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A good leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. And courage is not having the strength to go on, it is going on when you don't have strength – Anonymous The useful tenure of the incumbent governor of Kano state, Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano will formerly come to end on 28th May 2011. It is about six months away effective November 2010. Already, the search for successor is on as the governorship election is slated for April 2011. There are quite a number of people who are interested to succeed Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau. At least, about twenty people so far from three leading registered political parties namely ANPP, PDP and CPC are already showing interest in Shekarau's seat. Among the over twenty governorship aspirants in the three prominent political parties, it is expected that after the primaries, the number of the aspirants will be trimmed to just three candidates. From the way things have been going on in the matter of campaigns, it is also expected that Mallam Salihu Sagir Takai of All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, General Lawal Jaafar Isa of CPC and Alhaji (Dr) Musa Kwankwaso of PDP are likely to emerge winners of their various party primaries. This expected result may lead to new political realignment among those who could not scale through their party primaries. Whatever the type of realignment that will emerge after the primaries, it might not in any way fundamentally affect the three candidates mentioned above. Among these candidates, the good people of Kano are expected to elect one candidate that will take over from Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano as the governor of Kano State effective May 29, 2011, all things being equal, ceteris paribus. Having looked at the wonderful achievements of Malam Shekarau administration under the All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP in the last seven and half years, the next wish of the good people of Kano State is to ensure that the marvelous achievements of the Shekarau administration are not only preserved by the incoming leadership, they should also see to it that whoever that they are going to elect as the next governor of the state possesses the same attributes, character and characteristics of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau. Such attributes include hard work, integrity, transparent, amiable, detribalized, fear of God, preservation of culture and tradition of Kano environment, progressive, humane, responsible, peaceful and straight forward. These attributes in Shekarau are the secret behind the success of his administration. To some discerning and retrogressive elements in Kano state, they prefer a leader that will feel the individual pockets of cronies with public fund to using the same fund for collective development. This is why there has been some pockets of opposition against Shekarau administration, in spite of the visible progress his government has recorded for the state since it came some seven and half years ago. Let us quickly remind ourselves of these noble achievements of Shekarau administration. In seven and half years, Governor Ibrahim Shekarau recorded "280,000, 350,000 and 53,000 new enrolments in his Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions respectively, established 364 new Primary Schools, added new 200 classroom blocks and rehabilitated over 300 more; built additional 247 secondary schools, upgraded 85 JSS Schools to SSS and constructed new 826 classrooms for them; rehabilitated 190 laboratories, furnished 207, equipped 202; hired 15,000, 6000 and 1200 qualified new teachers for Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions; and has invested over N1.4billion in scholarships for Kano students studying locally and overseas. What about his road network that looks like mini London, his entrenchment of peace in the state, his societal reorientation, his improvement of the basic health care, his human and structural development drive" and so many other laudable achievements that past governors of the state has not recorded. It is against this background that the good people o Kano should not allow sentiment to becloud their reasoning against the man who has done so much for the state. One can say here without fear of contradiction that almost 75% of people who jump from one political party to the other do so for personal aggrandizement and never for the interest of the people they seek to lead. Shekarau, as a straight forward leader believes that there is no people-oriented programme that one would like to execute in another political party that one cannot achieve in one's original party, if really there is truth. This is why Shekarau has remained consistent and determined. All these good attributes of Shekarau are enough to trust him and depend on his guide so that we can have some one to hold responsible should any thing go amiss. This is why I think the endorsement of Mallam Salihu Sagir Takai by Governor Ibrahim Shekarau to take over as the next governor of the state should be accepted and applauded by the good people of Kano state for the simple fact that one does not take soup because of its pepper, one should take it because of its salt. We cannot claim to like Shekarau as a result of his outstanding performances but at the same time dislike his preference. As a leader who has been leading the state for the past seven years, he is in position to know who can preserve and consolidate his laudable achievements for the state. We need a leader like Shekarau who can stand for somebody and defend him to logical conclusion. In contradistinction to this, we do not require leader that anoints a person, only to dump and betray him at the time of need. It is in realization of this that we should accept the choice of Shekarau in the person of Mallam Salihu Sagir Takai as the next leader to take over Kano to the next level of development. If out of greediness, sentiment, animosity and hatred, the good people of Kano disallow Shekarau's choice of Takai, they may pay dearly or such retrogressive action, which Kano people are not known about. For the fact that some people want to team up against Takai's candidature, it shows that he is actually the best person for the state. Similar thing happened when Shekarau was vying for his second term in 2007. If the Kano people had not stood firmly against the odds, the state would have been robbed of development the state is witnessing today. Therefore, one would like to advice the ANPP in the state to put parochialism and hatred aside and prevail on other governorship aspirants to shelve their individual differences and queue behind the Shekarau endorsement of Malam Salihu Sagir Takai. It is understood that when Takai was Commissioner of Water Resources as well as that of Local Government Ministry, his performances were enviable and legendary. He is a peaceful man and does not discriminate on the basis of tribe and religion. As a transparent man, Takai was able to record a reasonable number of achievements. His invitation to EFCC some time in April this year, was to clarify the role of certain local government Chairmen, which he clearly and satisfactorily did against the wish of some political foes that wanted him to be innocently crucified for being Governor Shekarau's candidate. All is now history as he came out unscathed of the political blackmail. Up till today, those who are jittery of Takai political sagacity are still desperate on how to frustrate the gentle man's political aspiration. Unfortunately for such political adversaries, they do not know that when God has decided, nothing any man born of woman can do but to accept God's decision. The same political travails happened to Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau while he was aspiring to become governor of Kano State. In spite the odds, Shekarau is on his seven and half year today as governor and it beats one's imagination why people do not learn from history, might be due to desperate and vaulting ambition. Now that Governor Ibrahim Shekarau is preparing to handover the government to another democratically elected leader, who should the Kano people entrust with their mandate among the litany of aspirants. Have the good people of Kano asked themselves why we have so many people wanting to become the next governor of the state after Shekarau's exit? Whatever is the reason behind the rush for governor of Kano State, it is clear that most of the aspirants are merely aspiring for recognition and not that they have any serious manifesto for the good governance of Kano. It is in this respect that the good people of Kano should think twice before adopting bandwagon device. Based on the achievements recorded by Shekarau administration, it goes without saying that only his party, ANPP is qualified to continue with the good work. Any leader elected on the threshold of another party, will only come to ruin what has already been put in place because of hatred, animosity and the culture of destroying past to cover up for the present. For instance, CPC is a new party established based on personal aggrandizement. As a result of mutual conspiracy to undo the ruling party in the state led by Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, the Congress for Progressive Change came on board as a means of undercutting the interest of perceived political foes. Thus, the membership of this party is not based on ideological inclination aimed at fostering progress for the state but a conglomeration of different political interests coming together with the main purpose to unseat a common foe without having concrete plan on how to build and improve on the existing infrastructures of the state. If most of this party membership is from ANPP, could they tell us why they left their old party, thereby leaving what is known to unknown? What are the achievements of CPC in Kano State upon which it wants the good people of Kano to vote for it? In an ideal political situation, CPC should only strive to win election in local government areas to showcase the kind of leadership people expect at the state level. As a result of desperation to avenge some imagined political detractors, the party is eager to clinch the state governorship seat, which should be resisted by the good people of Kano State. Thus, whatever achievements recorded by the party leading aspirant, General Lawal Isa Jaafaru as a Military Governor in Kaduna State some eighteen years ago cannot be used as a yardstick for the present democratic situation. So, we should be spared of his military experience in our present democratic set up. As for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, this political party had already been tested in Kano. And the result of its performance has remained poor. In addition to the party's poor performance at the national level, the people of Kano cannot for another umpteenth time allow PDP to lead them again in Kano State. When the present party leader in the state, Alhaji (Dr) Musa Kwankwaso was the governor of the State between 1999 and 2003, there weren't any meaningful achievements except disruption of peace, tribal sentiment and gross corrupt practices that lead to the rape of ecological fund of the state, it will be funny for any serious minded people to expect the good people of Kano to cast their precious vote for the same Musa Kwankwaso as governor of the state, considering the fact that once beaten, twice shy. Kano as a progressive state should not expect any meaningful achievement under Kwankwaso-PDP government for the state. This is why Shekarau's ANPP is a good option for the people of the state. In this respect, no person except Mallam Salihu Sagir Takai can preserve and achieve more developmental project for the state. ANPP should therefore team up behind this gentleman to ensure that he gets the party governorship ticket for the forthcoming 2011 governorship of the state. This is not to state that other aspirants as the Deputy Governor, Engineer Mohammed Tijjani Gwarzo, the one time governor of Kano State, Alhaji Ibrahim Kabiru Gaya are not competent to lead the state. It is however a fact that these two people have tasted leadership of Kano in their various capacities, they should, in the name of justice and fair play, allow some one else like Malam Salihu Sagir Takai to lead the state in the next political dispensation.

This is why we should listen to the voice of Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau in voting Takai as his successor, for continuous progress of the state. This is because, as a good leader, Shekarau knows the way, goes the way and should show the way. Abdullahi Bichi Yusuf writes from Bichi, Kano State. [email protected]

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