By YUSUF SADIQ
Recently, the former governor of Kano State and a serving senator, Engr. Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso, in continuation of his day-dreaming fuelled by megalomania, ventosity and vain-glory claimed that he is the right stuff to defeat the incumbent President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari in next year’s general elections provided the seemingly comatose Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) conducts a free and fair primary election that will see his emergence as its presidential candidate though he is still a bonafide member of the ruling APC. Though he has not made public his decision to dump APC for another party, possibly PDP, in his desperate bid to rule the country, there has been a long-running speculation that he will leave the ruling party for another because at present he does not stand a chance to unsettle the current president at the APC primary election.
Prior to the 2015 general elections, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Kwankwaso and others dumped the then ruling PDP for the APC riding on the back of the popularity of Muhammadu Buhari in their futile attempt to realize their personal political ambitions wrongly thinking that they would defeat the current president at the party’s primary elections. Despite the allegation of vote buying during the APC primary elections, Buhari roundly defeated both Atiku and Kwankwaso and since then, APC has been experiencing internal crises because the so-called members of the new “PDP”, not yet registered with the electoral body, have vowed to scuttle the boat simply because they were not given a platform to contest the 2015 presidential poll.
Now Atiku has since re-joined his old party, PDP and Kwankwaso is likely to follow suit; the same PDP they spiritedly did all they could to cast it in bad light because they had realized that they stood no chance to become the presidential candidate of PDP with the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the helm of affairs then. So, PDP was regarded as a cancerous party by the self-styled nPDP members, blaming it for all the ills in the country. Surprisingly, now they are motivated by political greed, PDP is now a refuge for all those elements who regard the now ruling APC as a threat to their political ambitions.
This political somersault is not only childish but a dangerous phenomenon that depicts our politicians as unserious and bereft of ideas in the eyes of the world. Kwankwaso, in particular, has failed to realize that presiding a complex country like Nigeria is a serious business and no amount of crowd-rousing, empty claim of “huge” followership, political sagacity or brow-beating can make somebody a good presidential material.
His claim that he is capable of beating President Buhari is to say the least infantile and laughably asinine. Apart from the absence of a good political base in his native Kano State following his loss of the control of political base to the incumbent governor of the state, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, OFR, the party he now wants to join, PDP has not forgotten how he and his cohorts stabbed it in the back prior to the 2015 general elections and this wound is still festering. I am sure it is unlikely PDP will field him as its presidential candidate in next year’s general elections especially considering the fact that already many of its die-hard loyalists have indicated their readiness to be its flag bearers during the forthcoming presidential elections next year. So, where do the Atikus and Kwankwasos fit in the political equation?
When Gov. Ganduje said that Kwankwaso will not win his political ward not the least Kano State during elections is not an empty boast; this is the reality on the ground because the carpet has been pulled from under his feet. Whether he has realized this or not is a matter of time.
Nigeria needs somebody who is honest, far-sighted, democratic, patient, incorruptible and open-minded as a president and I doubt if Kwankwaso possesses these qualities. Is Kwankwaso very popular and acceptable across all political divides, regions and religions in the country? If he were, why the allegation of buying of delegates during the 2015 APC presidential primaries? I am sure the writing is clear on the wall.
There is no doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari is still very popular in and outside the country because of his incorruptibility, sincerity and commitment to the service of his dear country and humanity in general. There are some serious problems in the country, no doubt but it is unmistakably clear that the president has been doing his utmost to bring back the country on the right track.
The presidential bid of Kwankwaso is just an attempt to score cheap popularity. He does not have the mental capacity, experience, vision, open-mindedness, patience and other qualities to lead this desperate country with its myriad of problems and challenges, His so-called “iron shoes” with which he is gored by his blindly sheepish followers to tread on the toes of his perceived enemies are no requirement in the national context.
As a senator representing Kano Central, Kwankwaso has not performed to expectation: no motion, bill or project in the last three years. His predecessor, Senator Lado whom he, many occasions, rubbished, performed better than him. At least, Senator Lado did facilitate the construction of a flyover at Kundilla Housing Estate roundabout apart from assisting many members of his constituencies under his sundry empowerment programmes. What development has Kwankwaso as a senator brought to his constituency to make the electorate to vote for him instead of President Buhari?
I am always bemused by Kwankwaso’s approach to politics for how can somebody that revels in dictatorial tendencies stoop so low as to canvass for the support of Nigerians or allow democratic norms to prevail intra and inter-party wise? Will he insist that all Nigerians should wear his so-called “red cap” for them to be counted as his loyalists? What will his relationship with the other arms of government be? Will he allow the legislative and judicial arms of government to freely discharge their constitutional duties or will he try to muscle them with devastating consequences to the polity as a whole? Will he embark on white elephant projects for mere prestige as he did during his first and second tenures in Kano State many of which were not completed when he left office? Will he abrogate to himself the qualities of all-seeing, omnipotence and omniscience as he did in his native state when he was calling the shots as the chief executive? Will he be ready to respect Nigerians both low and mighty? Will he be willing to treat public servants and pensioners with humane disposition or will their welfare and well-being count for nothing as we have seen how he treated Kano State civil servants and pensioners with disdain? Will he allow members of the federal executive council to freely offer constructive inputs during their meetings or will he do what he did in his native state when the council members were alleged to be a mere rubber stamp?
These and many more questions that beg for answers are really disturbing to say the least. I insist that Kwankwaso is not a good presidential material and I am sure he is just seeking cheap popularity so that he will be taken seriously by the federal government? Politically, Kwankwaso’s days are numbered and he is not a force to be reckoned with any more either in his native state, regionally or nationally and that is why he is now hell bent on trying to restore his non-existent political stature. Nemesis is really catching up with him as he is reaping what he has sown. Has he forgotten what he did to his political godfathers like Senator Hamisu Musa, Muhammadu Abubakar Rimi of blessed memory, Musa Gwadabe, Dauda Dangalan, and a host of others on whose backs he rode to political limelight as a member of the House of Representatives and later as governor? Or are his political accomplishments solely self-made without their facilitation? Indeed, some are attempting to build a castle in the air!