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Buhari and Ganduje:Time for divorce

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By Emmanuel Aziken

There are arguably few political actors in Nigeria, and indeed, the world as resilient as Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.

After all, how many politicians have been filmed and reported by various news media to have received wads of dollars at separate occasions and gone on to win the endorsement of Nigeria’s most celebrated anti-corruption icon, President Muhammadu Buhari. None.

Buhari, Nigerians
President Muhammadu Buhari 

Indeed, when the dollar bribe film episode surfaced last year, some saw it as a significant test of Buhari’s integrity quotient. To wit, how would the man famed for detesting corruption act in the case of the governor of a state with such a prized voting strength as Kano’s?

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Other more mischievous critics believed that so long as Ganduje remained within the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC and as with several political actors who crossed over from the supposedly corrupt Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the APC, that nothing untoward would happen to him.

All such doubts were removed not too long after when Buhari raised Ganduje’s hand in Kano for a second term.

Perhaps that action was what may have emboldened the governor as he went for broke in the governorship election.

But the famed political sophistication of the Kano electorate was brought to bear in the last general election as it brought out other revelations.

One of such revelations was the Kano State commissioner of police, Mohammed Wakil who came out as a pride to all true crusaders of a disciplined police.

That the police in Nigeria still had the kinds of Wakil in its ranks following the reign of Ibrahim Idris was a wonder to many.

After the near sanity that Wakil imposed in Kano in the first round of elections, intrigues forced higher officers to be deployed for the governorship election. In the rerun elections that was ordered after Ganduje was outpaced by the PDP candidate, Abba Kabir-Yusuf, a Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG, was commandeered to take charge over other Assistant Inspectors General of Police.

Wakil was apparently put in his place as the big men dictated the pace.

Remarkably, the security and serenity that surrounded the rerun election were notably viewed as inferior to the serene service rendered by Wakil in the first round.

That fact was attested to by the controversial putting away of the deputy governor of the state, Nasiru Gawuna and the state commissioner for local governments, Sule Garo allegedly after they were apprehended for electoral offences.

It is now alleged that even more than Wakil, that a far more influential person who sought to bring sanity into the polity in Kano was the Sarkin Kano, Alhaji Mahammadu Sanusi.

However, others infer that Emir Sanusi far from trying to impose sanity was an active player who out-rightly opposed a second term for Ganduje.

Apart from his well-known acerbic assertions against corruption, there is, however, no known record of offences that Emir Sanusi may have committed as the traditional ruler of Kano. That is apart from his well-known garrulousness that predated his ascension to the throne.

When as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, he raised issues about leakages in the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC it is remembered that he was cheered on by the APC which was the opposition party at that time.

When eventually enforcers in the President Goodluck Jonathan government moved to use the Financial Reporting Council, to edge him out as governor of the CBN, APC chieftains played visible and behind the scene roles to use the issue to outsmart the Jonathan administration.

It is thus instructive that when Emir Sanusi sustained his anti-corruption chants in an APC administration that the response of his APC governor was to carve his kingdom into bits and pieces.

Of course, some aficionados of the PDP are now wont to say that it serves the emir right. Indeed, the refrain of some of these PDP activists is that those who brought Jonathan to election ruin are one by one getting a just recompense.

For the PDP and the APC, it seems as if morality changes depending on which side of the divide one is in.

The decisive action of a morally challenged governor decisively breaking down an ancient kingdom as Kano-based on perceived political differences is a mortal wound to the polity. It is even more reprehensible that the governor waved aside judicial injunctions that forbade his action in balkanizing the Kano emirate.

The developments in Kano require President Buhari as the leader of the APC and the leader of the country to weigh in. He must throw in his moral quotient to stem the actions of Governor Ganduje. If the president looked away at the peak of the dollar issue because of election, he cannot look away this time given the desire to imprint his name in gold as president.

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