President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday challenged Kano state Governor Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso to stop insulting him, saying that the governor was also corrupt and therefore lacked the morality to challenge him.
Speaking in Kano at a rally to formally welcome a former governor of the state, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, into the PDP fold, Jonathan said: “Only yesterday I read in the papers where Kwankwaso was saying that he regretted voting for me in 2011. Let me tell him that when I was about to emerge as PDP candidate Kwankwaso was bitter and walked out of the venue of the election, and I later found out that he did not vote for me in that election.
“The money I set aside for Kano delegates during the 2011 convention was not given to them. Kwankwaso pocketed it. And the money I later sent to Kano PDP to campaign for me in 2011 was also pocketed by the governor.
“This is a man who is now saying that he voted for me. Kwankwaso right from day one hated me and never voted or campaign for me.”
The president, who was in his best articulate and aggressive, lamented that he was very eager to come to Kano and receive Shekarau, describing him as “a decent and highly religious gentle man”.
He said he also decided to come in his native attire and bowler hat because Kwankwaso had labeled people dressing that way as evil men, “and I am here to tell you some things about the governor.”
Jonathan said: “Since June 2011 the federal government disbursed the sum of N255 billion to local governments in Kano state.
Kwankwaso, under the state and local governments joint account, mismanaged this money; he refused to conduct local government elections and appointed interim management officers so that he can corner this money.”
The president told the mammoth crowd that turned out in their thousands to welcome him and grace the rally at the Old Polo Ground that they should ask Kwankwaso the meaning of the red cap and the white clothes that he wears, as well as the meaning of ‘Kwankwasiyya’ “which we call ‘Kwaskwarima’, because most of the projects Kwankwaso is claiming of executing in Kano were done by the federal government, like the Gyadi-Gyadi flyover, Airport Road, Kano, and the rice pyramid in Kano that was made possible through billions made available to Kano farmers and several tones of fertilizer by Federal Ministry of Agriculture”.
The president vowed that come 2015, with the joining of the PDP by Shekarau, Kano will return to the PDP.
Jonathan said: “The person occupying government house Kano today is an illegal tenant and we will flush him or whoever he may decide to sponsor in 2015. A corrupt man has no moral right to call us corrupt or devilish.”
The president, who asked Sheik Bashir Galadanci and Pastor Nick Nwobodo to offer special prayers for peace to reign in Nigeria, especially the activities of militants in some parts of the North, pointed out that most of the states under siege in the north are not controlled by the PDP, and he as president of Nigeria would do everything possible to see that terrorists did not take over the country.
In his remarks on the occasion, the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Ahmed Adamu Mu’azu, whom most speakers referred to as “the game changer,” said to join the PDP was like joining Islam “because if you join PDP today you are as important as those who founded the party.”
He added that with Shekarau, who was close to him even when he was in ANPP, the PDP would win Kano state and Nigeria in 2015.
Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, who equally spoke at the occasion, explained that Kano that produced the great politicians like Abubakar Rimi, Malam Aminu Kano, Shekarau, and Ambasador Aminu Wali should not be in an opposition party in 2015.
Shekarau, at whose instance the rally was organised, told the august visitors who included Senate President David Mark, governors of Akwa Ibom, Kebbi, and Katsina states, Deputy Senate President, and Secretary of the PDP Board of Trustees that those who know him are aware that he is a man of principle.
Tuesday, he said, was freedom day for him and his supporters and they would work hard and deliver Kano to the president in 2015.
The former governor, who defected from APC to PDP recently, called on Jonathan to assist Kano in areas of agriculture, electricity and other amenities.
Meanwhile, a special adviser to Kano State governor on information, Sharu Garba Gwammaja, led more than 2,000 politicians to sweep all the roads that Jonathan and his supporters followed, saying they didn’t want the PDP’s “bad luck” to befall Kano people.
The APC stalwart said he and the others would observe a fast today and remove the president’s posters now littering major streets and buildings in Kano.
During the visit, the president was given the gift of a white horse by Malam Shekarau on behalf of the Kano emirate.