•Kwankwaso is destroying the party – Senator Inuwa
•You’re creating confusion – Comrade Jili
From DESMOND MGBOH, Kano
On Saturday, January 19, 2013, certain stalwarts of the PDP in Kano State staged an event that did not pass unnoticed. On that day, along Maiduguri Road, in the state capital, a parallel structure of the party’s state working committee was inaugurated.
Two of the founding fathers of the party in the state, Alhaji Dauda Dangala and Alhaji Aminu Wali, found it worthy to attend and facilitate the protest inauguration of the parallel secretariat. Also present were the former speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Alhaji Ibrahim Salisu Buhari (Imam); former military administrator of Niger State, Col. Habibu Shuaib (rtd.); former political adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Akilu Sani Ndabawa, among others.
The Minister of Planning, Dr. Usman Shamsudeen, was absent but was listed as a major facilitator, alongside former speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Umar Na’Abba, and the Special Adviser to the Vice President on Politics, Mallam Abba Dabo, all of whom sent in words to reiterate their solidarity and commitment to the birth of the new PDP Kano State Working Committee. Also in league with group were Alhaji Aminu Babba Danbaffa and Alhaji Lili Gambari.
Those saddled with responsibility to administer the ‘secretariat’ were Senator Aminu Inuwa, who will serve as the state party chairman and Alhaji Ado Musa Disina, as deputy. Alhaji Lawan T/Wada and Hajiya Ladidi Garba Usman will serve as secretary and treasurer, respectively.
Hajiya Rabi Sharada and Jafar Sani Bello emerged as state woman leader and youth leader, respectively. In his remarks, the new chairman of the party, Senator Aminu Inuwa, told the gathering of party supporters that they had reached an important milestone in their struggle to get things right in the party, noting that the resolve to set up their own structures had been painful but quite unavoidable, given the trend of things in the party.
He observed that their action had become necessary because “there will never be justice through injustice” while restating that injustices had become commonplace within the party. “When the last congresses were held all over the country, the exercise did not hold in Kano State,” he added.
He further accused the governor of the state, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for unilaterally appointing his “Kwankwasiyya clique” for all the positions of the party at the wards, local councils and the state, adding that as a result of this unfortunate lopsidedness, all the stakeholders in the party in the state had been totally disregarded. He lamented that this was a complete abuse of the tenets of democracy and declared that the state executive (Kwankwasiyya), as it is presently constituted, was illegitimate and contravened articles 14.5 and 15.1 of the PDP’s Constitution.
Inuwa stressed that as the leader of the party’s working committee, their immediate task was to bring about the formation of legitimate structures of the party at wards and local government levels in addition to reaching out to all estranged and frustrated party members in the state.
“We are committed to conducting free and fair primaries for the forth- coming local government elections so as to pave way for a PDP landslide victory,” he also said. Alhaji Aminu Wali, who chaired the ceremony, recalled that Kano State PDP was nurtured by himself, the late Alhaji Abubakar Rimi and Alhaji Dauda Dangala, stressing that as one of the fathers of the party in the state, he would not be a party to undermining the PDP.
He further submitted that their mission was not antagonise any sub-group in the party, Kwankwasiyya faction inclusive, but to see that the right things were done and to enthrone the right political culture, which would sustain the successes recorded over the years by the party.
The former adviser to ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo frowned at what he claimed was the bastardisation of the principles and ideals of the PDP in the state as well as the inexplicable and indefensible registration and promotion of the “Kwankwasiyya concept” over and above the party. He alleged that the PDP members in the state were being compelled, against their will, to wear red caps, and added that projects constructed and funded with public funds were being labeled as “Kwankwasiyya projects”.
All these, he claimed, were already creating confusion among the generality of the Kano electorate as to which to align with between the PDP and “Kwankwasiyya” faction of the party. Alhaji Wali, who is also Nigeria ambassador to China stated that it was for these reasons that they had to step out to try and redress the situation and save the party from avoidable disintegration.
While restating that their faction did not intend to confront anybody or group within the party, he stated that for the past two years, they had pursued all available means to ventilate their grievances and get justice, without success.
A list of other party chieftains spoke at the ceremony. A few among them were Alhaji Dauda Dangala as well as the inaugurated party’s youth leader, Alhaji Sani Bello, who cautioned that their group must not be confused for the defunct “Garukuwa” faction of the party which was once led by Alhaji Usman Alhaji. Alhaji Bello, a former loyalist of Governor Kwankwaso, also told journalists, that,“ the multifaceted actions to rescue the party had become extremely desirable due to the utterances and body language of the governor, suggesting his intention to align with the party’s arch – rival and political enemy, General Mohammadu Buhari.”
He recalled that not too long ago, the subtle political engineering was consummated with a visit to the Kano Government House by General Mohamadu Buhari, who is the leader of the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC). Daily Sun investigation showed that part of what might have further aggravated the unnerving political situation in the state chapter of the PDP, culminating in the inauguration of a parallel executive, was the choice of the party chairman, Alhaji Aliyu Faruk Sumaila (Kano South), by the governor to replace Barrister Farouk Iya (Kano Central), who was then promoted to a commissioner.
A party faithful, who craved for anonymity, offered an explanation: “As it stands today, both the party chairman and the party secretary are from the same Kano South despite the fact the party chairman is a beneficiary of the uncompleted tenure of the chairmanship slot of Kano Central,” he stated.
To buttress his point, the source noted that almost all of those who endorsed the splinter group were top shots from Kano Central Senatorial District. The source further said part of the crisis today could be traced to the insincere application of the agreement reached by the party stakeholders in Dutse and Kaduna State years ago. “All of them, “PDP Jammiyya” or “PDP Kwankwasiyya” should take a second look at that agreement and do what they honorably agreed to do or apologize, where they had failed to do what was agreed and I tell you there would be no more trouble in the party” he added.
But he further argued that the winner takes-all attitude of Governor Kwankwaso might have been informed by the fact that those who are squealing against what they claim was his policy of alienation did not contribute in any significant way towards the gubernatorial campaigns and success of the PDP in Kano State, as they were conspicuously absent when Kwankwaso and the party went round the 44 local government areas to campaign for votes.
“Days to the primaries, they undertook a mission to “tarnish and spoil the governor’s name at the PDP Secretariat, lobbying stakeholders against Kwankwaso in favour of Senator Mohammed Bello, even when it was clear that Senator Mohammed Bello had just been registered in the party as at the time” he declared. Also speaking in defence of the governor, the former state publicity secretary of the party, Comrade Saleh Jili described the unfolding episode as unfortunate, painful and sad but submitted that the situation was redeemable, if only reason would prevail among the stakeholders.
He described the governor as a leader, who was doing very fine, serving the people of Kano State in very many unprecedented ways, regretting that this dispute, coming from his own party men, would serve no worthy purpose but to distract him.
Comrade Jilli also refuted accusation that Governor Kwankwaso was associating with the opposition party as he noted that in his capacity as the Governor of Kano State, there was no way he could have rejected a request by a former Head of State for a visit to the Kano State Government House, for the only reason that the former Head of State was a presidential candidate of an opposition party.
That, he stated, would have amounted to belittling the status of his position and the age-long tradition of courtesy associated with the state. “I hope that with these developments, the national headquarters of the PDP will quickly intervene and see which of the factions is on the right path.”
“We were elected, but they were not. They only sat down in their offices and compiled names. Is that the normal process to come to leadership? Is that the way it is done at the national level? So, I think the national headquarters should step in and invalidate this misdemeanor and overt transgression of the party’s constitution.”