From Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Kano politics is reputed for its vibrancy and consistency. As matter of tradition, there is no dull moment in the politics of Kano, not before or after an election.
Daily Sun investigations revealed that in Kano politics, the plots to unseat or preserve the incumbency begin the morning after the last polls.
But today, a contrary reality has besieged the politics of Kano, ailing its vibrancy, hurting its very soul and spirit. Analysts say nothing serious is happening in the politics of the state, describing the situation as being in the state of inertia.
But for a few caucus’ meetings-mostly held at nights and behind the doors – and a fewer number of consultations by the leaders of the two leading parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People Democratic Party (PDP), no serious script is playing out for now, Daily Sun further learnt, as everything appears still and everybody appears waiting.
A classic example of this relapsed state, political observers further said, is indicated in the activities and characters of the political parties. Apart from just the APC and the PDP, there is no evidence of any other political party in the state, as they have all fizzled out.
Among the two existing political parties in the state also, Daily Sun investigations further reveal, the story is no less saddening. Nothing is happening while many are waiting for something to start happening.
A walk to the state party secretariat of the PDP on Maiduguri road in the state capital would reveal a shocking picture of this lapse in activities. Daily, a number of political casts, long faced, many of whom are no more than political thugs and their compatriots, bestride the premises of the secretariat.
Orphaned by their loss in 2015, which neatly excused them from positions of influence, the lower- class folks in Kano’s PDP are left to fend for themselves.
Surprisingly, the APC in Kano too, has not been very active in energising the political environment despite being the party in power in the state.
In the opinion of Alhaji Saka Bello, “the reality is that the government of the day is not spending much on politicians. It is rather focused on structures and infrastructures- not that of the stomach any way! Many of the commissioners are also not supportive of their party stalwarts and as you know, politics is all about Kayan aki (working tools). We expect them to do more. Once politicians are energised, the polity will be charged.”
A cogent explanation accounting for the state of inertia is the fact that the state chapter of APC is factionalised, halved between the governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and his predecessor, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
At the level of Kwankwassiya, a number of activities are going on- mobilisation, branding and fund raising and so on. But these activities are essentially indebted to their principal and his presidential aspiration and are infrequently held behind closed doors.
One of their sympathisers explained that they would have organised much more public outings, but were simply constrained by the hostility of their rivals and the undue sympathy they enjoyed from the police authorities in the state.
“Sometimes, they try to stop our programmes without any excuse, like they did during the mass wedding ceremony where we planned to present gift to our newly wedded couples. Sometimes when we initiate programmes and fresh ideas, our rivals copy and come up with the same programmes. We have to be more careful” he stated
The other faction of the APC in the state, which is ran by a prince, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas as its chairman seemed to be inhibited by the same apathy. Since August, 2017, when this faction attempted, but failed, to fill some vacant positions in the party, they went to sleep.
It has been observed that the factional party executive wait to be “instructed” on virtually every of their actions or inactions and on account of this, contributes far less to the vibrancy of politics in the state.
But what do we say of the net- worth politician in the state? So far, Kano can boast of a number of appointed and elected politicians in the present dispensation given the structure of appointments by the Buhari administration
Kano also has a list of presidential aspirants. In this list are two former governors of the state, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, alongside Alhaji Sule Lamido, a former PDP governor of Jigawa State, who resides in the state. But the truth is that despite their number, they have failed to add a surface shine to the politics of the state.
Many of them are never truly staying in the state. They come. They go. Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has stayed away from the state since he left office in 2015, while Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau has led a low profile lifestyle since his party lost the presidential poll, not wanting to cross the path of the ruling APC government at the federal level.
In like manner, Alhaji Sule Lamido has reluctantly adopted a modest profile ever since he was accused by the state of inciting his supporters. All these mean less action for now.
There is indeed a general belief among the political class that those who come out early end up spending so much. Many politicians are desperately hungry and whoever declares his ambition at this moment risks being drained out before the real time, Daily Sun gathered.
A respondent who asked not be mentioned blamed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for the lull in politics of the state.
“Nobody wants to draw undue attention to himself, else the EFCC begins to pick interest on him,” he stated, adding that the arrest of several leaders of Kano PDP members over the receipt of Presidential campaign fund was a recent experience which had been a disincentive to active politics.
A far more instructive reason for the lull in politics of the state, Daily Sun gathered, is the absence of clarity regarding the next ambition of President Muhammadu Buhari. Is he running for a second term? Is he not running for 2019? The questions have been going on and until answers are given, many said it would be wise to “wear the safety belt.”
Alhaji Abba Alwalu , a political scholar in the state, remarked that the lack of clarity regarding Buhari’s next move has been responsible for the cautious calm in the politics of the state.
The thinking in many quarters is that his decision is tied to the survival or otherwise of so many politicians in their present post and the chances of new players winning the polls. “Except our people get a clearer picture of his (Buhari) future ambition, many would want to stay and wait as his decision may be a guide to them and their success.”
The present lack luster political status, many said, is a passing phase. They pointed at two major political developments that occurred in the week, namely the official communications of Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau and that of Alhaji Sule Lamido to the PDP, saying these declarations would activate the political environment in the state.
They also assured that the recent cabinet reshuffle in the state, which admitted some officers with strong political tendencies into the council , would enliven the political atmosphere and drive the policies of the government to the front roles.