shekarau's second coming in 2007. His offence was simply that he had the courage to serve the people particularly the masses in a society where capitalism ought to be the dominant paradigm. In order to put a full stop to Shekarau's masses oriented programmes, a high level of conspiracies and media hype were launched by the oppositions and authoritarians parading themselves as democrats who today hop from one party to another.

As soon as Shekarau got the nod of his people to go for second term in 2006, both internal and external traitors began to manifest. The media mercenaries with no conscience were equally drafted to join the war against Shekarau's second term. It is often said and it is a fact that a man with God is the majority. It was therefore not a surprise that despite the unjust role of Nuhu Ribadu's kind of EFCC to scuttle Shekarau's chance, Obasanjo's treacheries, TBO's antics and some media hype against the humble Shekarau, he went into the second term election and came out unscathed with victory. Even when it was glaring that Shekarau won the election, the shameless oppositions never gave up. They took Shekarau to both the election tribunal and Appeal courts. Still, Shekarau walloped them. The question is this, is there any mortal that can undo what God has done? The answer is No and shall continue to be No.

Shekarau did not bother himself with all these antics but continued to give dividends of democracy to the people of Kano State. According to the Newton's first law of motion, every action must attract equal and opposite reaction. Thus, those who ganged up against Shekarau's success for no just cause other than political differences, sentiments and nepotism had their own turn of stress. The same PDP that used Nuhu Ribadu to indict specific but innocent political opponents equally chased and disgraced him out of Nigeria with dismissal. Never mind his recent conversion of his dismissal to retirement. It is still the same thing, considering Ribadu's age.

Then it came to the turn of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo whose $16 billion power sector theft is still haunting him. "Inshallahu, zamu cigaba bincike kudu huta ta Nageriya", meaning "by the grace of God, we shall continue to investigate where about the money allocated to power sector during Obasanjo administration." The PDP governance in the last eleven years has been full of financial scandals and thefts. What about the inconsistent members of the proscribed TBO that rushed out of ANPP to hurriedly form CPC. They are also being haunted today by their shadow of deceits. Above all, Shekarau paid high premium to freedom of information. This gave room to all self centred journalists and some media agents to emit their do-able and un-doable. The media is so free under the regime of Shekarau that every medium, both inside and outside the state publishes whatever they like about his government and go scot free. This explains why some of the media men who were drafted by the oppositions against Shekarau administration make deliberate negative reports and opinions as news about the government. Still, all these could not make any difference. Sadly, these hypocrisies would not stop as long as governor Shekarau won't stop embarking on masses oriented programmes in Kano state.

In December 2009, some ANPP caucus met and reviewed Shekarau's performances. They concluded that Malam Ibrahim Shekarau is really a man to be trusted, having been tested. As a mark of respect and solidarity, they further agreed that whoever the governor pointed to them as his successor, will be supported. This open remark was in view of the too many people that were already eyeing his seat come 2011. The governor seemed not to agree with this. Instead, he told them to go and do research so that they can come up with a candidate among themselves. The ANPP caucus meeting in the state, which included most of the 2011 governorship contenders of Shekarau's seat, insisted that Shekarau must show them the way. After a wide range of consultation, the governor broke the ice to endorse one of the contenders in the person of Alhaji Salisu Sagir Takai, a former Commissioner in the administration.

Suddenly and surprisingly too, the same people that insisted on the governor to lead the way for them on the person that he would like to succeed him revolted against his endorsement. The moral question involved in this issue is this. A leader of any type ought to be honest, truthful, reliable and steadfast. If this is the basic fact, then how comes about the double standard position of supposedly 'would be governors' that seem to have eaten their vomits? What were they thinking when they publicly asked the governor to endorse somebody for them? Do they think of the serious political implication of their renegade action? Does it mean that they are not honest, truthful, reliable and steadfast? If this is the case, what is the moral justification about their wish to take over the honest man's seat in 2011? This alone amounts to self disqualification and a failure of the litmus test on reliability and trust – aaamaaanaaa…

It is hoped that the committee set up by the Kano State ANPP to look into the issue would be able to draw the above sense to the ears of the rebels against Shekarau's endorsement of Takai. The Committee should not shy away to split the beans by telling them how the party produced her Presidential flag bearer in 2003 and 2007 in Abuja. The people should be told that in the two conventions, elections never took place, not even when other contestants cried profusely, the party still went ahead to announce consensus without election. This is even more painful and tragic than Shekarau's mere endorsement. By Shekarau's endorsement of Takai, he is simply saying that look, this is what you asked me to do and therefore, this is my preference but he is subject to confirmation through free and fair primary election. He did not say that Takai must be accepted at all costs. If the governor could allow free and fair primary election in 2007 between him and his former deputy in the person of Engr. Magaji Abdullahi, why should he not allow same for Takai and others? This is not all.

The rebels should be told that democracy is not just about unnecessary antagonism, gang up and conspiracy but about service, understanding and trust. They should be remembered too that as far back as in 2003 when Malam Ibrahim Shekarau was campaigning with a rickety Passat vehicle and moving from house to house on foot to draw home his manifestoes, none of the rebels was at hand to offer any little assistance. If these entire preaching fell on the ears of the deaf, which is likely going to be, they should be allowed to go on their own way because, few coordinated people are stronger than many disorganized ones. Whatever it turns to be, they should be closely watched to ensure that they are not acting the scripts of the desperate oppositions to disrupt and discredit Governor Shekarau's last lap of his meritorious tenures. We should not under play the chameleonic nature of some Nigerians.

Therefore, the governor's last voyage to end his second but final term in office is very crucial. It is crucial not only because he is being called to contest the 2011 presidential election but also because those who had no genuine interest of him at heart except to milk him for their advantage may transform into opposition on ground of greed, selfishness and jealousy. What is their likely joke? That since Malam has not endorsed them as his successor, let's gang up to undermine his preference, not minding how the same Malam has made them to be what they are presently. It however beats one's imagination how they formed themselves into a group to agitate for a cause in which each of them has separate ambition. It suggests that either none of them is capable of standing on his own or they are not actually interested in their ambition of becoming Malm's successors but to cause confusion. This shall be defeated as Malam meant no harm to any body.

Finally, there is no doubting the fact that Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano, Atun nuse of Ede land in Oshogbo and Onwa Na-Etiri Oha I of Eha in Enugu has so far justified his seven years in office. He has diligently played his part to make Kano and his people great and he is willing to stage the same wonderful performances in every nook and cranny of the country when elected as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2011by the grace of the Almighty God, the uncreated creator, the knower of hidden and unhidden things and the most high. This shall come to pass, no matter the gang ups, conspiracies, treacheries and wanton desperations of any opposition against the man of the people.

Saka Raji Audu can be reached on [email protected]

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