By Jude Atupulazi
At a time when the harsh realities of life under the country's president, Muhammadu Buhari, had started permeating the bone marrows of many Nigerians, came a report I stumbled into.
It was about a certain Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, former governor of Kano State. The report had it that core Hausa Muslims were not happy with what they called the slow progress of Buhari in pushing the Muslim agenda. It stated that they regretted not having Kwankwaso as president, as, according to them, he would have been more brutal than Buhari, as well as being a lot faster, in Islamizing Nigeria.
Well, even though I had shuddered at that report, I didn't take it very seriously, especially in an age when all manner of news reports fly on the social media space.
But almost three years after, the same name, Kwankwaso, is cropping up again. This time, the report is that he has declared for president and is to run on the platform of the People's Democratic Party, PDP. Worse still, his declaration is coming soon after the PDP accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of sponsoring some people to aspire on the PDP platform in order to cause confusion. Is Kwankwaso a mole of the APC then? Is he being fronted by the Islamist fundamentalists in APC to ensure that in the event of Buhari failing, they will still have their man, an even better man, in Aso Rock? If that's the case, then they are being smart, very smart. But that is if Nigerians will swallow their bait.
What is however certain is that among those who are going to work for him, just as they will work for Buhari's re-election, are Ndigbo. They will quickly open offices and display banners in support of Buhari or Kwankwaso, regardless of what they have experienced these almost four years. A tragedy, isn't it?
I have decided to share what this new revelation about Kwankwaso says. Here it
Kwankwaso has declared for the Presidency of this country. Let's be aware of who he is. The write up below will help know who Kwankwaso is: On Kwankwaso, My Not Subtle Warning.
I own my voice and I will speak.
I here and now warn you about Kwankwaso. Our zeal to see Buhari out will push us from frying pan to fire.
When I warned people in 2015 about Buhari, I looked at his antecedents and told everyone that Buhari is all about his North. I backed this up by pointing to his Supreme Military Council and how his 2ic was Idiagbon, a Muslim Northerner. I pointed to Mamman Vatsa, Babangida, Abacha, etc, and said his top 5 were Muslim and Northerners and that this would show in his appointments if he is elected. This is the first time we are having a Northerner as SFG and not one southerner in Buhari's working team, save for the constitutionally stipulated Ministers needing to come from all States of the Federation.
I also pointed to the fact that Buhari as statesman called in to make peace in Ife between the aggressors, the Fulani herdsmen and the Yoruba farmers, and how Buhari came and his statement to the Governor was, "why are your people killing my people?" and how there was NOTHING STATESMANLY in Buhari's demeanour. I said he would support herdsmen. The killings being carried out by herdsmen and the clear support of them by Buhari's government show I was correct.
I also pointed out that Buhari was governor of the states of Borno and Bauchi in the 70's and that no schools were built by him then and even as PTF boss, he did not build schools and that education and everything the South holds dear will suffer under him. I also pointed to his changing the Naira in 1984 and how the Naira then fell. Today we know the fate of the naira.
In the same vein I warn of Kwankwaso.
Yes Kwankwaso is a force to reckon with and if PDP must win, they must factor Kwankwaso.
But at what cost?
Kwankwaso is the new Buhari when it comes to Islam, Sharia and favouring the North with total disregard for the South and Christians and their ways.
Let me remind or inform, whichever be the case.
Kwankwaso introduced the very harsh form of Sharia into Kano. Kano is one of the greatest cities in pre-colonial Nigeria. It welcomed traders of all races, religions and ways. Like Dubai, it was difficult to consider Kano as Muslim as it was a magnet to all who traded and wished to live there. The mammy markets were places Christians and pagans could go and drink and then respectfully walk to their homes in peace. Kwankwaso and his Sharia went and BROKE ALL BEER BOTTLES IN KANO, destroying stores of Igbos, Yorubas and all else who sold alcohol, pork and everything the FUNDAMENTALIST VERSION OF ISLAM frowned at. He never gave a single C of O to any church, many of which were burnt in his reign. Is this the man to rule all of Nigeria and our diverse ways and religion?
Remember Kwankwaso did not use the Police or constitutional paramilitary to destroy the shops and drinks of mostly Igbos who owned these drinking spots. He used SHARIA POLICE, aka Muslim youths, to destroy properties of Christians. SHARIA POLICE. Imagine it!
Also, today, as Buhari used to do, it is Kwankwaso that represents the North and herdsmen in any altercation. He is their voice. And his words are not of peace and remedy for destroyed farmlands. Is this the person you want in this time of the rise of the murderous herdsmen terrorists?
And, yes, he is the leader of the almajiris. He has boasted about how he deployed them against Jonathan and on TV. Do you think a man that has an army he can call on will disband that army? Why would he do anything about almajiris when that will disband his army of almajiris?
Ikenna Onyekwelu writing in Vanguard of 21 June 2015 under the title Rabiu Kwankwaso: Whining of a Rural Aristocrat, chronicles the ways of Kwankwaso. He chronicles how Kwankwaso does not brook criticism. He quotes Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as Sanusi writes of Kwankwaso
"He can enjoy the privileges due an Executive Governor under our Constitution and an Imam or Caliph in Islam, without being held accountable to the people (or) being answerable to any one for his policies. The result is the paradox of our times. We got rid of the military by electing dictators.”
And remember Kwankwaso as an incumbent backed by then President Obasanjo, lost to Shekarau. It says a lot about his leadership then though he was to win again and did do a lot of great things, infrastructure-wise, and also became a senator that he is now.
He says Kwankwaso is not a FORCE OF UNITY but one of division. He is the one that stated to APC that governors of nPDP will come to control the party, the first chink in APC's armour that till today never could be welded.
And it is he that had Atiku stoned in Kano.
And he never supported Saraki becoming Senate president, even when all nPDP and PDP came together to see Saraki and Ekweremadu become Senate leaders.
Do you think he will toe the line in PDP if he does not get the ticket?
Remember, Kwankwaso and Buhari did not quarrel. He supports Buhari. Like Shehu in Kaduna, Kwankwaso's quarrel is with the Governor of Kano, as well as his own ambition. If you think Kwankwaso will support anyone aside from himself against Buhari, you do not know him.
But most of the above we can forgive but not the fact that he is as Ikenna called him, "an ethnic jingoist".
And NO, not everyone is an ethnic jingoist. Tambuwal has never passed or implemented a policy against Igbos or Yorubas or Christians as Speaker of the House or Governor of Sokoto. In fact, he has ensured "state of residence" replaces "state of origin" and has employed many Southern Christians in the Sokoto Civil Service. Atiku on his own has never shown he belongs to the North. His ways and manner show a NATIONAL CHARACTER. His utterances are about the progress of all Nigerians.
Kwankwaso meanwhile is implementing the worst form of Sharia in Kano and ensuring churches do not get Cs of O.
Yes removing Buhari is a lofty ambition and Kwankwaso stands a good chance of being able to defeat Buhari. But why replace a sick and dying Islamist with a young and vibrant Islamist?
Again, why replace an old and frail Islamist and Northern jingoist with a young and vibrant one?
I do not need PDP to win that bad and neither should you.
And I add, he who has ears, let him hear!