By Abdulmumin Murtala
KANO — THE stage is set for the epic battle on who owns Kano as the two immediate past governors of the state, Senator Rabiu Kwankwanso and Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau put on the gloves to tackle one another in a show of might ahead of the forthcoming General Election.
Kwankwanso is a leading presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, while Shekarau who also served as minister of education in the immediate past administration and was also until recently, a presidential aspirant also on the platform of the PDP.
Shekarau defected from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC last week after Kwankwanso was formally admitted into the PDP and got a bigger chunk of the party structure than himself.
Shekarau was also enticed by the APC reportedly with the offer of a Senate ticket and also the offer of producing the deputy governor to the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Ganduje.
“It was an offer to difficult to resist,” sources in the Shekarau camp said.
Senator Kwankwaso as the leader of a political movement called Kwankwasiyya, known for its red cap and white dress, popular in Kano and among his political acolytes mostly in Northern Nigeria.
Shekarau is also himself no pushover, being the only governor in the history of the state to win two straight terms.
Kwankwanso who is the only other governor to have served two terms, however, achieved it intermittently.
Kwankwanso had also strengthened himself especially in his second term with a strong performance in infrastructure and human development efforts in the state.
The face-off between both men Vanguard gathered is expected to be frontal especially if Kwankwanso loses out in the presidential contest in the PDP and comes down to contest for the Kano Central Senate seat which the APC has now conceded to Shekarau.
Already politicians like Bashir Garba Lado, Alhaji Yusuf Gawuna and Alhaji Ibrahim Muhammad Kankarofi are alleged to have withdrawn from the APC primary contest in favour of Shekarau.
Eyes are now focused on the prospect of a fight to finish between the two men in the event that Kwankwanso does not get the presidential ticket.
Meanwhile, Kwankwaso who has not appeared in public in Kano more than twice since he stepped down from power is leaving his entire opponents in the state in suspense. He has in the past been known as an unpredictable politician.
Kwankwanso’s political ascendancy compelled the PDP to grant him 51% of the state’s structure, an offer that Shekarau considered a spite on his person.
Shekarau and Aminu Wali were to share the remaining 49%. Shekarau, it was gathered wanted all three, himself, Kwankwanso and Wali to share the pie evenly, a proposal that Kwankwanso rejected.
Kwankwaso’s rejection of the proposal was based on the fear that he believed it would dilute his hold on delegates given that he was serious with his presidential aspiration. It was suggested in his camp that Shekarau who was believed not to be serious with his presidential aspiration could sell the delegates that came with the division to other presidential aspirants like Atiku Abubakar.
That prospect has now opened the way for what could be the fiercest fight between two of the most notable sons of Kano in recent years.