I was a skeptic when the merger of the political parties that now form the APC was being touted. At that time I was a member of CPC. I even wrote an article: CPC merging into oblivion. The merger took place, and is considered a success.
I received a phone call from a political associate last night. After exchanging pleasantries, he lamented what happened with APC Kano, feeling that Buhari followers have been short-changed.
Buhari followers have a problem. Their leader has a very strong Northern appeal, but it was not sufficient to capture states for him when he was in the CPC.During 2011 elections,he had Katsina in the bag, (courtesy of Lado Dan Marke) but spilled it, insisting on Aminu Masari.
In Kano State, for 2011 gubernatorial elections, then CPC fielded General Jaafaru, while Rabiu Kwankwaso was the PDP (kwankwasiyya) candidate. He defeated the General. He tactfully refrained from campaigning for Goodluck, instead, he started wooing Buhari. Since he was not an enemy to their idol, the electorate voted for him. But in all honesty, he worked extremely hard for the victory.
How time flies! 2015 is just one month away. Kwankwaso is finishing his second term as Governor and he thinks there is no other way but up. He has fixed his sights on the Presidency. It might be that he decamped from PDP in order to be able to contest, knowing that PDP will not jettison a sitting President even if he would allow for the slaughter of all Nigerians living in North East.
The ‘chemists’ who concocted this APC broth may be never thought that there would be problem after the merger: the problem of a presidential candidate and his followers. Why did Kano people vote for Kwankwaso in 2011 instead of Buhari’s candidate? It is common knowledge that CPC did not have a single member in Kano State House of Assembly up to the time it dissolved into APC. But ANPP had, even though it’s then leader had fallen out with his godfather, Buhari.
APC Kano State, under the leadership of Governor Kwankwaso has announced its candidates for 2015 elections. Notable are: current Deputy Governor, a Kwankwasiyya diehard, is to be gubernatorial candidate. The House of Representatives’ seat occupied by Kawu Sumaila, a fervent gubernatorial aspirant is to be contested for by another Kwankwasiyya member. While he was at it, Kawu left no one in doubt that he was not going to be a member of Kwankwasiyya. And with hindsight, we may infer that Kawu did not follow Shekarau to PDP because he knew that Shekarau would not budge an inch over the candidacy of Sagir Takai for the governorship.
So here we are: General Jaafaru and Kawu are seen as Buhari loyalists. Kwankwaso it appears will not hand over his political future to someone who is not loyal to him. Buhari’s followers in Kano know that Kwankwaso was not voted in for second term due to his association with Buhari. The loyalists of Buhari want to ride to power at state level using Buhari as the vehicle, ditching him when it is convenient, like Shekarau did.
Should we call a spade a spade? If politics is really a game of numbers, Kwankwaso has the right to call the shots in Kano. Were success in 2011 polls the yardstick to determine who should be APC ‘ S presidential candidate, then South-Westerners should produce presidential candidate: they have more elected representatives than any of the other components of APC. But there is this feeling that power should return to the North. This feeling is not shared by Namadi Sambo, Aliyu Gusau, or even Ibrahim Shekarau. Why should they care for power in the North when it is not going to be in their hands? Equally, extending the same line of reasoning, why should Kwankwaso abandon Kwankwasiyya just to please Buhari loyalists?
Politics they say is give and take. May be another reading of the situation may inform Kwankwaso to offer concession to ‘yan gidan Buhari. We hope that an example from the animal Kingdom will not be apt for APC gladiators. It was reported that two snakes competed to swallow a pigeon. The first one beat the other to it. So while the first was busy swallowing the pigeon, the second got busy swallowing the first with its pigeon load. It succeeded, but died because it over extended itself.