The police are trying to unconscionably abridge the freedom of movement and civil liberties of Kwankwaso. But as of the time of writing this piece, Kwankwaso has reportedly said the police cannot stop him from going to Kano to peacefully see his constituents. He is very right on that score. The former governor should not be left alone to fight this unconstitutionality. All well-meaning Nigerians must condemn the unsophisticated approach by the state to suppress Kwankwaso and upstage his seemingly robust political structure.
Since it is an open secret that Kwankwaso, who gave President Muhammadu Buhari a good fight for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2014 presidential primary, is nursing a presidential ambition in 2019, the strategy of the chief security officer of the state and the police commissioner may have been orchestrated to terribly hurt Kwankwaso’s political and logistical mobilisation that should naturally begin from his home state.
How sadly have the police become petty, partial and partisan of the ruling government such that a leader of the ruling party can be subjected to this kind of treatment? But the joke is on the police, the government and the APC: first, that they do not have the capacity or the temperament to accommodate seeming opposition from within their ranks; and, second, that they cannot ensure simple security for Kwankwaso, his supporters and public facilities.
If the fear expressed by the police commissioner as to the possibility of disgruntled elements hijacking the visit is real, then what that simply explicates is that the disgruntled elements would certainly not be from the camp or among the supporters of Kwankwaso but from the governor’s camp. It is not a secret that there is no love lost between the two leaders. It therefore will not cost the state government too much to sustain the grounds of “tensed atmosphere” to keep Kwankwaso away from the state.
The governor is fast losing grips. But he has quickly done a few things in order to preserve his position: alignment with President Muhammadu Buhari in the calculations that he would be able to use that to clinch the party’s ticket and also re-election. He also enlisted in the group of seven governors that stormed Abuja while the 73 Nigerians massacred in Benue by Fulani herdsmen were being buried in Makurdi, to mollycoddle the president to run again for the presidency in 2019.
There is no doubt that Kwankwaso has become the real issue in Kano politics. As it is, even when he has not made any statements that could be construed to be critical of the APC-led federal government, the fear of his deft political moves has become the beginning of wisdom to the party leadership in the state.
Ojeifo, editor-in-chief of The Congresswatch magazine, writes via firstname.lastname@example.org