by Salihu Tanko Yakasai
Let me categorically state that, we the majority members of APC in Kano can comfortably sacrifice Shekarau to have Kwankwaso on board, anyday, anytime and a gazillion times over.
Last Thursday, October 31st 2013, the All Progressives Congress party APC delegation headed by its National Chairman Bisi Akande, together with the leaders of the Party Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, Rochas Okorocha and host of others, were at the Kano State Government House to woo the Governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his “red cap” army to join the APC. It was landmark event politically, as this signals the strong possibility of the G-7 rebel PDP governors decamping to the new APC. However, what caught my attention immediately the news broke that the delegation were in Kano, was the absence of Ibrahim Shekarau, former Kano State Governor in the team.
Right away, I sensed that it was deliberate, he intentionally refused to join the APC delegation on their visit to the government house, and my assertions were proven right when a day later, Shekarau through his aide said that “they will not welcome Kwankwaso into APC”. (I wonder who the “they” are) He said that Kwankwaso has a history of violence and as such, there’s no room for him in APC.
I was shocked and baffled to hear this coming from Shekarau, though similar rifts exist in some few other states like Adamawa and Sokoto, but Shekarau’s own came to me as a rude shocker. For starters, everyone knows that Shekarau and Buhari have parted ways politically after Shekarau betrayed Buhari, but Buhari did not set any precondition for Shekarau before accepting him in APC. Shekarau took so many trips to Bola Tinubu in Lagos to plead with Buhari for him to join APC. Buhari accepted him because this is a new chapter, a new beginning and between the devil and the saint, everyone is welcome to join, regardless of the history of betrayal which he, Shekarau did to Buhari.
Moreover, Kwankwaso is an asset to the APC in Kano, much more than Shekarau is, and he knows the value and importance of Buhari politically in the North, that he has been romancing him prior to the 2011 elections, prior to the formation of the G-7 and even now as we step closer to the 2015 elections. When APP defeated PDP in 2003, it wasn’t Shekarau that defeated Kwankwaso but Buhari’s popularity, which made people to vote for his party APP and Shekarau became governor. Kwankwaso has never castigated Buhari for this, on the contrary, he has embrace the fact that Buhari is loved at the grassroots at least in the North and nobody can change that.
Its understandable for Bafarawa to set conditions for Wamakko in Sokoto, or in other states like Adamawa and Jigawa for the members of the existing APC to have some sense of control and not be pushed by the incoming G-7 governors, but in Kano, Shekarau has no moral justification whatsoever to warrant such, simply because he is the troublemaker in the party. Kwankwaso currently has only two political enemies, the old PDP and Shekarau. But he, Shekarau, is the politician with the highest number of political enemies in the entire state. He is fighting Buhari’s men from CPC, fighting his former Deputy Abdulahi Tijjani Gwarzo from the ACN, fighting Kwankwaso, and even in his old party ANPP, Shekarau is at loggerheads with the likes of Sen Kabiru Gaya, Hon Kawu Sumaila and Barau Jibrin among many others. He is simply fighting too many battles at the same time and will definitely have negative consequences on our great party APC, moving forward.
With ANPP being the senior partner of the merger in Kano State, considering the number of elected officials they have both in the National Assembly and State Assembly, plus a former Presidential Aspirant, Shekarau became the de facto leader of the party in Kano, by default. One would have thought that he will be the one to even initiate the move to woo Kwankwaso over. That would have given him an upper hand and would have also made him a mature politician for such a wise political move. But he folded his arms and waited till the delegation left Kano, before he started grumbling.
As a true politician, I know the importance of each and every member of the party, devil and saints alike. I know the value of not kicking people out of your party, but settling misunderstandings and keeping all party members locked in so they won’t decamp. I also have never said anything negative about Shekarau since he came into our party, APC. But let me categorically state that, we the majority members of APC in Kano can comfortably sacrifice Shekarau to have Kwankwaso on board, anyday, anytime and a gazillion times over. Let me also tell Shekarau that, the political tsunami that removed Kwankwaso from office in 2003 and ushered in Shekarau as the governor under APP then, is the type (and even a bigger one) that will sweep the nation under APC come 2015 God Willing. And this will happen with or without him. So, if you want to leave, please do so quietly Shekarau NOW and let us live in peace, for we WILL NOT accept you dictating to us who will and who will not join APC, simply because in Kano, the party is NOT your property!
Tanko Yakasai is a proud husband and father of two. He is a broadcaster with Freedom Radio, Kano. Yakasai believes in the unity and development of Nigeria, which paved his way into community activities through NGOs in transforming our society for the better. He is a registered member of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.