By Nazifi Dawud
Since Governor Abdullahi Ganduje ascended power in 2015, the good people of Kano state have been held hostage by his vicious and ruthlessly unthinking and insensitive administration, which has never missed an opportunity to torment citizens with obnoxious policies.
Just when we are struggling to recover from the brazen, violent assault on democracy called the March 23 supplementary election, in which Ganduje was forced on us through a deeply flawed process that was condemned by all right-thinking human beings and groups including the European Union observer mission, we have received another bitter pill of wicked and evil political scheming.
Instead of the governor, already suffering from zero charisma, to initiate ways of pacifying the people who were obviously enraged by the shameless electoral tragedy that manufactured his illegitimate second term, Ganduje thought that the best way to reward the people is to touch another nasty button of outrage that would only deepen the hatred against his already battered image.
As recent events can testify, it is not in doubt that the so-called next level of the Ganduje administration would come with a disgusting package of outrageously preposterous decisions and terrible anti-people policies that might not have been seen in any part of the world.
The abrupt and reckless manner in which the Kano state government conceived the creation of four rival emirate councils just to settle personal scores with Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, reeks of naked vindictiveness and crass intolerance by Ganduje, no matter how he tries to mask his intentions.
The governor’s vengeful disposition is further confirmed by his revival of the 2017 probe against the emir for alleged financial misappropriation of emirate council funds even when the meaningless probe was shelved after sensible intervention by well-meaning Kano citizens and elders.
The persecution of Emir Sanusi did not start today, but only worsened after Ganduje returned to power after he clearly lost the March 9, 2019 governorship election in the state to his main challenger Abba K. Yusuf of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ganduje was only able to bounce back after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) unjustly declared the main election in which the governor lost by more than 26,000 votes—inconclusive.
Seeing the injustice that was planned against the state, the people of Kano rose in protest against INEC’s action and besieged the Kano Emirate, demanding that Emir Sanusi intervened so that justice could be done.
And the Emir, being a true lover of peace and the defender of his peoples’ best interests, called for free and fair conclusion of the election and declaration of the true winner. Alas, that intervention was the Emir Sanusi’s biggest ‘sin’.
Soon after Ganduje was declared winner of the violent March 23 supplementary polls, where armed thugs, allegedly hired by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) took over polling units and unleashed mayhem by inflicting injuries on perceived PDP members, disenfranchising genuine voters and perpetrating mass rigging, Emir Sanusi’s trouble also festered.
Even before INEC officially declared the winner of the elections, Ganduje’s supporters, who went berserk, marched to the Government House, assaulting opponents on their way, and mounted ladders to tear down the portrait pictures of Emir Sanusi at the Coronation Hall.
The governor’s apologists cheered and insulted the revered monarch as his photographs were pulled down and destroyed. But the worst part was that Ganduje never condemned such act of gross disrespect against the Emir of Kano!
That was the manifestation of the grand plot to further humiliate the emir by Ganduje and his minions, who saw Sanusi as an active sympathizer of the opposition simply because of his innocent appeal for justice!
Despite all these intrigues and conspiracy against Emir Sanusi, perhaps what Ganduje does not understand is that apart from further diminishing whatever remains of his already tattered credibility, he lacks an iota of morality to tell Kanawa what he thinks is right for them.
First, this is a man who still carries with him the pungent stench of allegations of mind-twisting corruption after viral video clips show him purportedly stuffing bundles upon bundles of American dollars, which ace investigative Journalist Jaafar Jaafar, insists are kickbacks squeezed out of local contractors executing various works in the state. The total amount the governor was accused of collecting as bribes is $5 million.
When the issue first came into limelight and the State House of Assembly invited the governor and Jaafar, who first released the notorious clips, Ganduje could not honour the invitation to answer questions even as the journalist appeared at the probe panel with a copy of the Holy Qur’an to testify on the veracity of the videos.
During the electioneering campaign ahead of the 2019 elections, Ganduje shunned two separate public debates organized for candidates seeking the governorship office, apparently for fear of being quizzed on the naughty bribery clips even though he insisted he was innocent and even filed a lawsuit against Jaafar.
With the inconclusive issue of alleged bribe-taking still hanging on the governor’s neck, the least we expect from him is to attempt to paint anyone else as corrupt. Therefore, the poorly organized witch-hunt against Sanusi in the name of probe simply boomerangs on the face of the governor.
Second, the real patriotic Kanawa will never forgive Ganduje for his self-serving balkanization, mutilation and desecration of the over 1,000-year-old Kano Emirate, due to a petty difference with the occupant of its prestigious throne. At a time when revered and great institutions are being preserved, enriched, rebuilt and strengthened by leaders of honour and integrity, our own leaders, with all the charisma of a pothole, are destroying our only remaining bastion of cultural heritage and custodian of the Islamic faith.
Did the governor, ever spare a split second to think of the intense division and humiliation his decision would inflict on Kano state and its good people simply because he is at odds with the Emir of Kano? Is there any law in the land that makes it mandatory for an emir to always agree with the opinion or policies of any political leader no matter how unpopular, presidents, governors or others?
Third, just recently, it was revealed by Professor Murtala Sagagi, Dean of Dangote Business School, Bayero University, Kano (BUK) that over FOUR MILLION (4 Million) youths are jobless in Kano and over 500 industries are shut down in the state due to poor development agenda.
But instead of tackling this monument problem with its attendant security threat, in addition to poor healthcare delivery, perennial shortage of portable water and poor environmental sanitation, our governor in cahoots with our short-sighted state lawmakers think what we need are money-guzzling useless emirates and life-pensions for speakers and their deputies in the face of extreme poverty and hardship.
While we pray that God touches the hearts of our leaders and make them see reason, we immediately demand the repeal of anti-development and anti-people Emir Appointment and Deposition Law 2019 as well as the Pension Rights of Speaker and Deputy Law 2019.
We cannot afford the obliteration of our exclusively rich cultural heritage through the destruction of the old Kano Emirate just as we won’t tolerate the mindless waste of our resources by enriching a few selfish leaders at the expense of the entire Kano population.
Khalid, a journalist wrote this piece from Kano and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org