This time last year, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was the all in all in Kano State. He had just failed in his bid to pick the presidential ticket of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and after he was defeated by now President Muhamadu Buhari, he walked home to Kano to pick up the ticket for the Kano Central Senatorial District.
He lit the fire of rage against immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan and joined in igniting the insurgency that led to the exit of five governors from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) laying the background for the eventually routing of the PDP government from office, something that must have given Kwankwaso orgasmic satisfaction. Recall that his state produced the highest number of electoral votes and the vainglorious vibes that followed it.
Like most governors, especially from the PDP fold, this man was the lord and master of his state. Even the APC, whose governors did not wield so much political muscle, recognised this! This was why when Kwankwaso and his friends like former Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State, Governor Fatah Ahmed of Kwara State, Rotimi Ameachi of Rivers joined the APC, the party preferred to hand them its mantle to the detriment of people with whom they started the APC like Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau(Kano), Mr Dele Belgore(Kwara) and Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa(Sokoto). This arguably led to the first turbulence in the APC, one which they easily weathered. But I digress.
As a result of the powers he wielded, Kwankwaso single handedly elected the gubernatorial candidate of the party, cock sure that he would deliver the election to the APC. And who did he choose? His two term deputy and friend, Abdullahi Ganduje. To make his interest further invulnerable, oga Kwankwaso would choose his friend of over 40 years, Prof Hafiz Abubakar as Ganduje’s deputy. Without any doubt, the former governor would have personally vetted the names of every 40 members of the Kano State House of Assembly, approving them all and personally handing over their nomination forms. He would have gone through the same process for chairmen and councilors in the 44 local government areas of the state such that by the time he handed over to Ganduje as governor on May 29, 2015, Kwankwaso must have sworn that he had secured his political kingdom in Kano.
Post gubernatorial office, he would expect the governor to defer to him, ditto the deputy governor, members of the house of assembly as well as local government chairmen.
But events have shown that he was grossly mistaken as recent occurrences revealed that the relationship between Governor Ganduje and his godfather are less than cordial.
Among other things, reports indicate that the former governor is angry that his successor is allegedly moving away from the Kwankwasiyya which he, the former founded. He is also accused of abandoning some of the projects that his predecessor started, forming alliances with Shekarau and leaking damning documents to political enemies who would want to expose the governor to probes. This does not appear far-fetched as the governor was quoted as threatening to expose his former principal’s dirty deals in office.
To prolong the former governor’s nightmare, members of the house of assembly no longer know this old pharaoh as they have now pitched their tents -with the governor- the one from whose table their meals are now served! Last Thursday, the house impeached its chief whip, Zubairu Mamuda, for recognising the former governor of the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso, as the state leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC! To further drive home the expiry of the Kwankwaso disposition, 36 of the 40 member house pledged allegiance to the governor and even more symbolic was the decision of the lawmakers to bring an end to the ‘redcap revolution’ introduced in 2011 by Kwankwaso when he was elected for a second term.
Led by the Speaker Kabiru Alhassan Rurum, they announced that this was to publicly show their support to Ganduje and would later pay him a solidarity visit.
The drumming has suddenly changed for politicians in Kano State and the dance steps have totally changed to the chagrin of yesterday’s godfather. Although there are reports of reconciliatory attempts going on, I do not see this disagreement, which is based on the sense of entitlement of one party and the ego of the other ever coming to an end. What would benefit the former governor is to remember that political loyalties in this country lie with the one who holds the purse and sadly, he is no longer in that position. More importantly though, this exposes the near authoritarian influence of state governors and the crippling effects that it has on other arms of government. But they may also be serving a notice on godfathers that time is up.