How Kwankwaso, Shekarau marriage of convenience collapsed

One of the greatest challenges in Nigeria’s political space since the country’s return to democracy in 1999 after more than two decades in the firm grip of the successive military regimes of General Muhammadu Buhari, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, General Sani Abacha and General Abubakar Abdulsalam has been that the country’s murky political space is always filled with a retrogressive culture as most political parties are not built on people-oriented ideologies or principles.

The parties are mere platforms clobbered together for the sole purpose of gaining and retaining power, but inherently bereft of the art of building and sustaining a virile nation.

The worst of all is that politicians in the country are known with dearths of definite direction, and genuineness of purpose as most of them only follow the path where power lies without concern for the society. Nevertheless, it has become a norm in the country for a politician to cross-carpet from one party to another without putting the emotional consideration of their supporters who had stuck with them during thick and thin into cognizance because Nigeria politics thrives on the pretext of Machiavellian mindset of politics (sic) Sad!

Recently, Kano polity was heated up due to shekarau and Kwankwaso’s bickering which has left Shekarau camp in perpetual political limbo. Others view Kwankwaso and Shekarau political ephemeral honeymoon as a marriage of convenience to fight common political foes.

This alone made them overlook their differences in the avid desire to pull their weights together, get their acts together to unseat the APC led Kano government in 2023. Recall that both of them at different times had varying political sour relationships with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje.

When Senator Kwankwaso made up his mind to defect to PDP, he told the BBC Hausa in an interview that he knew it was just a matter of time that there would be an implosion in the ruling party in Kano state due to a series of Internal wrangling. He added that the internal crisis in the ruling party was exacerbated by a deep sense of selfishness; winner takes all attitude and impatience.

He argued that the development had further given credence to what he had in mind. When the wrangling reaches a tipping point, that reconciliation is impossible between RMK and Ganduje, he defected back to the PDP and later to the NNPP to pursue his presidential ambition because his chance in the PDP was very thin.

Although Governor Ganduje accorded the former governor all sense of respect, the governor gave Shekarau a nomination form to contest for a senatorial seat, The governor followed him to APC national secretariat to submit the form to him. Governor Ganduje followed him to campaign and directed 15 LGAs of Kano Central District to pay allegiance to him at his residence.

Sadly, Shekarau took the privileges for granted and led G-7 APC faction to revolt against Abdullahi Abbas, who emerged as the ruling party chairman. Crisis erupted in the G-7 group over allegations that the leader of the faction secretly reconciled with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje in an effort to re-secure his senatorial seat in 2023.

The rest remains history as a popular saying had it that ‘a leopard doesn’t change its spot’. Malam left the ruling party claiming, the governor had sidelined him in the running of the party’s affairs in the state. Even at the time Kwankwaso and Shekarau forged a new front to work together people believed that the alliance is a failed political journey from day one.

They share the same political career similarities, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau served straight eight years as governor; but in a very amusing handover he handed over power to Kwankwaso to go for his second term. Kwankwaso had only served four years in office when relatively unknown politician defeated him as a sitting governor. Both serve as ministers and Senators representing Kano central Senatorial district, Both are presidential aspirants former under APC and later in the platform of defunct ANPP.

Both have the political history of jumping from one party to another in as much as their personal political interest would not be met Shekarau and Kwankwaso’s are APC & PDP alumni. In 2018, Kwankwaso’s return to PDP pushed Shekarau back to APC. With his exit stemming from the internal rift in the Kano chapter of the party. One faction was loyal to him while another was under the control of Kwankwaso, who was also in PDP at the time, Shekarau blamed the national leadership of the party for failing to resolve the crisis following the controversial dissolution of the state executive committee.

On 29th March, 2022, Kwankwaso resigned his membership of the PDP and he said he was leaving the party because of some serious and irreconcilable differences. He join the NNPP at the end of March by June he emerged as the presidential candidate of the New Nigerian Peoples Party(NNPP). Just of sudden in May, 2022, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau and associate joint NNPP from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). Reasons behind their defection, APC’s inability to settle the crisis between his faction and Ganduje’s faction led to his exit from the party.

Shekarau accused Kwankwaso of betraying the agreement they had before his defection. “I will never be a party to injustice. My integrity is of utmost and not any political position that will make me compromise it and that of my people. Nobody will use position or money against my integrity,” he had said.

Now marriage of convenience to pull down Governor Ganduje and the ruling party gubernatorial candidate at all cost fail again as the former tried it in the 2019 elections by anointing his political godson. Already, political analysts believed that due to the superiority complex between them the necessary agreement would not unite them because both wanted to lead not to follow.

As it’s was anticipated they political honeymoon is pass the collapse as serving senator and political associates ditched NNPP to PDP. Sardaunan Kano making frantic efforts to regain relevance in the nation’s polity. The laughing thing Sardaunan Kano pledge to ensure the success of the presidential candidate of the party, Atiku, not only in Kano but in all the states of the federation. With his recent defection to PDP Malam Shekarau and political associates will soon go into political oblivion.

Ibrahim writes from Kano