This is the third time I am writing on the problem ex-governors Ibrahim Shekarau and Attahiru Bafarawa had with the All Progressives Congress (APC) which led to their defection to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).This time it was prompted by the comments of two gentlemen; one my senior colleague and icon of journalism, Malam Mohammed Haruna, and the other an ungrateful two-term commissioner in Shekarau’s government, Alhaji Ibrahim Garba (aka IG).
Let me explain my concernin thematter. I was so obsessed with the issue of the merger of opposition parties for the emergence of a powerful party that could effectively challenge the PDP that I wrote about ten times on the issue since 2011 (you can imagine my disappointment when the APC, out of desperation, began to take the shape of the PDP). Secondly, as a former Special Adviser toShekarau, from 2007-2011, I am sympathetic andcapable of rationalizing and viewing the issue from their perspective.
Actually, those who condemned the two ex-governors’ action outright acted on impulse and were therefore unfair to them.
Mohammed, in a piece titled “For APC, the clock is ticking” (Daily Trust, 19/02/2014), said he could not understand why after accusing APC of being no better than PDP Shekarau and Bafarawa decided to join the latter. It is not surprising that manypeople, including APC leaders and ace political analysts like Mohammed, cannot fully understand why the ex-governors had to leaveAPC and join PDP. In the first place, which are the other eligible parties? With the three major opposition parties already dissolved for APC to evolve, these two are the only ‘formidable’ opposition parties still standing, even though both of them on one leg. This is because factions of the two had joined the merger craze, and Gen. Jerry Useni, one of the leaders of DPP, was so disillusioned that he recently announced that they were talking with PDP with a view to merging with it.
APGA is certainly out of the question because of its crises. And it was too late to start a new party. This, in effect, means that the two ex-governors were at the crossroads. To remain in APC meant ultimate annihilation and termination of their political careers, and to cross over to PDP meant complete ideological summersault.
So my dear Ndajika, the issue is beyond Shekarau and Bafarawa running away from subordinating themselves to their governors but saving themselves from political annihilation. It is an issue of survival.
Ibrahim “IG”, on the other hand, said he and others of his ilk have not followed their erstwhile boss to the PDP because he had told them that it was a party of the devils. IG, along with Garba Yusuf Abubakar and Sani Lawan Kofarmata, were seemingly Shekarau’smost loyal lieutenants during the eight years he was governor. They wereamong those closest to him. At that time, they were always ready to stand up for their benefactor and‘fight’viciously against any political foe, as they did on several occasions against the incumbent governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso.
In the process, they ingratiated themselves to Shekarau and garnered enormous wealth. However, because they weredisappointed that they werenot the ones anointed for the coveted governorship or deputy governorship seats during the 2011 elections, the trio joined the ‘fifth columnists’ who sabotaged Shekarau and his party during the elections.
Back to IG’s implied notion, that it is morally wrong to have poured your venom on a party and cast its leaders as devils, only to turn around later and join that party.
This, he said, was why he and the others decided not follow Shekarau to PDP. This also brings us back to the issue of how politics is played, almost anywhere in the world – no permanent enemy but permanent interest.
Let me illustrate this with a few questions to IG: Can he recall what Nuhu Ribadu, as chairman of EFCC, said about Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other ex-governors that he now associates with in APC? Can he recall what Nasiru el-Rufai, as minister of FCT, said about ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar during his crisis with then President Olusegun Obasanjo? Or what he, Garba Yusuf and SaniLawan said about Kwankwaso during Shekarau’s tenures? Are Tinubu, Ribadu, Atiku and el-Rufai not now hand in glove in APC? Or is he, Garba and Sani not now kowtowing to Kwankwaso?
That’s the spirit, IG – no permanent enemies, just permanent interests! And if it is so between him and Kwankwaso, why can’t it be so between Shekarau, Bafarawa and PDP? Shekarau and Bafarawa are perfectly alright in PDP.
Muhammad wrote in from Hotoro, Kano. Email: [email protected]