As Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje engage in bare knuckle fight over the control of the leadership apparatus of the the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC in the state, there is a keen interest over how matters would play out as Kwankwaso visits the state, later this month. ABDULGAFAR OLADIMEJI writes.
The battle for the control of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC Kano, has continued to rage between Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, who leads his Gandujiyya Movement against that of his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s Kwankwasiyya Movement.
The spat between deputy governors and their bosses is common news in the political terrain. Governor Ganduje served Kwankwaso twice as his deputy, 1999-2003, 2011-2015, and inherited the state’s Government House but both former allies have at loggerheads since Ganduje took over.
The feud between the two political giants in Kano politics spare no forum to take a swipe at each other.
The bubble bust when Kwankwaso visited the state to condole with governor Ganduje over the demise of his mother. Members of the Kwankwasiyya Movement were alleged to have danced on the grave of Ganduje’s late mother by announcing the intention of Kwankwaso to bid for the presidency in 2019.
The, then chairman of Kano State chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Hon Umar Haruna Doguwa, and former staunch Kwankwansiyya loyalist had to issue a press statement accusing Kwankwaso of indiscipline and inciting armed thugs to act in an unacceptable manner, during the condolence visit paid to the governor at his country home in Ganduje town.
Though Doguwa swiftly refuted the statement, the state’s working committee of the party upheld the rebuking of Senator Kwankwaso, for alleged provocative behaviour under the guise of condolence visit paid to Ganduje Town.
As the face-off over the APC structure in Kano continued, elected party office holders, local government and ward party officials, assembled and accused Doguwa and the organizing secretary, Sanusi Suraju Kwankwaso of misconduct and anti-party activities and suspended them.
To the chagrin of the Kwankwassiyya faction, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas Sanusi.
special adviser to governor Ganduje on Political Affairs, emerged the new state chairman of the party.
Briefing reporters at the Maiduguri Road headquarters of Kano state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) secretary of the party, Abbas Sani Abbas, said
“We suspend party chairman, Haruna Umar and the organizing secretary, Sanusi Suraju Kwankwaso, from their various position and we hereby constitute a seven-disciplinary committee which was set up to investigate the matter and take proper disciplinary measure and we urge them to discharge their duty without hindrance.”
The next battle field ws at the traditional Hawan Daushe, to mark the Eid-El-Kabir, at the Emir’s Palace, supporters of the Gandujiyya and Kwankwassiyya movement engaged in fisticuffs, some prominent political figures suffered injuries during the scuffle; both sides traded blames, accusing either side of inciting the skirmish at the royal ground.
Speaking to journalists hours after the incident, at the Bompai Police headquarters spokesman, DSP Magaji Musa Majia, said police , “must bring the perpetrators to book.”
He further said “the Kano state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Rabiu Yusuf inaugurated a powerful team of police detectives, headed by the deputy commissioner of police in charge of Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Ahmed Muhammad Azare to immediately embark on painstaking investigation and find out the immediate a and remote causes of the clash that occurred on 2nd September, 2017.”
He said the team’s terms of reference include to: identify the victims, attackers, their sponsors, masterminds, as well as any action or inaction taken so far against the police, adding that those found culpable would be prosecuted.
Responding to press briefing credited to Kwankwasiyya Support Group, held in Abuja, on September 7, 2017 where it accused the police of complicity in the matter, Majia described the Kwankwasiyya claims as, “mischievous, malicious, callous and a demonstration of shame,” adding that, “their actions portray them as pathological liars.
He note that “the fracas occurred during ‘Hawan Daushe’ at Emir’s Palace, Kano, on the second day of Eid-El-Kabir, an occasion organized by the Emirate Council that is purely traditional and not political.
“During the occasion, district heads (Hakimai) pay homage to His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kano at ‘Kofar Kudu.’ On that fateful day, the Kwankwasiyya faction of APC converged at Hasiya Bayero Hospital in thousands with their supporters drawn from Sokoto, Kogi, and other neighbouring states and various local government areas of Kano state with the ulterior motive to disrupt the occasion, which was not a political gathering.
“They were chanting ‘Bamayi! Bamayi!! Bamayi!!!, meaning, ‘we are not in support, we are not in support, we are not in support.
“This happened when the factional group (Kwankwasiyya), sighted the convoy of His Excellency, the executive governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR, approaching the venue of the occasion and suddenly started pelting the convoy.
“However, with the deliberate cause cause chaos, a clash ensued between the two APC factions. With quick intervention of the police, normalcy was restored. Some notable Kwankwasiyya’s ardent supporters were rescued from the ugly incident including former commissioner in the past administration, Dr. Yunusa Adamu Dangwani, former SSG, Dr. Rabiu Suleiman Bichi, former director Special Services, Alhaji Danyaro Yakasai, and escorted by the police to their respective residences safely,” police stated.
The ugly development captured the attention of the hierarchy, North West zonal executive committee of the All Peoples Congress, APC, which established a four-member fact finding committee on the leadership scuffle in the Kano state chapter of the party.
During a visit to the state governor, the chairman of the committee, Senator Muhammadu Magoro, explained that the committee sprung from the decision by the party in the state chapter to pass a verdict of no confidence on the party chairman, Umar Haruna Doguwa and the Organizing Secretary, Sunusi Surajo Kwankwaso, and their replacement with Abdullahi Abbas as acting chairman and Ahmed as acting organizing secretary.
APC’s national secretariat, in a statement i a statement issued by its national publicity secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, said the Kwankwassiyya faction of the party led by Haruna Umar Doguwa is the faction recognized by the national body of the ruling party.
The state deputy governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, joined the battle for party control.
In reaction to the dismissal of his ward party chairman, he said, he will not associate with Ganduje’s re-election bid in 2019, disclosing that, he will preferably return to academics.
Abubakar, who was visibly angry accused a Ganduje-led group of formulating the party structure in his constituency without resorting to due consultations.
Abubakar said “When they were campaigning for election, my picture was juxtaposed with the governor, president and our leader Engr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
“But today at my birthplace, my picture was replaced with somebody else’s picture. What have I done to my birthplace? I do not deserve this even as a university lecturer at Bayero University, where I hope to return in 2019 at the expiration of my tenure.
“I will not be part of a system whereby the leadership of my party, APC, would be formed at my Mandawari ward, my birthplace, and my brother removed without consulting me. I will never continue in this situation.”
Governor Ganduje while reacting to the outburst by his deputy expressed dismay over the statement credited to his deputy, over the alleged sack of the Mandawari ward chairman of the All Progressive Congress,(APC) .
The governor who expressed his displeasure over the outburst by his deputy, directed the party hierarchy to reinstate the sacked party stalwart in the interest of party unity and respect for constituted party authority.
A statement signed by the commissioner for Information, Youth and Culture, Malam Muhammad Garba, stated that, the governor enjoined party members to honour the status of party leaders, urging all and sundry to extend deserved respect to his deputy.
The change of gear in the drama ensued, when the Kano state chairman of the APC, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas resigned his position. Though no reason was given for his resignation, it was learnt that the erstwhile chairman voluntarily resigned to allow peace reign within the party hierarchy.
The national secretariat of the ruling APC reacted instantaneously by announcing the sack of the Kwankwassiyya factional chairman of the party, Umar Haruna Doguwa, replacing him with the spokesman of the state chapter of the party, Engineer Bashi Karaye, who has assumed control of the state party structure in acting capacity.
Kwankwassiyya Movement under the aegis of “Concerned members of the All Progressive Congress APC, (Kano Chapter),” responded aggressively. They called for an immediate reinstatement, arguing that the ouster of Umar Haruna Doguwa was hatched and executed from the presidency.
In a press statement issued and signed by spokesman of the group, Aminu Abdulsalam, it noted that as concerned members of the APC, it considered the development as unfortunate, pointing out that it was a flagrant disregard for the party’s constitution, as well as an abuse of due process.
Governor Ganduje responded by firing the next salvo, frowning at what he described as derogatory and unsavoury statements used by members of the Kwankwassiyya group against President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC national leadership, demanding for immediate apology or be ready to face sanction from the party leadership.
Ganduje who is the leader of APC in Kano accused Kwankwaso and his followers of engaging in anti-party activities.
In a statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, thr governor said “Kano state government has condemned in the strongest terms, the unsavoury remarks and imprecation against President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leadership of the All Progressive Congress by the Kwankwassiyya Group, hiding under the guise of Concerned members of the All Progressive Congress in Kano.
These troublemakers, basically members of the Kwankwassiyya Group acted the script of their Abuja-based leader, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso whose plot is to destabilize the All Progressive Congress in Kano state has been roundly defeated. It is also on record that Kwankwaso and his Kwankwassiyya Group, consumed by the tall dream of becoming ‘president’ has unjustifiably maligned President Buhari at every given opportunity.”
“Kano State government, therefore, demand that the Kwankwassiyya Group tender unreserved apology to President Buhari and APC national secretariat, without which the APC national leadership should invoke the party’s constitution and take appropriate disciplinary measures against them for insubordination and engaging in anti-party activities.
“It is, however, very unfortunate that the same Kwankwassiyya Group is now deriding the APC national leadership which gave them ample opportunities to play god and even at many occassions recognized their favoured candidate, Umar Haruna Doguwa as the chairman.
“Now that a new and authentic leadership has emerged through the instruments of the party’s constitution and due process followed, it is expected that the Kwankwassiyya Group, if truly they are members of APC, should rally round the new leadership and display total loyality to the party rather than blackmailing the party’s national leadership and President Muhammadu Buhari, who everyone knows, has no business with party infighting.”
Ganduje although said, Kwankwaso was free to visit Kano, just as every indigene of the state, but cautioned him to avoid conduct that will result to breach of peace in Kano state. Adding that his government
was committed to the creation of an atmosphere that will enhance freedom of expression.
Political observers are watching with keen interest as the former governor is scheduled to visit the state later this month.