Open Letter to Sen. Rabiu Kwankwaso and Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, By Abdulmumin Jibrin
I write to express my fervent concerns over your recent face-off as the two political leaders of Kano State, who have come a long way together as friends, political allies and colleagues for decades.
Whoever takes sides to stoke the embers of enmity in order to raze down your decades-old bond in less than a year, is neither a friend nor supporter but a political panhandler who benefits from the ‘crumbs’ of the crisis.
You will recall that I have been at the centre of mediation, making ‘diplomatic’ shuttles to your residences, reaching out to the two of you in private in order to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
I have been unwavering and steadfast since the formative stage of the misunderstanding, through the period of cold war and now full-blown political crisis. I have tarried this long to write to you in order ease out the legislative burden of the passage of the budget shouldered on the committee I chair in the House of Representatives. You will bear me witness that I have done a lot, despite this tasking engagement, towards solving the crisis amicably.
I cannot be running with the hare and hunting with hounds. I believe the greatest service and show of unalloyed loyalty one should offer you is to seek ways of brokering the feud in order to avoid muddying the image you both have built over the years in public through the zealotry of supporters.
My standpoint has always been the same. And my belief is that taking sides in this situation is the surest way of escalating the crisis, which may not augur well for you, the actors, our great party and our teeming supporters.
Dear sirs, you will also recall that I remain neutral and refuse to sign any document that will signify ‘loyalty’ to either side in order to liaise between both of you and maintain my role as an arbiter – a role expected of all lawmakers and notable Nigerians to take.
On Wednesday, while sitting in the Chamber preparing documents, preparatory to the passage of the 2016 Budget, my colleague, Aliyu Madaki came to me and asked that I append my signature to a three-paragraph statement. I didn’t hesitate to do this as the statement reflects my standpoint, which borders on brokering peace, and not taking sides.
If the content of the statement is misrepresented to suggest an alliance or allegiance to any side, I hereby express my resolve to remain an arbiter and renounce any such misrepresentation.
In as much as I respect and hold Senator Kwankwaso in high esteem, as he helped cut my political teeth and nurtured me to political growth, I will not join the frenzy of a confrontational approach against Governor Ganduje who also respects me and gives me listening ears.
In both of you, my dear leaders, I enjoy tremendous respect, a good relationship and confidence.
It is saddening that the crisis comes at a time when both of you have attained the pinnacle of your political careers and at the time both of you are grooming heirs to your robust political dynasties. But even more dismaying is seeing your political offsprings, who were best of friends a few months ago, taking sides and quarrelling to crash the political empire you both laboured to build for us.
My second fear is the domino effect of the crisis, which may spiral to other states, considering the fact that Kano is the nerve centre of the North. This is one reason notable individuals from far and near should intervene. One punchy Hausa proverb cautions that: “Idan gemun dan uwanka ya kama da wuta, shafawa naka ruwa.”
While I also commend the president, our party, the seven governors of the North-West geo-political zone, the Emir of Kano, and other notable Nigerians for wading into the crisis, I wish to also call on my colleagues from Kano State in the National Assembly to also borrow a leaf from them.
Having analysed the crisis, made a political SWOT analysis of the situation, it is obvious that none of you stands to benefit from this row. The party will suffer. Both of you will be distracted. The masses will bear the brunt. And the political opponents we defeated in the past will avail themselves of our differences to advance their cause. The lizard finds a space to penetrate through the wall when it finds a crack.
It is evident that the crisis has gone out of hand as supporters of both camps have taken over the crisis, diminishing your capacities to decide on reconciliatory moves in the process.
As a solution to this crisis, I suggest that at some points in the reconciliation effort, your key allies and supporters should be involved because of the role they played in starting, fanning and spreading the political inferno.
My dear leaders, upon all the political mentoring and good political values you have inculcated in us, what legacy are you now bequeathing to we your political sons? It certainly shouldn’t be a legacy of division, nor a broken political front.
While anticipating an amicable and lasting resolution of your differences, I hereby vow not to relent in giving my all towards a peace accord.
Accept my warmest regards.
Abdulmumin Jibrin is the Chairman, House of Representatives Committe on Appropriations.