SHEKARAU, NOT KWANKWASO, IS MESSIAH
Leadership is a business for serious minds. We do not want leaders who are erratic, whimsical and vindictive, because they lack the maturity required for leadership – Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu.
It was over a month ago Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso took over the mantle of leadership in Kano state for the second time. This was after a fierce electoral contest, the result of which is still being challenged in the court of law. Besides the manipulative instinct and nature of the election, the greediness of some members of the opposition parties also led the latter to embark on anti-party activities that tended to 'favour' the Kwankwasiyya sect from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kano.
Indeed, the scenario is a case of if I do not eat toad, I can kill it and throw it away. Of course, if Kuturu (leper) cannot prepare tea, he can, at least, pour it away after being prepared by some one else. It is this type of habit that led Kano and her good people to be hoodwinked into the present unenviable state of things. This, however, explains why the state leadership that ought to go into the hands of honourable men of integrity as it were, slipped into the hands of unprepared minds that are only interested in taking their own pound of flesh.
During his first coming between 1999 and 2003, as the third Civilian Governor of Kano State, Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso made so many promises to the people of Kano state, which he could not fulfill before God's unfathomable river of time caught him up. Kwankwaso ruled with high handedness. This made him to demote his immediate predecessor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau from Permanent Secretary to ordinary class teacher, not knowing that a good leader is someone who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. The demotion of Shekarau however marked the downfall of Kwankwaso and the rise of Shekarau thereafter.
It would therefore not be out of place if we briefly mention some of the reasons against Kwankwaso’s tazarce in 2003 in Kano as espoused by Kano people. First, the state government was being faulted of not aggressively pursuing shariah, the Islamic legal system. One other area why Kwankwaso found it difficult to get the node of Kano people is the issue of breaking the jinx of continuity, which Shekarau later demystified by winning his second term election. In Kano political dispensation especially beginning from the second Republic, no Kano civilian governor has ever won second term ticket except during the period of former Governor Shekarau.
It was also the collective decision of the Kano people that if Kwankwaso had won his second term, he would have strangulated the people of Kano since he had nothing to showcase for his continuity in his first term. The Obasanjo phenomena also scared most Kanawas from voting Kwankwaso, coupled with the latter's vindictive character trait. Two months to the April 2003 governorship election, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was stoned at the emir's palace during Hawan Daushe as expression of rejection from the people of Kano.
At the end of his tenure, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso squandered the ecological and scholarship fund of the state. This was the product of the government white paper that eventually disqualified him from contesting the 2007 state governorship election in April. This was also after a colossal waste of N70 million he paid to PDP delegates of the governorship primaries to secure nomination, which was published in the weekly trust of December 16-22, 2006, page 50.
In spite of all these ugly political trends, Kwankwaso was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that nothing would stop him from having the second term. He however, never knew that the very man he had unjustly demoted from Permanent Secretary to a classroom teacher, based on mere opinion differences, would be his successor. In both the 2003 and 2007 Kano State governorship election, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau overwhelmly won the elections and became the first governor to attain such enviable feat.
As a matter of fact, throughout the eight years of Shekarau administration, there were positive changes and the lives of Kano and her citizens became meaningful as Shekarau left no stone unturned to ensure progress of the state and well being of her people. Specifically, Shekarau administration enhanced peace, created good roads, generated internal revenue, employment opportunity and moved Kano forward in every aspect of socio-economic and political developments. The achievements of Shekarau's eight years of administration filled volumes and are well documented for the record so that the cynics, opportunistic despots and rabble rousers could be remembered and corrected whenever they try to distort history for parochial interest.
In contradistinction to the above remarkable score cards by Shekarau government, it is regrettable that the present governor and the immediate past governor before Shekarau could not achieve such feat as his performances were nothing to think about due to its disastrous implications on the lives and well being of the people the governor sought to administer. Ironically, the same Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso whose first term leadership of the state visited terror and deprivation on Kano and her people stole his way back to lead the state after eight years of rejection.
Whatever human factor that was responsible for the setback against Kano by bouncing back Kwankwaso as her leader for another umpteenth time, one must not forget in hurry that the most high and the knower of hidden and unhidden things knows why He allowed it to happen, perhaps to remind mankind and Kanawas in particular that at times one does not appreciate the value of what one has, until one loses such valuable. No wonder that we now hear most of Kwankwaso supporters saying, "Had we known" and some even went to the extent of writing this type of regretful expression on their red caps that signify Kwankwasiyya.
We are however very grateful to God that in spite of the evil intention of the present administration to carry out vengeance on the former People's governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau whose governance had brought succor to the people, the Almighty God is committing the hands of Governor Kwankwaso to surreptitiously adopt most of the lofty policies and programmes of Shekarau administration, which will continue to be a shining example to other leaders to come for the progress of the state. This, we have seen in the appointment of non-indigenes in the government of Kano State by the present administration. Of equal note is the usage of the environmental disposal trucks purchased by Shekarau administration; creation and appointments of parastatals, agencies and aides are all creation of Shekarau administration, which Kwankwaso government never thought about during his first term leadership.
If the above is the case, it is then hypocritical for governor Kwankwaso to be using Shekarau's lofty ideas and at the same time embarking on pretentious campaigns of calumny against him just to attract cheap political goal, which we also thank God that such political mischief has not yielded dividend chiefly due to political sophistication of Kano people. One other thing that is noteworthy is the fact that whatever Kwankwaso is going to do as governor today, his predecessor, Malam (Dr) Ibrahim Shekarau, Sardaunan Kano has already laid the good foundation for him to follow and no amount of propaganda or cosmetic make ups by this administration, the omnipotent has already made Shekarau administration as the light with which every government after him will illuminate its way.
At least, if nothing else, the beautiful Government House Kwankwaso now enjoys against the rat, cobwebs and rickety Government House he left behind in 2003. The Shekarau's beautiful six lane roads Kwankwaso now plies every day. The increase of 150 million litres of water by Shekarau government, which Kwankwaso now backs on and many other beautiful work of Shekarau administration are enough for governor Kwankwaso to doff his cap for Shekarau. It is however interesting to note that as a result of huge work Shekarau administration had already done on the issue of water supply to the state, the Kwankwaso government requires only the sum of N390M for water supply as recently approved by the state executive council and reported on page 2 of the Daily Triumph Newspaper of 7th July 2011. This is just a tip of the iceberg.
All these are what make Shekarau a messiah and hero. The people of Kano have wept for the exit of Shekarau after the expiration of his constitutionally allowed time as governor mainly because of the humble way he made use of the state resources. They are however satisfied that with time, God can still call on him to serve not only the people of Kano but also that of the entire people of Nigeria. Indeed, it is not yet over until it is over.
Usman Aminu Sani, No. 101, Zaria road, Gyadi-Gyadi, Kano. Email: [email protected]