2019: Can Kano APC survive Gandujiyya, Kwankwasiyya rivalry?

It appears the ongoing battle for supremacy in Kano State between Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and Senator Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso is gradually dragging the Kano chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) into a serious political crisis which, if care is not taken, may cost it its status as the ruling party in the state come 2019 general elections.

Gov. Ganduje and Sen. Kwankwaso have been embroiled in a serious political war since the former became the Governor of Kano State on May 29, 2015. The squabble has factionalised the APC in the state along APC Gandujiyya and APC Kwankwasiyya.

Individuals and organisations, including the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Development, have made efforts to reconcile the two political gladiators in order to restore peace in the party, but instead, the crisis paved way for war of words among members of the Kwankwasiyya and the Gandujiyya groups.

Similarly, the recent intervention by the APC national leadership, which led to the change of leadership of the party in the state was expected to end the lingering political feud between Kwankwaso and Ganduje, but on the contrary, the squabble took a new dimension.

The APC national leadership intervention, Daily Trust observed, was necessary in order to forestall another round of political war between the two groups that was bound to erupt during the forthcoming local government elections in the state slated for February 10, 2018.

However, the Kwankwasiyya group accused President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leadership of the APC of facilitating the removal of Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa from his position as the elected APC Chairman of Kano State before expiration of his tenure and subsequently anointed Ganduje’s loyalist as a caretaker chairman.

Speaking at a press conference in Kano, a former commissioner and a strong pillar of the Kwankwasiyya group, Comrade Aminu Abdulsalam, described the development as an act of flagrant disregard of APC rules and regulations.

He alleged that, “We are aware of the plan directed by President Muhammadu Buhari through his Personal Assistant on Broadcast Media, Alhaji Ibrahim Sha’aban Sharada, and others to remove our duly elected Chairman, Haruna Umar Doguwa, without due recourse to party constitution.

“This is unacceptable and we reject it in totality because the action of the National Working Committee of our great party did not in any way coincide with the provisions of APC constitution and we will not consider it. As party loyalists we are calling on the party leadership to as a matter of urgency reinstate Doguwa to avoid needless repercussions that may follow the action.”

In a swift reaction, the Kano State Government has condemned in strongest terms what it described as unsavoury remarks against President Buhari and the national leadership of the APC by the Kwankwasiyya group.

According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, members of the Kwankwasiyya group acted the script of their Abuja-based leader, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, whose plot to destabilise the APC in Kano State had been roundly defeated.

“It is also on record that Kwankwaso and his Kwankwasiyya group, consumed by the tall dream of becoming ‘President’ has unjustifiably maligned President Buhari at every given opportunity. Kano State Government seriously frowns at statements credited to the strong member of the Kwankwasiyya group, Aminu Abdulsalam, who did not only maliciously accuse President Buhari of fueling crisis in Kano APC, but also used derogatory words and attacked the personality and hard-earned integrity of Mr. President.

“Kano State Government, therefore, demands the Kwankwasiyya group to tender unreserved apology to President Buhari and the APC national secretariat without which the APC national leadership should invoke the party’s constitution and take appropriate disciplinary measures against them for insubordination and engaging in anti-party activities,” the statement said.

Commenting on these recent happenings, a chieftain of the APC who did not want to be named said internal crisis in a political party was something that was difficult to manage and was among the strongest factors that most often led to a political party’s defeat in an election.

He said, “Once you have internal crisis in any political party, it will reduce the number of your votes during election and you know both voting and victory in any election depends on numbers. So, your shortfall in votes will definitely affect your chances of winning an election.

“It happened during the era of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC). It was the internal crisis of the SDP during its primary election that led Senator Kabiru Ibrahim Gaya of the NRC to victory in the secondary election to become the Governor of Kano State. So also the internal crisis in the PDP in 2003 led to the emergence of Malam Ibrahim Shekarau of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) as governor. And the recent one is the internal crisis in the PDP under the immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan. The party leaders underrated the governors and that led to the defection of some governors and eventually PDP lost the election.

“So, directly or indirectly, if an internal crisis in a political party is not effectively managed it will affect the party during elections. You can fight opposition and manage to win an election, but internal crisis is difficult to manage because you are dealing with children of same father, same mother.”

A chieftain of the PDP who also pleaded for anonymity, said APC would not survive the ongoing crisis because its leaders had allowed it to go down to the level of ordinary party members and that any political crisis that was allowed to go to that level would not be ratified.

“The crisis has gone to a level where it will affect the entire system. Both Kwankwaso and Ganduje have allowed the crisis to go beyond the two of them and therefore, neither Kwankwaso nor Ganduje can now control it. If they were able to stop it at their level, the situation will not be as it is now. But unfortunately, they have allowed it to degenerate into something else,” he said.

A Member of the Kano State House of Assembly (Kano Municipal), Alhaji Baffa Babba Danagundi, said APC had every opportunity of winning elections in Kano come 2019, noting that though a political rancour in any political party normally affected the party by reducing its votes, but that the case of APC in Kano was not as bad as that.

Danagundi assured that Ganduje had no threat whatsoever winning his second term come 2019 at least for the following reasons: “One, Ganduje is not fighting civil servants who are the vocal minority. He has never been indepted in terms of their salaries. Two, the governor has also no issue with people of Kano State that will stop them from voting him in 2019.

“Three, is the issue of party platform: APC has a very good platform in Kano. So as far as difference in platform advantage is concerned, APC, and Ganduje by extension, have upper hands than other political parties and politicians. Four, religious leaders are also in good terms with the governor. This is one of the factors that cost Kwankwaso his second term bid in 2003. He fought Islamic scholars and they fought him back during election. Ganduje is not only in good terms with Islamic scholars, but also ensures that their allowances are being paid as at when due.

“Five, Ganduje has a good relationship with the Kano Emirate Council. Although the emir and governor had a minor problem, they have reconciled and are now in good terms. Six, politicians are also in good terms with Ganduje. Go to all the 44 local government areas, with the exception of Gwale, majority of members of the old Kwankwasiyya are now with Ganduje.

“Seven, when it comes to the issue of government machinery, Ganduje has an upper hand, at least he is the governor. Eight, when you are talking about resources, Ganduje has that advantage.

“Nine, unlike Ganduje, Kwankwaso is not in the good books of most of the intellectuals in Kano. So, going by the aforementioned factors, I am confident that APC has every chance of winning Kano come 2019 general elections.”

Another renowned politician in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Danazumi Gwarzo, said the APC’s chance of winning elections in 2019 was 60 per cent. He said if the present government would strive hard to add 10 per cent through execution of more meaningful projects, it would even be better.

Gwarzo said, “From the outcome of the PDP convention, we still don’t have a viable opposition in the country and the state in particular. The PDP did not learn any lesson because they came out from the convention more divided and the other political parties are not effective. To be honest with you, the internal crisis in the APC is not helping matters. And the other group, Kwankwasiyya, has the capacity of causing serious setback in the APC, but whether the setback will lead the party to defeat or not is what we wait to see.”

also pleaded for anonymity, said APC would not survive the ongoing crisis because its leaders had allowed it to go down to the level of ordinary party members and that any political crisis that was allowed to go to that level would not be ratified.

“The crisis has gone to a level where it will affect the entire system. Both Kwankwaso and Ganduje have allowed the crisis to go beyond the two of them and therefore, neither Kwankwaso nor Ganduje can now control it. If they were able to stop it at their level, the situation will not be as it is now. But unfortunately, they have allowed it to degenerate into something else,” he said.

A Member of the Kano State House of Assembly (Kano Municipal), Alhaji Baffa Babba Danagundi, said APC had every opportunity of winning elections in Kano come 2019, noting that though a political rancour in any political party normally affected the party by reducing its votes, but that the case of APC in Kano was not as bad as that.

Danagundi assured that Ganduje had no threat whatsoever winning his second term come 2019 at least for the following reasons: “One, Ganduje is not fighting civil servants who are the vocal minority. He has never been indepted in terms of their salaries. Two, the governor has also no issue with people of Kano State that will stop them from voting him in 2019.

“Three, is the issue of party platform: APC has a very good platform in Kano. So as far as difference in platform advantage is concerned, APC, and Ganduje by extension, have upper hands than other political parties and politicians. Four, religious leaders are also in good terms with the governor. This is one of the factors that cost Kwankwaso his second term bid in 2003. He fought Islamic scholars and they fought him back during election. Ganduje is not only in good terms with Islamic scholars, but also ensures that their allowances are being paid as at when due.

“Five, Ganduje has a good relationship with the Kano Emirate Council. Although the emir and governor had a minor problem, they have reconciled and are now in good terms. Six, politicians are also in good terms with Ganduje. Go to all the 44 local government areas, with the exception of Gwale, majority of members of the old Kwankwasiyya are now with Ganduje.

“Seven, when it comes to the issue of government machinery, Ganduje has an upper hand, at least he is the governor. Eight, when you are talking about resources, Ganduje has that advantage.

“Nine, unlike Ganduje, Kwankwaso is not in the good books of most of the intellectuals in Kano. So, going by the aforementioned factors, I am confident that APC has every chance of winning Kano come 2019 general elections.”

Another renowned politician in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Danazumi Gwarzo, said the APC’s chance of winning elections in 2019 was 60 per cent. He said if the present government would strive hard to add 10 per cent through execution of more meaningful projects, it would even be better.

Gwarzo said, “From the outcome of the PDP convention, we still don’t have a viable opposition in the country and the state in particular. The PDP did not learn any lesson because they came out from the convention more divided and the other political parties are not effective. To be honest with you, the internal crisis in the APC is not helping matters. And the other group, Kwankwasiyya, has the capacity of causing serious setback in the APC, but whether the setback will lead the party to defeat or not is what we wait to see.”

 

Credits/Sources: www.dailytrustng.com