Kano: Politics, democracy dividends and sycophancy



BASHIR MOHAMMED writes on the  perceived sycophancy in governance and the provision of democracy dividends in Kano

Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano state is now taking his time busy doing the business of governance with immense statecraft. As a politician worth his  onion, he is saddled with a burden of proof in the face of the much expectation from the electorate, lending  no credence to the gimmick of playing the ostrich.
At the pinnacle of his fame and stunning populist appeal under the present democratic dispensation, he inadvertently perceived his charming political popularity as sacrosanct forgetting that, the intrigues and the sheer shenanigan of Kano politics are so intricate and complex as no politician could ever beat his chest to claim a perpetual dominance.
Using his political swagger stick to stamp his imprimatur in the murky waters of Kano politics, the maverick politician took advantage of his populist appeal to convince people at the grassroots to discern the simple Logic that, the only way a politician could live up to his billing is to make the electorate to be pretty sure that, the dividends of democracy are really on ground.
Smarting from the ropes of an apocalyptic defeat in the year 2003, his ardent loyalists viewed his eventual downfall within the purview of the inner workings of his implacable enemies whose sole preoccupation was to taint his chining political star forgetting the fact that, in Kano the power of incumbency is no guarantee to an automatic ticket.
The man who succeeded him in 2003 was the much pronounced Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, a gladiator believed by pundits to have ascended the throne through the high political popularity of General Muhammadu Buhari who at that time was wielding considerable influence at the top echelon of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP).
On coming on board, the much revered  Shekarau saw the compelling need to predicate the issues of governance on a democratic setting in line with the norms of Sharia law and chose to accord due priority to the issue of human development.
Courtesy of his persuasive argument and power of oratory, Malam, as fondly called, was by act of providence lucky to have broken the much-vaunted jinx that no governor in Kano will ever serve for two terms consecutively.
He was ultimately lucky to have crossed the Rubicon of defeat in 2007 at the time he expressed his intention to go for the second term, mobilizing all resources at his disposal to ensure that the candidates contesting on  the platforms of various political parties did not win.
Despite Shekarau’s acceptability and recognition in the political lexicon of the state, many politicians viewed his eight year stint in power as an exercise in futility even in the face of his score card on Sharia and human development.
Even gadflies defending his government and style of governance had expressed a dissenting voice against Malam’s spectacular failure to call the bluff of some members of his personality cult, widely accused of amassing ill-gotten wealth without regard to the collective interest of those who had vehemently fought for him to wealthier the storm.
Malam was even reported to have once told ‘some his non performing commissioners’ that he had left them with God, having allegedly  betrayed his trust in them , leaving people beginning to wonder why in the face of such a failure they should not be shown the way out.
Malam’s political popularity started crumbling like a pack of cards when he maintained his intransigent posture that, his favourite henchman, Alhaji Salihu Sagir Takai must be the one to contest the gubernatorial slot in the state in 2011, a political misaculation that led to the abysmal defeat of Takai at the polls.
The uncompromising stance taken by Malam to anoint his successor by executive fiat had created a bad blood among Malam’s die-hard loyalists, pitching  him against his loyal deputy, a result of which was mass defection of influential figures from the ANPP.
In the year 2011, Kwankwaso took  advantage of the rift in the ANPP to revive his moribund political structure, taking his campaign to all the 44 local government councils in the state and eventually won the confidence of the electorate.
Upon  coming on board as governor of the state in 2011, he adroitly employed his master-stroke to prove to his people that, he is a workaholic who never got tired on what he is doing day in day out.
His major undoing in the eyes of his critics is his hard stance on probity and accountability in governance and his failure to allow bootlickers to milk the treasury of the state dry.
With his sudden defection to the All Peoples Congress (APC), Kwankwaso is wonderfully gaining the support of some sugarcoated sycophants beating their chest that with Shelkarau’s fingers on the political tiller, they were ready to die fighting his course.
With their loyalty switched to Kwankwaso knowing that, he is now the one calling the shots courtesy of his power and influence, the rebellious Shekarau’s supporters are daily trooping to Kano Government House, paying homage to the man they considered as the Lord of manor.
What is now causing ripples in the state is the speedy pace with which Kwankwaso is executing his high profile projects to the consternation of his critics, but he seems to be unperturbed knowing that, during his campaign for the second term as governor, he had chosen to make available the dividends of democracy to his people.

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