By Bonaventure Melah
The article titled ‘Ganduje’s Kano on my mind,’ written by Ike Abonyi, the Special Assistant (SA), Media, to the national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) Prince Uche Secondus and published today, Thursday April 30 th , 2020, at the back page of Daily Telegraph and some online platforms, is to say the least, purely in bad taste and obviously politically motivated.
The contents of the article is therefore against the spirit of the calls from several quarters, including the World Health Organisation (WHO), President Muhammadu Buhari and many other well-meaning/concerned persons, leaders and organizations in Nigeria and other parts of the world that the coronavirus pandemic should not be politicised.
In the article, Ike Abonyi pretended that his mission was to ex-ray how Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje failed to meet the expectations of his people in the fight against the coronavirus in the state. However, the writer spent over 95 percent of his time attacking Ganduje concerning the 2019 governorship election in Kano state, the dethronement of former Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the ‘political fights’ between Ganduje and former governor of the state,
Senator Rabiu Musa Kwakwanso and, according to him, ‘other godfathers.’ His article therefore failed to state or show what wrong the Kano state governor did or how he failed to work for his people in the face of the pandemic.
It is a well known fact that Governor Ganduje and his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on one side, and the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the other side, fought ferociously over who would control Kano state during the governorship election of March 2020. After Ganduje was declared winner of the election, the PDP went to court and contested the outcome, up to the Supreme Court where the governor was declared by the apex court as the authentic winner.
Another fact known to many was that during the election, the former Kano Emir, breached the rule that barred traditional rulers from partisanship and openly aligned with the PDP in desperate attempt to remove Ganduje from office.
In the write-up therefore, Ike Abonyi more of, ventilated his anger and frustration over the defeat of his party, the PDP in Kano, by Ganduje, as well as the dethronement of their political ally, former Emir Sanusi, while feigning concern for the people of Kano over the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the writer, “Before Governor Ganduje were great leaders like Abubakar Rimi, Abdu Dawakin Tofa, Sabo Bakin Zuwo, Kabiru Gaya, Rabiu Kwakwaso, Ibrahim Shekarau and Rabiu Kwakwaso’s second coming. Since the arrival of Ganduje in Kano it has been everyday battle either with the godfather or with the Emir.”
The above position by Ike Abonyi shows clearly that the writer was totally distanced from the positive developments in Kano under Governor Ganduje or deliberately tried to stand the truth on its head. This is so because, most Nigerians are aware that for the first four years of his administration, Ganduje was rated best in many aspects of governance, including infrastructural development with roads been top notch and massive investment in education, among other areas.
The second defeat of the PDP by Ganduje in Kano state and the dethronement of former Emir Sanusi which took place a few months ago therefore could not have been the preoccupation of the governor who, in five months from now would be five years on the governor’s seat.
There is no doubt that the recent death of many people in Kano state including some eminent professionals is very unfortunate and quite regrettable. However, saying that all the deaths that occurred in Kano were as a result of the coronavirus is another height of fact-twisting by the writer as many, including medical experts have clearly stated that a strange disease was responsible for a greater majority of the deaths while some were caused by the pandemic.
It is also wrong to raise unnecessary alarm and blame the Kano state government or Governor Ganduje personally, over coronavirus infections in the state. As the most populous state in Nigeria (according to official records), Kano cannot be said to be fairing so badly over number of infections, when compared to Lagos with the highest figure and Abuja which, in spite of its relatively low population is second on the list.
If we are to raise such alarm and blame the rate of coronavirus related infections and death on leadership quality, what then can we say of Europe, the United State of America and other ‘first-rate’ countries that are been devastated and ravaged by the virus?
As I type this piece, there are 3,193,886 people infected by the virus, 227,638 deaths and 972,719 recoveries across the globe. In the US alone, infection rate stands at 1,064,353 with 61,504 deaths and 126,325 recoveries. The same havoc is being witnessed in Spain, Italy, Germany, many parts of the world with main focus being on how to collectively win the war, rather than playing obviously politically motivated blame game.
Bonaventure Melah, a former Managing Editor of Daily Times Newspaper is the
Publisher of African Leadership Scorecard News and Magazine E-mail
[email protected] Mobile 08036062975