GOV. Rabiu Kwankwaso
Ibrahim Shuaibu writes that the prevailing political situation in Kano State is one of no opposition parties
All through the history of Kano politics, opposition has always played a leading role in helping to fashion out solutions at critical points in the state development. But since power changed hands from the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2011 general election, the major opposition parties in the state- ANPP, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Congress for progressive Change (CPC) had gone to sleep.
Sadly, as the 2015 election approaches, a large army of aggrieved members of the public, who constitute about 50 per cent of the electorate, had emerged, with the resolution to use everything at their disposal to stop the PDP from returning to power. But observers are quick to dismiss this as empty threat because the opposition is not united and formidable enough to challenge the PDP machine in Kano State.
Against this backdrop, the ruling party has begun to map out strategies to enable it to retain the state in 2015 even as the ANPP also plans to ensure a popular candidate emerges in the party for the governorship election. Yet, opposition parties are still not getting it right as their members are all silent as a result of leadership coordination while others have gone scavenging around the PDP government.
However, an update on the state of the opposition parties will throw more light on the difficulty their prevailing inaction has caused the politics of the state.
All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP)
Scores of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) members have dumped the party because of the leadership inability to unite the warring groups within rank and file of the party. The leadership has also been accused of being inaccessible by the members because the chairman and other state executive members are not always available to address the demands of party members in the state.
But chairman of the party, Alhaji Sani Hashim Hotoro, said recently on a radio programme that the party is intact and ready to capture the state in the 2015 election. But members merely described his comment as lies because the leadership has failed to its members since it lost the 2011 election.
It was also gathered that the secretariat of the party on Bompai Road has been closed but only open to rats and other reptiles since party meetings now hold along the road or sometimes in the chairman’s house. Obviously, all is not well with the ANPP as it is fast disintegrating while members are in disarray. Morale is at its lowest ebb among supporters who are not finding life easy in the two years that they have been out of power.
Besides, Hotoro has been accused of distancing himself from supporters who looked up to him for leadership. Members complain that he is not accessible, fails to listen to their yearning and advice and has continued to display different nonchalant attitudes.
As a ruling party then in Kano, ANPP gathered tremendous support in the state, but for the constant internal crises in the party. Top members of the party who had defected to the other parties from the ANPP are Alhaji Abdullahi Gwarzo, former Deputy Governor who has defected to the ACN; Senator Muhammadu Adamu Bello, who has also left for the PDP and Alhaji Adamu Abubakar Babawo, among others.
But a chieftain of the PDP, Alhaji Hashimu Dungurawa, said the party is waxing stronger because of its purposeful leadership and support from the people who believe that the party is their messiah for development, saying that the administration of Governor Kwankwaso runs the state affairs in line with his campaign promises which as evident in the state.
Dungurawa also canvassed for more support from the people of the state to enable the government to provide more credible leadership. He said Governor Kwankwaso’s love for Kano State has really helped to put the state on the path of economic, educational and rural development.
Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN)
The ACN was used during the 2011 election as a scapegoat for the warring members of the ANPP who defected to the party along with the then deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Abdullahi Gwarzo because his former party, ANPP, allegedly manipulated the party primary to allow the anointed candidate contest the governorship poll.
ANPP’s decision to anoint a choice candidate angered supporters of the former deputy governor, who then resolved to join the ACN. But since the 2011 election, the party has gone into limbo without any structure of strength in the state. Its secretariat along the Zaria road has shutdown and has remained silent with no activities to reflect its presence within the present equation in the state.
Congress for Progressive Change (CPC)
The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Kano was the party many saw as the toast of the people during the 2011 election. The party’s popularity had risen considerably because it was founded by no other person than General Muhammadu Buhari, whose image looms large in the North. He is generally considered as a tested and trusted leader whom many look up to for the good leadership that many Nigerians yearn for.
Unfortunately too, CPC was enmeshed in internal crisis for its governorship ticket, a situation that led to the conduct of two parallel primary elections with two different aspirants, Alhaji Muhammadu Sani Abacha and General Lawal Jaafaru Isa, laying claim to ticket.
And because it could not manage the situation, the party lost the election. CPC had settled for Isa as against Abacha believed to have formed the structures of the CPC in virtually all the 44 local government areas of the state. That poor decision of the CPC cost it that election, notwithstanding its popularity. And since then, it has retired to political oblivion.
But much as the 2011 election has come and gone; structures of the opposition parties remain non-existent in the state. Although, many people still believe that some of the opposition parties would rise from the ashes in the 2015 election, nothing so far point in that direction as they give of picture of so as to show they are on ground complete concession to the ruling PDP.