By SABO ADAMU
Right now the hitherto ubiquitous deputy governor of Kano state, Dr. Abdullahi “The Frog” Ganduje, has become the fall guy of Kano politics. The sucker has again played into the trap of his master, Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, who always avoids tricky situations and sends his deputy to do the necessary dirty job that has to be done for him.
Ganduje has reputation (or is it notoriety?) of being the Sycophant-in-Chief at the governor’s court of jesters, since the first tenure of their administration (1999-2003). Which is essentially why even Ahmed Garba Bichi, Kwankwaso’s man Friday and anointed gubernatorial candidate for PDP in 2007, could not supplant him for the position of deputy governor in this year’s election.
He (Ganduje) is said to be always at the beck and call of Kwankwaso and so ever ready at any given time to condescend and even sit in deference by the chair of the man he regards as the be-all and end-all of his career as a politician. This is to the extent that many of his principled political associates had to leave him because they could not bear seeing their leader belittling himself just for a pot of porridge.
Well, last week Ganduje was tricked again to play the fool. The governor called him for a meeting at his office with a view to addressing the press on the issue of fuel subsidy which has agitated the minds of the people of Nigeria since the announcement of its removal by the federal government on new year’s day.
Protests were being staged in major cities of the country including Kano and people wanted to know whether their so-called elected leaders were with them on the issue or not. On the day of the meeting the youths had gathered at the Silver Jubilee Square in Kano metropolis, which they renamed ‘Liberation Square,’ and pledged to camp there indefinitely (a la Cairo’s Tahrir Square) until the Federal Government rescinded its decision on subsidy removal.
However, at about 1.30am during the first night the protesters were raided in a commando fashion and forced to flee the area. Some vehicles were to used to disperse them. One of the drivers reportedly drove mercilessly on sleeping protestors, reminiscent of the Tiennamen Square massacre in China, breaking the ribs of one them who later died at the hospital.
This nefarious action should not come as a surprise as earlier in the week the deputy governor was ordered by Kwankwaso to address the press announcing his government’s support for the removal of the fuel subsidy. So he was naturally opposed to the mass protest being staged at the ‘Liberation Square.’
Reports in the media blamed the police for the raid but the police denied undertaking any operation on the spot that night. It was later discovered that it was carried out by Askarawan Kwankwasiyya (i.e. Kwankwasiyya soldiers, note: not PDP soldiers as the guy has personalised the party by naming it after himself!) sent there by the government, as the vehicle in question had KNSG plate number as testified by some protesters. This matter should naturally have drawn the attention of international human rights groups by now.
Ganduje, the ever loyal deputy (to the utter dismay of his followers the guy even served as Kwankwaso’s Personal Assistant when he was minister of defence under Obasanjo) did exactly as he was told. However, apparently someone smarter than the two of them drew their attention to the implication of their action. And so desperate moves were made by the government to prevent the publication of the story by newspapers the following day. Reporters were reportedly bribed to kill the story, but the Daily Trust somehow managed to publish it.
Piqued by the publication the government bought almost all the copies brought to the state to prevent the people from reading it, and, in its characteristic manner of dealing ruthlessly with its critics, sent its thugs to burn the regional office of the newspaper. Were it not for the prompt action of the police the multi-million Naira publishing house would have been burnt to ashes on that day.
All this would not have taken place if those who imposed themselves as our leaders have the intellectual capacity to provide good leadership. It is disappointing to note that even Ganduje, said to be the brain worker for the government (being the one with authentic Ph. D, Kwankwaso’s is fake!), could not see the political implication of supporting the withdrawal of subsidy at a time Nigerians were up against the government’s action. Unless, of course, if he acted out of blind loyalty to the dunce governor as usual.
Despite this however the deputy governor is now bearing the brunt of the political blunder of his boss. The Kwankwasiyya thugs were so incensed with what he did that they were said to have attempted to burn his house in anger.
And right now Ganduje is like a vulture among Kwankwasiyya zealots. The poor guy is despised and ridiculed in official circles, for a fault that is not entirely his own. But the sucker is not perturbed; he is ready as always to do the bidding of his master, even if his role essentially is to perpetually be the scapegoat that is at the beck and call of his crafty master. That’s Ganduje “The Frog” for you!
Reminder to Kano people: Da ma an gaya mana; ko muyi Takai ko muyi Tagumi. Kadan ma kenan. (We’ve been told before; to either vote for Takai or we would regret. This is just the beginning).
Sabon Layi, Gyadi-gyadi Quarters,