By Abdulmalik Suleiman
For more than a decade, precisely between the period of 2003 and 2015, the personality called Muhammadu Buhari dominated the Northern political space like a colossus. His personage evokes a cult like followership that was unprecedented in the history of the region and by extension, the country at large.
Until he forged the right alliances when he defeated the incumbent Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, his loss before then was cheerfully arranged and choreographed by the elite conspiracy who felt threatened by the prospects of a Buhari Presidency. In the end, the rise of the people prevailed against elite conspiracy.
Sadly enough, five years down the line, the expectations of those who gave the Daura born retired general their mandate has since been dashed due to the lackluster performances of the present administration.
This seeming shambolic performance has left the masses, popularly referred to as Talakawa to bear the brunt of many reforms of the administration that aren’t yielding results in addition to the unbearable hardship sweeping across the region. These might not only be due to the many unfulfilled promises that have now become a mirage.
The once political phenomenal and tsunami that Buhari encapsulated has dropped to all time low and in some states, the voters have been reeling in regrets, lamentations and disillusionment, a situation that is fact eroding the popularity of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC in the region.
As 2023 is fast approaching, voters in the Northern part of the country are about now weighing their options ahead of the poll. There are ongoing conversations on who among the bigwig politicians can lead the North with the kind of Buhari tsunami and whose electoral value can deliver electoral victory in national and local elections.
So far, many in the region believed that a former two term governor of Kano State, Engineer (Senator) Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has the requisite credentials in terms of administrative acumen as well as political sagacity needed to turn the fortune of the region around.
Those who canvass this position opined that the water engineer has the wherewithal and the needed capacity, charisma to deliver the entire North in an election to any political party that is interested in capturing power at the center.
Thus, if the opposition People’s Democratic Party PDP is desirous of capturing power in 2023 then, the party leadership should narrow its search for a presidential material to the Kano State born cerebral strong man. His trump card remains that he is a man with less controversy in the region and in the country when it comes to ethnic and religious consideration.
Kwankwaso, a one-time deputy speaker of the Federal House of Representatives in the botched Third Republic, former Minister of Defense is perceived as the architect of modern Kano who has built a strong political platform that has endured over the years called Kwankwassiya Movement (otherwise known as the Red Cap Movement) that is scattered all over core northern states and with strong presence in North Central region in places such as Kogi, Niger, Plateau and Nasarawa.
Other factors that are favourable to Kwankwaso is his reputation, creativity and his superlative performances when he held sway as the governor of Kano, one of the most populated states in the country.
It is to his credit that he transformed the state from a traditional city to a modern cosmopolitan business hub. Kano, hitherto known for its narrow road network and hold up prone, was open up and expanded with modern flyovers adjoining major streets and highways thereby easing traffic.
Kwankwaso’s education policy was a masterstroke, aside from uplifting primary and secondary schools, he introduced a feeding programme that has been adjudged as the best in the country. His administration constructed a new modern block of classrooms across the forty four local government areas in the state.
The administration sponsored hundreds of students to various professional courses in fields such as engineering, medicine, aviation abroad, to enhance and engender human capacity development. Most of these students have all graduated and fully employed into several organizations where their skills are needed.
Other areas he impacted greatly on the people is the empowerment, housing, sport etc but also as a politician, he proved his mettle in 2019 general election that saw the incumbent governor, Abdullahi Gandjuge merciless beaten and defeated by his godson Abba Kabir (Gida Gida) before foul tactics were employed to steal the people’s mandates in a brazen daylight robbery. To many, Gandjuge is brandishing a blood stained certificate of return.
Most Northerners don’t only see Kwankwaso as a politician with aura but a performer with the prerequisite and the right leadership qualities, tested and trusted to deliver democracy dividends. He towered above the likes of former Vice president Atiku Abubakar, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and others in the region.
However, with the massive disappointment and lost of confidence in the administration of President Buhari in the region emanating from the deteriorating security situation, high cost of living, lack of total infrastructures and many unfulfilled promises which has created cloudy disillusion currently heralding the land, Kwankwaso popularly called Madugu may be the person to the rescue talakawas.
Mal. Abdulmalik Suleiman wrote this piece from Lagos