Kwankwaso, Gan­duje Fac­tions Dis­agree on Peace Terms

PDP Will Ben­e­fit From Cri­sis – Wali

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Yusha’u A. Ibrahim, Kano Muideen Olaniyi, & Is­mail Mu­dashir

Last week, at the colour­ful Hawan Daushe dur­bar to cel­e­brate the eid fes­tiv­i­ties in Kano, po­lit­i­cal ten­sions that have been ris­ing in the state came to a fore when vi­o­lent con­fronta­tions be­tween sup­port­ers of for­mer gover­nor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso clashed with sup­port­ers of in­cum­bent Ab­dul­lahi Gan­duje.

Apart from cleav­ing open hu­man flesh with dan­ger­ous weapons, Satur­day Septem­ber 2nd clashes at the Emir’s palace Ko­far Kudu could have opened deeper chasm on the po­lit­i­cal can­vass in the state and the two lead­ing po­lit­i­cal fig­ures. With jostlings al­ready on for the 2019 elec­tions, there is no telling how much im­pli­ca­tion this would have on the rul­ing All Pro­gres­sives Congress, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that Kano, is one of the largest sup­port base of the party.

The rift be­tween Kwankwanso and his army of red cap sup­port­ers and his once close ally Gan­duje has sur­prised many. The two have served two terms as gover­nor and deputy in Kano and have had a long his­tory of work­ing to­gether and when Kwankwaso cham­pi­oned Gan­duje’s 2015 bid to suc­ceed him as gover­nor of Kano State, many ob­servers ex­pected a happy end­ing to the story. But barely two years down the line, has the bad blood be­tween the two politi­cians re­sulted in an out­break of vi­o­lence.

Al­ready the horse trad­ing and buck shift­ing has started, with each fac­tion blam­ing the other for the clash. The APC fac­tion loyal to in­cum­bent Gover­nor Gan­duje has de­nied re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tacks.

“It is un­fair for the mem­bers of Kwankwasiyya to blame the gover­nor and his loy­al­ists for the at­tack,” Al­haji Ab­dul­lahi Ab­bas, fac­tional chair­man of the party said. “I want to state cat­e­gor­i­cally that the gover­nor and his loy­al­ists have no hand what­so­ever in the un­for­tu­nate at­tack.”

He went fur­ther to lay the blame on loy­al­ists to Kwankwaso say­ing, “Prior to the clash, pre­cisely on the 28th Au­gust, 2017, I wrote a let­ter to the com­mis­sioner of po­lice in­form­ing him about the Kwankwasiyya’s plan to dis­rupt the Hawan Daushe. And, af­ter the clash, I also wrote an­other let­ter to the po­lice com­mis­sioner and made ref­er­ence to my first let­ter. I called on the po­lice to take se­ri­ous ac­tion on the mat­ter and I am con­fi­dent they will.”

Ac­cord­ing to him, the rea­son for the clash was sim­ply the re­fusal of the Kwankwaso–led red caps to rec­og­nize that Gan­duje was now the man in charge and there­fore the leader of the party in the state.

“We have had a change of lead­er­ship in Kano but Kwankwaso has failed to ac­cept this fact,” he said. “When he was the gover­nor, we all fol­lowed him and re­spected him and there­fore he should also re­spect Gan­duje and fol­low him.”

But de­spite the state of af­fairs in the state, he still re­tains hope of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion be­tween the two vi­o­lently op­posed fac­tions.

“To be hon­est there is still hope that this in­ter­nal cri­sis will be over. This kind of cri­sis is nor­mal in any party that formed gov­ern­ment but I can con­fi­dently tell you that we will re­solve our dif­fer­ences be­fore the 2019 gen­eral elec­tions,” he said.

How­ever, on the other side of the di­vide, lead­ing the APC fac­tion loyal to Kwankwanso is Al­haji Umar Haruna Doguwa who felt that Gan­duje has be­trayed the ideals of the Kwankwasiyya move­ment and hence the cri­sis.

“I am the party chair­man that led the Gan­duje’s cam­paign in 2015. He be­came gover­nor un­der my lead­er­ship and I am quite aware that Dr Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso is no longer the gover­nor of Kano State. But the bone of con­tention be­tween Kwankwasiyya and Gan­du­jiyya is that the lat­ter has de­vi­ated from our ac­tual po­lit­i­cal ide­olo­gies that we cam­paigned and formed gov­ern­ment,” he said.

For him, there is a re­ally sim­ply so­lu­tion to the prob­lem. Only, it is not so sim­ple.

“If to­day they will go back to our ide­olo­gies, I can as­sure you ev­ery­thing will be okay and we will sup­port each other to move the state for­ward,” he said.

Even though Gan­duje him­self has not de­vi­ated from iden­ti­fy­ing with the Kwankwasiyya ideals - he still ap­pears in pub­lic in red caps as is prac­ticed by Kwankwaso him­self and his sup­port­ers many of his sup­port­ers have turned their backs on this tra­di­tion and what­ever ideals form the Kwankwasiyya ide­ol­ogy.

For many of Kwankwaso’s sup­port­ers, this is the most con­tentious is­sue.

A for­mer com­mis­sioner un­der Kwankwaso Com­rade Aminu Ab­dul­salam echoed their de­sire for Gan­duje to re­turn to the Kwankwasiyya fold.

“All we want is for the gover­nor to re­turn to the ide­olo­gies of Kwankwasiyya which in­clude good gover­nance, pro­vi­sion of qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, good road, drugs in our hos­pi­tal and so on so forth,” he said. “Presently, the gover­nor has com­pletely de­vi­ated from all these. The peo­ple of Kano con­sider Gan­duje as Kwankwaso and it was based on that that they elected him into of­fice in 2015. So, we can­not fold our hands and watch him dis­ap­point them.”

But Gan­duje’s com­mis­sioner of in­for­ma­tion Malam Muham­mad Garba dis­pelled al­le­ga­tion that the Gan­duje has de­vi­ated from the ide­olo­gies of Kwankwasiyya as claimed by Com­rade Ab­dul­salam.

“Pro­grammes such as school feed­ing and for­eign schol­ar­ship are still be­ing im­ple­mented in the state by the Gan­duje led ad­min­is­tra­tion. In fact, there is no sin­gle project that is im­por­tant to the peo­ple that is left be­hind by Kwankwaso which Gan­duje did not con­tinue,” he said. “Some of these projects have been com­pleted and some are still on. So it is not true for some­one to say Gan­duje has de­vi­ated from Kwankwasiyya’s ide­olo­gies.”

How­ever, he did not fail to take a pot­shot at the for­mer gover­nor and his sup­port­ers, ac­cus­ing them of mas­ter­mind­ing the vi­o­lence out­side the Emir’s palace.

“I can con­fi­dently tell you that the Kwankwasiyya group planned to em­bar­rass the gover­nor dur­ing the dur­bar and for­tu­nately for him they did not suc­ceed,” he said.

While the ac­cu­sa­tions and counter ac­cu­sa­tions con­tinue to be pinged back and forth, one thing that can’t be de­nied is the deep­en­ing rift be­tween the two fac­tions and its im­pli­ca­tions for the for­tunes of the party go­ing for­ward. Haruna Doguwa is mind­ful of this. “Hon­estly speak­ing, the rift is af­fect­ing democ­racy and the state in a neg­a­tive way and it will pos­si­bly af­fect the party in the sub­se­quent elec­tions.”

If the APC fails to unite its house, the one party that could ben­e­fit from the di­vi­sion is the PDP, which was ousted from power by the APC. The op­po­si­tion party is al­ready rel­ish­ing the idea and rub­bing its palms in an­tic­i­pa­tion.

A chieftain of the PDP in the state, Am­bas­sador Aminu Wali, Nige­ria’s min­is­ter of for­eign af­fairs be­tween 2014 and 2015 when the PDP lost power to the APC said this much when con­tacted by our cor­re­spon­dent.

“The cri­sis is weak­en­ing APC and I can

Hon­estly speak­ing, the rift is af­fect­ing democ­racy and the state in a neg­a­tive way and it will pos­si­bly af­fect the party in the sub­se­quent elec­tions

as­sure you that at the end of it, PDP will be the ben­e­fi­ciary which means it will re­claim the state come 2017,” he said.

He said Kano has had a his­tory of in­tra­party rifts, re­call­ing the cri­sis of the Peo­ples Re­demp­tion Party (PRP) in Kano dur­ing the sec­ond repub­lic.

“PRP was at that time torn into Tsantsi and Tabo fac­tions. So, this is ex­actly what is hap­pen­ing in the APC and it will not serve them well in the sub­se­quent elec­tions.

“We are not happy with the cri­sis, but I can tell you with this cri­sis go­ing on, APC will not serve the peo­ple of Kano well even if it wins elec­tion in 2019. What will hap­pen is that if Gan­duje be­comes the next gover­nor un­der the party, Kwankwaso will not al­low him to work for the peo­ple and like­wise if Kwankwaso’s can­di­date be­comes the next gover­nor un­der the party, Gan­duje will not al­low him to serve the peo­ple well,” he con­cluded.

This how­ever is not an iso­lated view as the PDP’s Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary in the state, Al­haji Musa Dan Birni said, “In­stead of fight­ing each other, they should wait till the elec­tion day when they can fight each other with their votes. The clash is very un­for­tu­nate and I hope it will not hap­pen again be­cause it is af­fect­ing democ­racy in a neg­a­tive way. I am sure peo­ple will now un­der­stand that PDP is the best choice for Nige­ri­ans be­cause for the 16 years it gov­erned the coun­try, we never had this kind of clash among the PDP mem­bers. With this kind of in­ter­nal fight be­tween mem­bers of APC, I am con­fi­dent that PDP will re­claim power in the state come 2019,” he said. Ori­gins A close po­lit­i­cal as­so­ci­ate to both Gan­duje and Kwankwaaso, who pre­ferred anonymity, told Daily Trust on Sun­day that the cri­sis was long in the mak­ing.

“For the lead­er­ship tus­sle be­tween Kwankwaso and Gan­duje, this is some­thing that started since 1999. Though the two politi­cians have been play­ing their pol­i­tics to­gether for many years, but in re­al­ity, they dif­fer in terms of po­lit­i­cal ide­olo­gies and their dif­fer­ences are known to many peo­ple that are very close to them.”

He also al­leged that the cri­sis has been ex­ac­er­bated by the man­age­ment of the 2015 vic­tory with those who worked to en­trench the party in power have been side­lined in favour of oth­ers.

“Some peo­ple who did not con­trib­ute to the party’s vic­tory in the last gen­eral elec­tion have now hi­jacked APC, while those who lifted the party have been side­lined. So, to be hon­est with you, the fu­ture of APC in Kano as far as 2019 gen­eral elec­tion is con­cern is at stake. Un­less and un­til, the party ad­dresses this prob­lem it will not au­gur well to it in the next elec­tion. And, re­mem­ber Kano is a strong­hold of the party.

An­other renowned politi­cian in the state, Al­haji Dan Azumi Gwarzo, said the po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere in Kano is grad­u­ally de­te­ri­o­rat­ing as ac­cord­ing to him, the tus­sle be­tween Gan­duje and Kwankwaso is ben­e­fit­ing oth­ers to the detri­ment of the state.

“The most un­for­tu­nate thing in the whole is­sue is that the na­tional body of the party has failed to take nec­es­sary ac­tion to ad­dress this prob­lem. I’m made to un­der­stand that the party is afraid to lose any of them be­cause if to­day Gan­duje ap­proaches the lead­er­ship of the party with an is­sue, they will please him and if to­mor­row Kwankwaso ap­proaches them with an is­sue, they will also con­sole him,” he said.

He went on to make a bold claim say­ing, “I am sus­pect­ing that the party’s na­tional lead­er­ship is ben­e­fit­ing from Kwankwaso and Gan­duje cour­tesy of this rift and that is why it has failed to ad­dress the rift. In my opin­ion, ei­ther Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari or the party’s na­tional body should in­ter­vene and ad­dress this prob­lem once and for all oth­er­wise the cri­sis will be def­i­nite.”

But the Na­tional Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary of the APC Malam Bo­laji Ab­dul­lahi, said the party would com­ment on the clash when the Na­tional Work­ing Com­mit­tee (NWC) re­ceives a de­tailed re­port on the lat­est in­ci­dent.

Ab­dul­lahi, who said the party lead­er­ship still stood by the last state­ment is­sued on the lead­er­ship sit­u­a­tion in Kano APC, said the party’s Na­tional Vice Chair­man, North­West, Al­haji Inuwa Ab­dul-Kadir, who is fa­mil­iar with the is­sue, would bring the re­port on the lat­est in­ci­dent, to the NWC.

When con­tacted, the APC na­tional vice chair­man, North-West, said the party was al­ready han­dling the sit­u­a­tion.

Ab­dul-Kadir, who said the mat­ter was be­ing man­aged silently be­cause ego and emo­tions were in­volved in the Kano APC cri­sis, added that the strat­egy was adopted to achieve re­sults.

Asked on what the party was do­ing on the lat­est clash in Kano, he said, “There are me­di­a­tion ef­forts and mech­a­nisms which are be­ing de­ployed. It’s not ripe enough to make it pub­lic. When you are man­ag­ing ego, clash of in­ter­ests, as lead­ers, we are sup­posed to man­age the sit­u­a­tion in a man­ner that will achieve re­sults.

“But by the time we start talk­ing that we are tak­ing these steps and mea­sures etc, that will com­pound the sit­u­a­tion be­cause ego is in­volved and emo­tions are in­volved.”

He, how­ever, added that the zone still rec­og­nized Al­haji Ab­dul­lahi Abass as the party chair­man.

He said, “You see the is­sue of cri­sis, it’s a hu­man phe­nom­e­non. You solve one, and an­other one arises. So, like you know, the is­sue of lead­er­ship in Kano, at the level of the North-West zone, we have re­solved that in terms of who is the chair­man of the party, Ab­dul­lahi Abass is the chair­man of the party. But that doesn’t stop peo­ple from hav­ing crises. The ques­tion is how do you man­age it. And this is some­thing that is continuous.

“What I mean here is that peo­ple are bound to dis­agree, es­pe­cially po­lit­i­cally. They dis­agree on opin­ions. They dis­agree on line of ac­tions etc. If it is man­aged well, that is part of democ­racy. Peo­ple em­brace democ­racy, rec­og­niz­ing that the other per­son is en­ti­tled to dis­agree with you. You are also en­ti­tled to dis­agree with him.

“But the miss­ing link is not re­spect­ing my own po­si­tion and I’m not re­spect­ing your own po­si­tion. That is the point where cri­sis es­ca­lates. But al­ways, we have a mech­a­nism of me­di­a­tion which at ev­ery time, we de­ploy. And that is about man­age­ment of this cri­sis. That is what lead­er­ship is all about. There are peo­ple when they reach cer­tain level, they should as­sume the po­si­tion of states­man­ship.”

When told that the si­lence of the party might be re­spon­si­ble for the pro­tracted na­ture of the cri­sis, he said, “for­get about even the party, when you go to court, if court gives judge­ments, they may not nec­es­sar­ily be en­force­able.

“Your wife takes you to court that she didn’t like you, she wanted di­vorce and you were in­sist­ing that you must stay with her, when the court de­creed that the mar­riage should not be dis­solved, will that make it work?”

Any end in sight?

With re­ports that the two main fig­ures in the cri­sis, Se­na­tor Kwankwaso and Gover­nor Gan­duje are not on speak­ing term, chances of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion seem far off.

In his most re­cent in­ter­view he granted jour­nal­ists in Abuja, Kwan­wkaso said it was not time yet to com­ment on the feud with his suc­ces­sor.

“This is not the time to talk about Kano. The time will come when you will come on your own or you will be in­vited for me to talk on it,” he said.

He said the feud has not in any way af­fected his sup­port base, rather he said it has grown from strength to strength.

“You see what is hap­pen­ing now has noth­ing to do with my sup­port base. I want to as­sure you that I’ve more sup­port­ers than ever in Kano cen­tral, so also in Kano it­self, we are grow­ing from strength to strength and not only in the state but across the north­ern Nige­ria,” he said.

How­ever, Kwankwaso’s me­dia aide, Binta Spikin, said that Kwankwaso has re­frained from com­ment­ing on the is­sue in or­der not to stoke the cri­sis, say­ing that her prin­ci­pal has not made any de­mands for con­tracts or po­lit­i­cal ap­point­ments on be­half of some per­sons from the gover­nor to war­rant any dis­agree­ment.

“He wants Ganuje to ac­cept Kwankwasiyya as APC mem­bers and al­low them do things freely as mem­bers of the party in Kano,” she said. “We have no quar­rel with Gan­duje,” she con­cluded.

While the Kwankwas­siya group is in­sist­ing on Gan­duje’s re­turn to the fold, the Kano State in­for­ma­tion com­mis­sioner Alh. Garba says the Gan­du­jiyya fac­tion is dis­posed to rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with­out any con­di­tions at­tached.

“Gan­du­jiyya is al­ways ready for rec­on­cil­i­a­tion. We do not have any con­di­tion in re­spect of that. In fact, Gan­du­jiyya has ex­hausted all avail­able av­enues to rec­on­cile with Kwankwasiyya group in the past but un­for­tu­nately the lat­ter re­fused to rec­on­cile with the for­mer,”

Garba re­called that the APC na­tional lead­er­ship had made sev­eral ef­forts to rec­on­cile the two politi­cians but Kwankwaso re­fused.

“I can vividly re­call that at one time, the party in­vited Kwankwaso and Gan­duje and af­ter a heated de­bate, an agree­ment was reached and the lead­er­ship of the party re­solved that the two of them should be given 20 min­utes to choose a per­son that will be APC chair­man in Kano.

“Gan­duje agreed with the ar­range­ment but Kwankwaso re­jected it and left the party’s sec­re­tariat un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously and that was how the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion move ended. So, to be hon­est with you, the Gan­du­jiyya group is ever ready for any ob­jec­tive rec­on­cil­i­a­tion be­cause the cri­sis is not good for the two politi­cians, the state, the APC and in­deed democ­racy in gen­eral,” he said.

As 2019 crawls into view and this feud rages, mem­bers of the APC will be hop­ing for an am­i­ca­ble end to the cri­sis, while the op­po­si­tion will be rel­ish­ing a chance to sneak in and re­claim the state.

Gan­duje agreed with the ar­range­ment but Kwankwaso re­jected it and left the party’s sec­re­tariat un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously and that was how the rec­on­cil­i­a­tion move ended

Gover­nor Ab­dul­lahi Umar Gan­duje

Se­na­tor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso

Com­rade Aminu Ab­dul­salam

Malam Muham­mad Garba

Amb. Aminu Wali

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