The long battle for control rages on between governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in Kano. Abdulgafar Olafimeji writes.
The long battle for the political control of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC Kano, APC between governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje versus senator , Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and his red cap Kwankwasiyya Movement linger in deep animosity prior to the formation of the R-APC.
The rancour that led to the pronouncement of the R-APC by some aggrieved party members is not new in Kano politics, before now, Kwankwasiyya ideologues have never hidden their intention to quit the ruling party.
The feud between the two political giants in Kano politics, built up in a subtle manner. The situation ran out of control, when the Kwakwasiyya adherent realised that the state party structure has been captured by Gandujiyya group, they felt their days were numbered in the APC.
The bubble bursted, 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 flaunting materials 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, a staunch Kwankwansiyya loyalist, hurriedly issued a Press Statement indicting Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso of alleged 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, chairman Umar Haruna Doguwa swiftly refuted the earlier statement.
The state Working Committee of the party countered the latest position pose by the state party chairman. The committee upheld the initial indictment of Senator Kwankwaso, over the alleged provocative visit under the guise of condolence visit to Ganduje Town.
The face-off to gain control over the party structure in Kano, began between Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso.
To the chagrin of the Kwankwassiyya faction, Special Adviser to governor Ganduje on Political Affairs, emerged the new state chairman of the party, he is Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas Sanusi.
APC National secretariat, in a statement that was issued by its national Publicity secretary, Bolaji Abdullahi, said the Kwankwassiyya faction of the party led by Haruna Umar Doguwa is the faction recognised by the national body of the ruling party.
The change of gear in the drama ensued, when Kano state chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas humbly resigned his position.
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 Bashir Karaye, an unrepentant supporter of Governor Ganduje.
Kwankwassiyya Movement under the aegis of Concerned members of the All Progressive Congress APC, (Kano Chapter), responded aggressively. They called for an immediate reinstatement, of Umar Haruna Doguwa.
In May 2018, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas, the former Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kano State, got re-elected as the state chairman of the party through a congress organised by Engineer Bashir Karaye, thus the Ganduje group recaptured all the party offices, at a party congress held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Sani Abacha Stadium.
The congress supervised by Prince Austin Nweke, who announced the results said “Abdullahi Abbas scored 3, 080 votes to emerge the chairman in accordance with the APC Congress’ Guidelines.”Deputy Chairman of the party, Shehu Maigari scored 2,952 votes while the secretary of the party, Zakari Sarina, scored 2,817. Adding that Bashir karaye, Publicity Secretary; Habiba Yardalla, Women leader.
The new exco members were sworn in by the Attorney-General of the state, Barrister Ibrahim Muktar.
The exchange of political fire works by supporters of the two gladiators heightened , as majority of Kwankwaso’s followers were persistent in their calls for Kwankaso to lead them out of APC.
Attempts by Kankwaso to visit the state met with stiff resistance. Security operates have continued to state that his visit could result into mayhem, adding that there indications of a likely showdown that could result to loss of lives and properties.
The observance of the holy month of Ramadan culminated into a non negotiated political cease fire.
Kano state Governor, Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje signaled the reopening of political hostilities, after Ramadan, when he issued a statement congratulating his political ally over the successful observance of the holy month.
Hostilities returned when the supporters of Kwankwaso united in their clamour to dump APC. The followers of Ganduje are divided over the way forward , some are resilient and have kept urging for mediation, others perceive the Kwankwasiyya faction as an evil that should be done away with.
The State Commissioner for Community and Rural Development, Alhaji Musa Iliyasu Kwakwanso, a nephew to former governor, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso, disclosed that his nephew (Kwakwanso)was nursing the ambition to contest 2019 presidential election, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or the Social Democratic Party (SDP), noting that Kwankwaso and his loyalists were on their way out of the PDP.
To add salt to injury, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, was widely reported to have boasted that he possesses the capacity to unseat the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2019 General Election. Ganduje hurriedly responded, stating that, Kwankwaso will not deliver his village, come 2019 polls.
On the announcement of the formation of the interest group, R-APC within the ruling party, Ganduje and his co travelers have continued to dismiss the group, hinting that the group does not possess the required political potency to unseat APC in the state.
Kano APC chieftain, Aminu Maidawa Fagge in an exclusive interview with Leadership described those behind R-APC as comedians he said “Who is taking those behind R-APC serious, Buba Galadoma as a politician has no followership, his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari made him popular.
“Buba Galadima cannot win election in his local government. I challenge him to test his popularity by retuning to Yobe to contest for a senatorial seat, I bet you he will never win.
“Kwankwaso is another political jester, he is the senator representing Kano Central go round his senatorial district, you will not find not even a project of N2 million to his credit in any of the local governments under his senatorial zone, is that the man who will pose a threat to APC in Kan.”
Sani Garka Dambatta is a prominent APC activist, he expressed his worries over the crisis in the party, he urged Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as the leader of the party in the state, to erect a conflict resolution machinery that will address the intra party crisis.
He further expressed his fear, that with the emergence of R-APC, there is the need for the party at the state level to fortify its hold by cementing all loopholes, and barricading the opposition and aggrieve party members from capitalising on the crisis to inflict damage on the ruling party, in 2019.
Unconfirmed reports disclosed that, members of the R-APC in Kano are in deep neck negotiations with the PDP to field joint candidates with the intent to unseat the ruling APC in the state.
Analysts have continued to reaffirm that, come 2019, the political route that leads to Kano Government House will be tough, with huge campaign demands and intrigues.