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2019: MY VOTE IS…(V)

In continuation of our series MY VOTE IS…FOR and AGAINST (the series of which is also available at <https://saturdaycolumn.blogspot.com/> and <https://linkedin.com/in/bala-muhammad-0784384>), we today head to the Presidential, Senatorial and House of Representatives Elections. We therefore discuss a mishmash of issues relevant to the day. Today is the first round in the elections, so the series will continue beyond the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly Elections. Readers can still send in their 100-word contributions on matters to decide for them the State Polls.

COLUMNIST – MY VOTE TODAY is for the best qualified, as defined Dr. Nasir Kankarofi (abmanal2@gmail.com <mailto:abmanal2@gmail.com>), Imam of the Railway Friday Mosque in Kano where I prayed Jumu’ah yesterday. The Imam’s Khutbah (Sermon) dwelt on “Leadership from the Islamic Perspective”. He said, interalia, that it is not everyone that aspires for leadership that should be entrusted with it. There are criteria when it comes to elective or appointive offices. Some of these, according to the scholar, are:

“In Muslim lands, it is natural that many Muslims may aspire for a single position. But even if the leading candidates are Muslim, we must vote for the better person – better in Akhlaq, better in Integrity, better in other positive attributes. Also, in Muslim societies, consensus among scholars says that Males should stand for executive positions; our sisters should not be distracted from their primary responsibility of being custodians of the family, but could go the legislature to help decide matters.

“Similarly, the candidate must be adjudged to be Just in character and demeanor. He must also be Healthy, with no defect or disability that can hinder the discharge of his duties. He should also be Freeborn, and not a slave – he should not be facing social or economic encumbrances that can equate to being a slave. He should also be an Adult, and not a child. He should be Sane, and not crazy, demented or mad.

“The candidate worthy of being elected should also have a Constituency, i.e. he should have a segment of society that can claim he is theirs. and can defend him. (In Hausa, ‘dan mutane’, or ‘dan ma su mutunci’). He should also be Knowledgeable, learned enough to make him able to take informed decisions. He should also be Wise and politically-dexterous, and not a fool, or what the Hausa call ‘Wawa’ or ‘Gabo’ or ‘Shawaraki’. In this, the politically-dexterous could even be better than the pious; in Islamic History, many otherwise pious people have been sidestepped for ‘politically-wily’ persons.

“The candidate should also be Strong, firm and brave; in leadership, better the strong but ‘imanically’-weak than the ‘imanically’-strong but weak in decision-making. Also, in Muslim societies such as ours, Ahlus Sunnah (Tariqa, Izala, neutral, etc.) should lead us – and not rebellious sects that will only bring schism among people. Finally, the candidate should have Taqwa, fear of God, and Wara’ (or being able to prioritise between what is necessary and what is important.”

ALHAJI GADO M. KODOMI, MAIDUGURI (gadoj2012@gmail.com <mailto:gadoj2012@gmail.com>): “MY VOTE TODAY is for who can contain Boko Haram: I have lived in Maiduguri all my life. We have gone through hell but are now halfway back to paradise. Many of our loved ones have been killed or maimed, properties worth billions of Naira have been destroyed, and whole towns and villages have been wiped out. Millions have been rendered homeless. However, today we are able to sleep with our two eyes closed, at least in Maiduguri and in some few other parts of the state. We thank Allah and then President Muhammadu Buhari. Therefore, my vote today goes to PMB so he will be able to correct some of the things not done right in the fight against Boko Haram.”

COLUMNIST – ATIKU, IPOB AND SOUTH EAST: We just saw several videos making the rounds of members of the Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) rallying along highways in South East cities screaming “No Election”. Considering that the Igbo South East has the least number of voters in this election (10 million according to INEC, compared with 20 million in the Hausa-Fulani North West), and now this scare-mongering by IPOB (which is also being accused of setting several INEC offices on fire in the South East), could the PDP expect its bulk vote from the Igbos, as calculated? But, according to PDP pundits, there are still some “10m more Igbos outside Igboland; 7m in the North and 3m in South West.” Can they do the magic? Or is the fear of IPOB the beginning of wisdom?

DR. RUQAIYAH SAIDU, ABUJA (ruqayyahsaidu@gmail.com <mailto:ruqayyahsaidu@gmail.com>): “MY VOTE TODAY goes to that person who has Taqwa (Fear) of Allah. The one who will care and get worried about the Almajiri System. The one who will get Arewa working again. The one who will bring back peace and security to our North East and other parts of the country. The one who will rescue our youths from growing drug addiction. My vote today will go to the angel who will revive our decaying education by making it a top priority. It will also be for that who will reform our health sector so that we don’t need to be begging the Indians to grant us visa to travel to their country for treatment. My PVC will in sha Allah be put to use today to elect the best of the best.”

COLUMNIST – THE KANO EL CLASSICO THAT ISN’T HOLDING: Had Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso put forward his name to re-contest his Kano Central Senatorial District for PDP, he would have had to slug it out with APC’s Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau. That would have been an El Classico many in Kano were looking forward to. I do not know who is ‘Barcelona’ or who is ‘Real Madrid’, but we would have enjoyed this match – both had been Kano Governor for eight years apiece; each had been Minister; one is a Senator now and the other is aspiring to be. Shekarau had defeated Kwankwaso when the latter was incumbent in 2003; Kwankwaso had come back to defeat Shekarau’s anointed in 2011. So it is essentially a draw. El Classico – perhaps “Next Season?”

COLUMNIST – ON PMB: At the end of the campaign period, President Muhammadu Buhari spoke to Nigerians. This Column’s comments follow selected paragraphs:

PARAGRAPH 2. “I wish therefore to start by assuring all Nigerians that this Government will do its very best to ensure that the 2019 elections take place in a secure and peaceful atmosphere.”

COMMENT: Perhaps too late, Sire. In Kano, scores of youths have already been drugged and unleashed on society. Many decent people say they will stay home rather than tempt fate.

PARAGRAPH 5. “…Just yesterday, I signed the Peace Accord alongside 72 other presidential candidates.”

COMMENT: These drugged Kano thugs didn’t sign, Sire!

PARAGRAPH 16. Our commitment to critical infrastructure – that is Roads, Rails, Bridges, Airports and Seaports – will create more jobs, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our industries.

COMMENT: Good, Sire – but when you came here the other day, you did not promise to start the other end of the Lagos-Kano modern rail from this part Kano-Kaduna part. Remember the Lagos-Ibadan is going apace.

PARAGRAPH 32. “…Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority has invested US$21 million in three healthcare projects… [in Kano, Umuahia and Lagos]…”

COMMENT: Sire, there are SIX GEOPOLITICAL ZONES in the country – the North is ALWAYS shortchanged by TWO in allocation to the old North, West and East. For equity, such projects should be sited in SIX ZONES, not three.

PARAGRAPH 52. “…God bless you…”

COMMENT: God bless you too Sire. We are on the queue! A round of applause!

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