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Kano 2015: Between two choices

No doubt, Kano politics over the years have never being short of issues that has the tendency of swaying electoral votes overnight towards a preferred…

No doubt, Kano politics over the years have never being short of issues that has the tendency of swaying electoral votes overnight towards a preferred candidate when the question of who occupies the government house comes up. Oftentimes, many prominent sons and daughters of the state have been consumed by the high –wired intrigues, political bickering, rivalry and power play that have become a central past time and character of its politics. At times, this political rivalry and power play often take frightening dimension as a result of the bitter rivalry between the political heavyweights and their supporters.
However, the battle of wit and supremacy will be between the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and they have since hit the ground running as they have stepped up campaigns and consultations across the nooks and crannies of the state for support ahead of picking the keys to the Government House. But on the other hand, Kano represents a strategic interest to the two dominant political parties for obvious reasons. The state accounts for over 6million votes and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, record show that the state had over 5,135,415 million registered voters in 2011.
It is against this backdrop that political gladiators are at war with one another over who will take control of the soul of the state. Undoubtedly, the battle to govern Kano State has all the political ingredient of a clash between political heavyweights and power brokers on the one hand, while on the other hand, the battle of wit and supremacy promises to be fiercely contested, no thanks to the governorship candidates and the interest they represents.
The APC wants to prove to all and sundry that it is in firm control of Kano politics and its electorate, but the opposition PDP are bent in reclaiming what they tagged a ‘a stolen mandate’. But going by the bubbling political activities in the ancient city, most political watchers of the unfolding drama are of the view that the APC are better positioned to retain the keys to the state government house in the state. Apparently this conclusive verdict may not be unconnected with the army of political heavyweights queuing behind the APC governorship candidate and the incumbency factor of Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso who dumped the PDP for the APC has further cemented the party’s political stronghold in the state.
It would be recall that over the years the state had always queue behind Muhammadu Buhari’s party with statistical prove in 2003,2007 ,2011 and now 2015,where the retired general had a landslide electoral victory in those presidential race. For instance, Buhari’s political influence swept off the PDP then led government of Kwankwaso in 2003,and installed Malam Ibrahim Shekarau of the then All Nigerian Peoples Party, ANPP. Again, Buhari not only defeated President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in the 2007 presidential race, but made Shekarau to break the jinx of one term governor that had characterized Kano politics for long.
In 2011, Buhari CPC’s defeated Shekarau’s ANPP, but due to internal political squabbles and wrangling both political parties lost the governorship ticket to the incumbent governor who was then the PDP candidate. The recent presidential rally by Buhari which brought the state to a standstill by the crowd who graced is a testimony that the APC is yet to vacate the Government House in coming election. So political observers are of the opinion that the presidential and governorship elections in the state are for the APC to lose.
Then there is the cult-like following of the incumbent governor by the people of the state. Like the late Aminu Kano, Kwankwaso has become the undisputed leader of the Talakawas in the state with his people oriented projects and pro-masses style of politics. Analysts believe that the governor’s achievements, which many within and outside the state described as unprecedented are enough to drive the APC to victory.  
Some political watchers are wont to postulate that the only obstacle to the APC picking the keys to the state government house is the seeming popularity Shekarau still command in the state. Agreed that since he joined the PDP, there has been an underground war between him and the incumbent over who controls the politics of the state, but even a distance observer would know that the minister of education has lost respect even among his ardent supporters with his defection to the PDP.
The move, which many see as self-serving affected the former teacher’s political standing in the state and those who hold the grudge see the coming polls as an opportunity to get at him. There is also the Ganduje factor, which is synonymous with his boss. Many have attributed the many achievements of Kwankwaso to the support of his key lieutenants which form the Kwankwassiya camp.  Ganduje’s loyalty stands him out as the natural heir to the throne. He is seen as capable of continuing the enviable legacy and footprints of the group which dotted the Kano landscape.
It is against this backdrop that the political strategists of the APC had insisted Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje is the best candidate for continuity of the Kwankwasiyya political tradition. As the deputy governor to governor Kwankwaso he has being found to be loyal, a bridge builder aside from being a seasoned administrator he has been a tested and trusted politician. Ganduje, no doubt has paid his political dues in the political underbelly of Kano politics for more than 30 years. But for providence, Ganduje who was asked to step down for Kwankwaso in 1999 by late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi after it became clear that he was set to pick the governorship ticket would have long ended his eight year tenure in 2007 if he had emerged governor.
The defunct ANPP lost the 2011 governorship election on the premise that “the former governor imposed him (Takai) on the party.” Aggrieved groups are just waiting in the wings to take their pound of flesh from the minister on Election Day. This is not to say however that they are no aggrieved group within the APC following the outcome of its primaries in the state. The likes of Kawu Sumaila have being shouting themselves hoarse having seemingly lost out in the current political equation in the state. After years of working closely with Kwankwaso as his running mate first from 1999 to 2003, and from 2011 to date, Ganduje enjoys a rare advantage as loyalist and pundits believe he will outshine Shekarau’s anointed any day.  
Abubakar wrote from Kubwa, Abuja.

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