Come March, next month, the over six thousand members of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agency (NANTA) would vote in Kano to select new leaders after Bankole Bernard administration has wind down after two term presidency.
Already the campaign which were underground for over a year, would go full blast as we approach the Kano decider with an already unopposed Presidential hopeful in Susan Akporiaye who is backed by the single bloc vote of the Northern Zone with the West and East throwing in their weight.
There are feelers that some power blocs largely made up of individuals with deep pockets want to derail the Kano conclave, riding on sentiments against a woman taking over the mantle of the biggest and most organized tourism association in Nigeria at a time like this.
Sadly, Bankole Bernard, the outgoing President has put his heart and commitment to the Susan Presidency which is seen in many quarters as promised kept to a loyal first deputy who worked effortlessly and sacrificially to make his administration a success. However, nothing is too assured in politics even this one in NANTA which is about the 43rd outing in the lifetime of the association.
So far, NANTA has produced fifteen presidents in 43 years, with only one female president in the person, Tereza Ezobi, November 1993 – November 1995. Others were men all through. If Susan Akporaiye scales through, she will become the second female president after Tereza Ezobi.
Both Ezobi and Susan seems to have something in common, an uncommon dedication and single minded commitment to deliver on set goals. Though Terezi is based on London in the past one decade and is known to had made NANTA a household name during her tenure, Susan though younger is a war horse, unfazed by challenges and generally a goal getter. She is the unseen social political engineer in Bankole Bernard outgoing administration. Akporaiye is Bankole’s administration star lady, breaking barriers and attending every NANTA meeting and stakeholders’ engagement promptly without failure.
There are however, some pocket of resistance from Lagos zone about her emergence, largely due to the fear of strong presence and desire to bring about changes that may expose the underbelly of some self acclaimed power brokers.
Election rumours are already rife that her well constituted team is dead on arrival, a strategy planted and driven to break her team and bring up an unwilling horse from Lagos zone who notably played to the gallery while negotiations and permutations were going on to find a national team that can enjoy the confidence of the association members across the nation.
While other zones worked hard to present their best legs forward, Lagos zone like the peacock was overhead in pride, waiting to be begged to support the proposed unity government under Susan Akporaiye. The hold of Lagos zone is wrongly premised on its large following, financial power but badly battered cohesion which enthrones cult-ship and elitism largely rebuffed by the discerning majority.
Another Lagos zone underhand rumour mill is that the Kano election will deny them the presidency or other top visibility positions, thus wiping up sectional sentiments, forgetting that in 43 years of the association, Lagos produced about twelve Presidents with Kano zone producing only three in the persons of Munzali Dantata 1991-1993, Kabir Malan 2006-2008 and Alhaji Aminu Agoha 2012-2006.
The obvious advantage of Lagos zone against other zones has put paid to the sectional drive of Lagos zone to continue to dominate other zones in the past 43 years and Kano is the reality ground. All these sentiments and permutations indeed marks the Kano NANTA election very interesting with shocks and surprises awaiting any group with intentions to win at all costs.
The team Susan unveiled its vision on Tuesday at world press conference in Lagos and we shall publish the full text of their agenda on this page next week, including ongoing joggling and shifts towards Kano NANTA 2020 election.