Kano APC Crisis: Ganduje, Kwankwaso Face-off Worsens
• House Passes Vote Of Confidence In Ganduje • ALGON rejects Kwankwaso • Party Set To Suspend Kwankwaso • Leadership Divided Along The Duo
The All Progressives Congress (APC) of Kano State is embroiled in crisis of survival, resulting from the struggle by the state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and the immediate past governor, Engineer Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, now senator to control the soul of the party. Recent developments in the state within the APC circle have amplified the reality of a cold war, which is now conflagrating.
What worsens the already bad situation is the recent show of political “misconduct,” as described by the APC leadership in the state through its chairman, Umar Haruna Doguwa, when the former governor paid a condolence visit to Ganduje over his mother, Hajiya Fatima Umar Ganduje’s death.
From the airport down to Ganduje town in Dawakin Tofa local government, Kwankwaso’s supporters’ chanted anti-Ganduje and anti-Buhari slogans, displaying traditional weapons to the chagrin of all. This prompted the state’s ruling party to call a press conference under the leadership of the party chairman, Doguwa in collaboration with the Elders’ Committee, under its acting chairman, Alhaji Abdu Kirare.
Doguwa, who read the statement said: “We recognise and appreciate all those that came to condole with the governor over the death of his, our mother. Some were from the opposition party and we are grateful for that. The unfortunate incident was the one associated with the visit of the immediate past governor, Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.
“That was a misdemeanour and very unbecoming of a visit of such kind. The visit was practically politicised, as against the mission of condolence. We wish to categorically say that both the leadership and elders of the party were not officially informed about the Senator’s visit to governor Ganduje, let alone the chanting of hatred expression against governor Ganduje.”
The release went further to state, “The show of thuggery and flaunting of daggers and other dangerous weapons by sponsored and hired hoodlums was totally unwholesome and condemnable. The leadership of Ganduje must be guarded and we are assuring all that we will leave no stone unturned in addressing the issue. We are, therefore, calling on all APC members in the state to remain calm.”
What probably alarmed Kwankwaso and his supporters was when the party said, “The party will forward a formal letter of complaint for necessary action.” This is a pointer to the likelihood of Kwankwaso being identified as a principal erring member. It equally means that the hammer of suspension might be dangling over his head.
What aggravated the face-off was the resolution of the State House of Assembly, under Speaker Kabiru Alasan Rurum, that Kwankwaso’s political influence in the state be halted. This had resulted in more than two thirds of the House members paying a special homage to governor Ganduje. They urged him to stop wearing the red cap, a symbol of Kwankwaso’s political movement, called Kwankwasiyya.
At a special session in the House, the Chief Whip, Hon. Zubairu Mamuda Madobi, representing Madobi, the former governor’s local government, was removed for his refusal to recognise Ganduje as the leader of the party, as required by the majority members.
On its part, the Association for Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) in a press release signed by its chairman, Ibrahim Karaye, after an emergency meeting, said it is throwing its weight behind Governor Ganduje in the crisis brewing between him and the former governor, Kwankwaso.
According to the statement, what transpired during Kwankwaso’s condolence visit to Ganduje was absolutely wrong and unbecoming of a personality like the former governor.
“We are solidly behind the party’s decision by condemning the actions of some hoodlums during the condolence visit of the former governor to Ganduje town,” the release said.
Another raging issue is that of division within Kwankwaso’s ‘faction’ in the party. Kwankwaso’s close political ally and associate, Alhaji Alin Jallaba, who apparently took a queue behind party position, condemned what happened during Kwankwaso’s visit.
Jallaba vehemently opposed it, as he said: “It is completely wrong the way things turned out during Kwankwaso’s condolence visit to governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. We just cannot use the death of the governor’s mother to behave irresponsibly. This is bad. Condolence visit is not and can never be a political rally. The shouting of anti-Ganduje slogans is totally wrong, and should be condemned by any responsible person.”
He lamented that, “If we don’t help Ganduje at this critical moment of governance when the national economy is facing serious challenges, we shouldn’t do anything bad about it. People should remember that Ganduje is from us. Therefore, even if there are issues to sort out with him, this is not the correct platform to do it.
“As far as I am concerned, the position taken by the party is right and final. Serious investigation must be conducted and whoever is found wanting must be punished according to party’s laid down rules and regulations. We are calling on all people to support Ganduje to deliver,” Jallaba urged.
But unlike Jallaba, the former commissioner of water resources, during the Kwankwaso administration, Dr. Yunusa Adamu Dangwani, who also belongs to the Kwankwasiyya movement in a press statement said that, “It is appalling and rather unfortunate that the good gesture of Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso has been mischievously interpreted. It is also disheartening that few hours after the death of our State deputy chairman, Alhaji Isa Ali Danmaraya, the government was busy coercing and misleading some party leaders into addressing a press conference that will only culminate in the splitting of APC in Kano.”
Amid this crossfire among Kwankwaso’s loyalists over what happened during his condolence visit, the chairman of the party, Doguwa, called another emergency press conference, which he attended alone without any Exco members and withdrew the earlier press statement he read in the presence of some Exco members and the chairman, Elders’ Committee, Kirare.
To the surprise of all, in the new briefing, Doguwa said, “In my capacity as Kano State APC Chairman, I felt duty bound to unequivocally make the following facts clearer to our esteemed followers that the previous press statement read and signed by me was not written by my humble self, neither did I participate in the drafting. Rather, I was coerced to sign under duress and close marking by the state apparatus.”
What is now expected of the party in the state is for governor Ganduje to affirm and consolidate his leadership of the party. From all indications according to some sources close to the party, the chairman would soon lose his seat, either through a vote of no confidence or any other procedurally accepted way by other Exco members
He further lamented that, “What makes it more curious for me to recant this is the fact that Elders’ Committee is not part of party executives. Hence, procedurally we cannot issue a joint statement. I, therefore, consider this an oversight on the part of the party to issue such statement.
“In order to forestall unpleasant consequences on the party and its teeming supporters, I find it necessary to profusely apologise for the statement earlier issued and hereby withdraw same. The earlier press statement, which I hereby dissociate myself from, is indeed a product of warped and mischievous elements, whose stand and antics are causing confusion and disunity amongst the rank and file of our great party and the administration of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje. They are known to all and sundry.”
Few hours after the state party chairman addressed the media, other Exco members of the party, from the Secretary of the party to almost all other positions, called another media briefing, assuring of their unflinching support and loyalty to the earlier statement issued by the party condemning Kwankwaso’s condolence visit as unfortunate and embarrassing to the party.
Abbas Sani Abbas, who is the Secretary of the party in the state, insisted that, “All other Exco members are solidly behind the earlier position of the party. Kwankwaso’s visit was unfortunate due to the ugly happenings attached to it. The chairman was solely responsible for what he reversed and said. It was his individual and personal opinion regarding this issue. We are going to also deal with whoever is found wanting concerning that unfortunate incident.”
Observers see this development in Kano APC as a platform designed to check the “excesses” of Kwankwaso in the party, being the person under whose watch the Exco members were elected, as he was the then state governor.
“I think it will be proper for Senator Kwankwaso to understand that he is no longer the state governor. Therefore, the faster he understands that, the better for him,” a source close to Kwankwaso advised.
What is now expected of the party in the state is for governor Ganduje to affirm and consolidate his leadership of the party. From all indications according to some sources close to the party, the chairman would soon lose his seat, either through a vote of no confidence or any other procedurally accepted way by other Exco members.
It is only time that would tell who between Ganduje and Kwankwaso has the total or near absolute control of the party machinery. And if such control favours Ganduje, it simply means that Kwankwaso will have tougher time henceforth, and particularly in 2019 when he hopes to use the state platform to seek higher offices.
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