Despite reported truce, the battle of supremacy between the incumbent governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and his predecessor, Sen Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, is still on-going underground as the incumbent is radically asserting his powers by weeding out loyalists of the former governor.
The – recent – disengagement and reposting of Kwankwaso’s confidants came despite claims by the two political gladiators that all is well between them.
Although the two principal actors have restrained from making public comments against each other, happenings in the Kano State Government House, and indeed the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, suggest that Ganduje and Kwankwaso are still at each other’s throat politically.
The sack of former Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Rabi’u Sulaiman Bichi, and the redeployment of the Director, Media and Communication to the governor, Alhaji Baba Halilu Dantiye, is among recent developments causing some politicians in the state to believe that the fracas between the two is far from over.
Both Bichi and Dantiye were appointed by Kwankwaso and retained by Ganduje after he assumed office on May 29, 2015.
It would be recalled that Ganduje, in his inaugural speech on May 29, last year, stated that his administration would be a continuation of the Kwankwaso-led government.
Also, on December 12, 2015, the incumbent told a gathering at the Annual General Meeting of the Broadcasting Media, held at Africa House, inside the Kano State Government House ,that he begged his former boss, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, to allow him retain the former SSG and DG media and communication in his government.
Ganduje, who was at that time trying to give insight into the kind of relationship that existed between him and Kwankwaso, said retaining some political appointments made by Kwankwaso was a clear testimony that their relationship was cordial.
This was why when the former SSG was sacked, the issue became a topic of debate among local political analysts on virtually all the private-owned radio stations in the state.
Though Ganduje gave reasons for his decision, many political analysts believe that Bichi’s removal was purely political.
According to Ganduje, the sack of Bichi and redeployment of some political appointees were aimed at restructuring his government.
The governor made his stand clear about the issue at a parley with journalists, which was held shortly after the former SSG was relieved of his appointment.
He said: “During my inauguration, I told Kano people that my administration would be a continuation, consolidation and fine-tuning of the past administration.
“The sack of SSG and redeployment of DG Media and Communication and Principal Private Secretary, Rabi’u Sulaiman Bichi, Baba Halilu Dantiye and Usman Bala was part of the fine-tuning aspect of my administration,” he said.
The governor said the development was not a new thing in government, adding that government as a continuous process, always goes with changes. He maintained that the sack of the former SSG and redeployment of others had nothing to do with politics.
“It is a routine process of good governance,” he said.
He also cited the re-structuring of the state Internal Revenue Board as an example.
Ganduje explained that following the reform at the Board, the state is now generating over N2bn monthly.
He, therefore, assured that the cabinet shake-up would strengthen the government for effective service delivery.
Another political development that also attracted much attention in the state was the recent move to impeach the Chairman of Gaya Local Government Area, Alhaji Lawal Sale Gaya.
Daily Trust on Sunday gathered that the move was halted by a court injunction, secured by the embattled chairman, which restrained the councillors from accomplishing their mission.
Before the recent development, some loyalists of Kwankwaso were stripped of their various positions for alleged refusal to register their allegiance to Ganduje.
Those affected include the APC women leader in the state, Hajiya Habiba Garba Yandalla; APC women leader in Sumaila Local Government Area, Hajiya Rabi Nasiru Sumaila; and the APC vice chairman, assistant secretary, treasurer and assistant women leader in Rano Local Government, Alhaji Nuhu Doka, Alhaji Muhammad Chanji, Alhaji Sanusi Lifur and Hajiya Uwa Bature.
Others were APC chairmen in Nassarawa, Gwarzo, Dambatta, Madobi, Tarauni and Gwale local government areas, Alhaji Umar Musa Gama, Alhaji Rabi’u Sarkin Fulani, Alhaji Jamilu Abubakar Dambatta, Alhaji Muhammad Namadi Gora, Alhaji Muhammad Idris Hotoro and Alhaji Faruk Gwadabe Maitasa.
It was further alleged that the Chief Whip of the Kano State House of Assembly, Mamuda Zubairu Madobi, and Speaker, Rogo Local Government Area, were both sacked to get at Kwankwaso.
Others were APC secretary in Sumaila Local Government, Alhaji Nasiru Mato Sumaila, Special Adviser, Women Affairs in Fagge Local Government Area, Hajiya A’in Jafaru; APC secretary in Rano central ward, Yakubu Muhammad, APC secretary in Rurum Tsohon-Gari ward, Alhaji Musa Riro and APC secretary in Rano Dawaki ward, Alhaji Sani Maigida.
However, some political analysts are of the opinion that recent happenings predate the immediate misunderstanding between Ganduje and Kwankwaso.
Some of them cited the crisis between the former education minister, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, and Kwankwaso, soon after the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
They argued that when the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) were merged to form the APC, Shekarau, as the leader of the ANPP in Kano, and Kwankwaso, who was the governor, battled over leadership of the APC in Kano.
They added that when the crisis persisted, Shekarau sought clarification from the APC national body, and the party clearly stated that a governor in an APC state is the leader of the party in that state.
The issue was settled at the time and when Shekarau found it difficult to cope with the arrangement, he defected to the PDP and automatically became the leader of the party in Kano. That development led to his emergence as a minister of education under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Back to the Ganduje and Kwankwaso feud, some analysts say what is good for the goose should be good for the gander, meaning that now that Ganduje is the governor, Kwankwaso should no longer be the APC leader in Kano State.
They argued that if Kwankwaso served as leader of the party while he was governor in the state, Ganduje should not be denied the same opportunity.
They insisted that it was that leadership crisis that caused Ganduje to sack Kwankwaso’s loyalists. An action they claimed was carried out by the governor to assert his authority and stem “the syndrome of dual loyalty.”
Commenting on the development, Kwankwaso’s political aide, Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam, said the sack of the former SSG was purely political, adding, “Bichi was just removed without any allegation. He was not accused of any wrong doing. If he had done something wrong, he would have been told but there was nothing like that.”
Abdulsalam alleged that “Ganduje is paying more attention to politics than the economic development of the state. Most of the things the present government is doing are political. It pays more attention to politics than any other thing that could improve the lives of the people.”
But Alhaji Fa’izu Alfindiki, the Senior Special Assistant on Information to Ganduje, maintained that Bichi’s sack had nothing to do with politics.
Alfindiki said: “Kwankwaso did similar fine-tuning while in office when he swapped Aminu Abdulsalam with Dr. Adamu Dangwani. This is normal in government; when you find somebody that is not performing, you replace him with another.
“The man that took over from Bichi is also a competent person who can deliver. So, there is no course for alarm,” he said.
On the allegation of concentration on politics than on economic development of the state, Alfindiki said politics will never distract the Ganduje-led administration from discharging its responsibilities.
“From May 22 till date, Ganduje has been busy commissioning projects in the state. We have completed some of the projects started by Kwankwaso and some of those initiated by the present government,” he said.
Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/politics/ganduje-s-hammer-hits-kwankwaso-s-loyalists/154658.html#GaQUilP5BWKqmQxU.99