Two elephants are fighting; of course, the grass is suffering and will continue to suffer until the battle is over. This is the Kano political metaphor, entangled in fierce attacks by two uncompromising political antagonists, each striving to impose a political empire and become an emperor. Eventually, Kano is the unwarranted victim of perpetrated animosity.
It’s a self-destruction thriller of democracy that has befallen and engulfed Kano, triggering and producing tragic episodes such as the infamous 2019 inconclusive election, the recent sacking of Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf, desecrating the revered traditional establishment, and injuring the heart of commerce via political vendetta of demolition, among others. It’s the unnecessary child of political dichotomy between Gandujiyya and Kwankwasiyya, while Kanawiyya is left uncared.
The persistent rise of this dangerous politics exposes Kano having a huge deficit on political vision; it will not culminate in economic vision for a sustainable development. Misplaced priorities are never a priority. Kano city, a pseudo state, is gulping the greater available resources with monumental flyovers and underpasses. However, 400 public schools in Kano North have only one teacher each! The state has more than four million learners sitting on bare floor. The other disgusting face of Kano state, comprising the rural areas and semi urban centres, can be nothing but a cheap mockery. In the end, the people of Kano are politically balkanised, casualties of the lingering rifts between Kwankwasiyya and Gandujiyya rising tensions.
The politics of cheap popularity, character defamation is organically occupying the political space, devastating Kano beyond comments. It’s a kind of a dysfunctional politics that cannot fulfill the vast yearnings of the people. Kano, the tumbin giwa, is not the same again. How can it, when it is deeply enmashed in highly explosive political inferno regarding the recent election tribunal ruling, sacking the executive governor? If there was mischief- making in the verdict, then the prophets of doom have done it again!
The panel’s controversial ruling will further fuel the existing flames of antagonism between the two factions.The next expected court judgements can only be a temporary healer for Kano with mixed reactions. Nevertheless, the greatest healer will be time. But whoever carries the day eventually will not be different from the other as far as Kano is concerned. Both Abba and Gawuna are the symptom of the same political dislocation of sectarian politics. It will fester like an endemic and Kano will continue to be infected and harmed.
Kano’s political disorder primarily exploded when Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje parted ways in politics not in peace. The reason for that premature political disengagement was connected with the insatiable desire of Kwankwaso to control Ganduje when the latter ascended the throne of the state. Bankrupt in politics of principles, it was unsurprising drawing a battle line, always at daggers drawn, forgetting and burying all other meaningful matters. It is often said there are no permanent foes or friends in politics. But in Kano, increased political disintegration has given way for seemingly permanent discord between Kwankwaso and Ganduje.
Playing the game of godfather politics is now a renowned and domineering theme of Nigeria’s democracy. In Kano, two political godfathers cannot make one. The two godfathers have incessantly been at loggerheads and the poor outcome is that several political earthquakes have erupted in Kano, trailed by numerous political fractures and brinkmanship. The politicisation of Kano through Kwankwasiyya and Gandujiyya is putting Kano asunder, and may likely snowball to other parts of the country. Kano’s politics has lost its strength and is now very feeble in as much as it is vindictive.
The persistent feud of the two giants, aggravated by undesirable sycophants, has vindicated the late Mahatma Gandhi. His moral teaching stresses that ‘politics without principles’ is amongst the seven deadly social diseases destroying the world. With impunity, they have breached the principles of politics and Kano is paying the exorbitant price. What used to be the centre for progressive politics is now a camp for political insanity. Kwankwasiyya and Gandujiyya are more of a political propaganda than developmental politics. It is embarrassing for ‘independent’ political parties to allow cult movement operating within their structures.
Diminishing Kano’s high esteem politics of the late Malam Aminu Kano is a fatal misrepresentation of Kano’s estwhile humongous glory. Aminu was combative with ideas NOT people. Malam’s progressive politics earned Kano a high reputation in Nigeria and beyond, which the two warring parties ought to have restored, preserved and consolidated. It was indecent for him to create a political enemy. Aminu was a political saint who accepted to suffer for political ideology rather than how to capture power by all means and squander fame. Aminu played politics with a considerable conscience to moralise it. He found joy in political frustration to strengthen his political spirit for a noble cause. All these fundamental lessons have been thrown to the dogs and that is why Kano is bleeding.
Kano was also famous for the late Governor Abubakar Rimi. He was an indefatigable political servant who built up people’s hopes, not destroying them. He uplifted Kano to greater heights in both the urban and rural dimensions. Many of the contemporary Kano politicians are beneficiaries of his progressive governance, albeit, his inevitable quarrel with Aminu Kano was informed by ideological ‘stubbornness’, not personal interest. He demonstrated a deep passion for Kano to be viable for all and not for his lonely interest. I still recapitulate his unrivaled feat in the area of adult education, earning him an international award from the United Nations. The program was successfully piloted by the late Umaru Aji, who was later to become a commissioner for education in Jigawa and a federal permanent secretary.
While Kwankwasiyya and Gandujiyya will continue to be false political attractions that cannot stand the test of time, in the real but relegated Kano, there are rising crimes, industries have been folding up, job seekers are forming an army, quality education is at its lowest ebb, the rate of drug addicts is both horrifying and escalating, poverty level is going up, agriculture as the mainstay of the rural dwellers is yet to be reformed.
This political damage has already been perpetuated. To halt further escalations and devastations of Kano’s political disarray, Kano needs a reconstruction mantra to move it forward. It’s high time to liberate the state from the prison of sectarian politics. It will never lead Kano in peace to develop.
Abdullahi writes from
Ringim, Jigawa state via