The political atmosphere in Kano State was overheated last week following the resignation and decamping of the former deputy governor of the state, Professor Hafiz Abubakar. The former number two citizen in the state tendered his resignation letter to the Kano State Government over allegations of disrespect and injustice meted on him.
Prof Abubakar resigned from his position as deputy governor and commissioner for education on August 5, 2018 and subsequently joined the leading opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
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The resignation letter reads in part, “Your Excellency, I would have desired to remain up to the end of our tenure in order to fulfill the aspirations and expectations of the good people of Kano State as expected in their mandate given to our join ticket in 2015, but with current and irreconcilable differences on matters relating to governance and government operations, and the concept of and respect for democratic ideals and values, I would be unfair to my conscience, to the good people of Kano and you as the head of government to continue to remain as deputy governor of Kano State.
“Your Excellency would recall several instances I had to draw your attention to the need to understand and approach these differences in order to avoid drifting into the kind of unnecessary crisis we are facing today, but to no avail. Instead of heeding to my counsel to save government from the present crisis, your reaction was, and still is, surprisingly to persecute and mate all sorts of injustices on me. I have endured immeasurable and unjustifiable humiliation for over two and half years without any reason other than my principle on issues of governance and the desire to keep government on track.
“Under the circumstances, and given the deteriorating state of affairs and your continued disrespect for the office of deputy governor and your expression of injustices on my person, I regret to say that I have no option than to succumb to my inner calling, with hope that this decision is in accordance with the guidance and wishes of Allah (SWT) for me and the good people of Kano State.”
But in a swift reaction to the claims by his former deputy, Governor Ganduje said Abubakar hurriedly resigned from his position for fear of impending impeachment process by the Kano State House of Assembly.
According to a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information Malam Muhammad Garba, Professor Abubakar’s resignation followed decision by 30 out of the 40 legislators in the Kano House of Assembly to commence an impeachment proceeding against him over false, unfounded allegations and undermining the state government.
The deputy governor, the statement added, was also accused of making unguarded comments capable of causing disaffection, particularly in the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the state in general. It noted that Abubakar, who doubled as commissioner for education, had publicly forsaken the Ganduje administration and swore allegiance to his political godfather, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso.
Daily Trust on Sunday observed that the resignation of the former deputy governor did not surprise some politicians in the state because of the strong political relationship that exists between him and his mentor and national leader of the Kwankwasiyya movement.
Addressing his supporters in December last year, Prof Abubakar, in an audio clip that went viral on social media platforms, made a shocking declaration about his political future. The former deputy governor, who addressed his supporters at Mambayya House, Kano, announced that he would not contest as a running mate to Ganduje in the 2019 general elections.
He declared that he would return to Bayero University, Kano where he belonged after the expiration of their tenure on May 29, 2019. He said, “I was picked by Kwankwaso to be a running mate to Ganduje in the last general elections.”
On Ganduje’s second term bid, Abubakar said, “Those who want to continue should go on, but my prayer is to go back to Bayero University after a successful tenure. I will not be part of a system where the leadership of my party, the APC, would be formed at my Mandawari ward, my birthplace, and my blood brother was removed without anyone consulting me. I did not bring myself here. I was engrossed in my academic activities when I was picked as the deputy governorship candidate. The God that chose me is not sleeping. Whether I am in the university, God knows the best. I pray to him to choose the best for me.”
However, according to political analysts, with the sudden resignation and decamping of the former deputy governor to the PDP, he might change his mind and remain in politics.
Speaking exclusively to Daily Trust on Sunday on the recent twist of political events in the state, Professor Abubakar said his academic activities would not in any way stop him from participating in politics, saying it is a personal decision.
“Politicians like the late Malam Aminu Kano and many others were teachers, but their teaching career did not prevent them from participating in politics. Presently, I am supervising two students and that did not stop me from conducting my political activities. The whole issue depends on your plans. If planned very well, you can combine the two and execute them perfectly.
“On my decamping to the PDP, I want to state categorically here that I was technically expelled from the APC for the past one and a half years. I have nobody in the APC at ward, local and state levels. I have never been invited to APC meetings since we assumed office in 2015, not even once. I chose to make my decamping public so that people will understand the situation very well. However, on whether I will contest for any political position or not, that is my personal liberty and I am entitled to it. So, I should be judged by my actions,” he said.
Professor Abubakar stated that his relationship with Ganduje was beyond politics, noting that they had been together for a very long time and worked together in different capacities. He recalled that, “In 1988, Ganduje personally invited me to his residence for a weekly meeting regarding Kwankwaso’s contest and I obliged to his request. We worked together for several years and our relationship was very cordial then.
“When we started having problems sometime in October last year, I was seriously upset. I have tried my best to sustain our relationship, but since God Almighty has destined it, I have to suffer for one and a half years.”
Asked whether he regretted participation in politics, Professor Abubakar said, “I have never regretted my participation in politics. I am one of the advocates of participation of people of sound character and integrity in politics, with a view to correcting things. Politics is a school itself and I am more informed and trained now than before.
“I thank Governor Ganduje for training me on so many hurdles of life. I have learnt great lessons in politics and I am thankful to God. I have contributed my quota in academic and politics as well.”
Speaking on the action of the former deputy governor, Dr Bakari Ado Hussaini, his former special adviser on education and loyalist, who also quit his position recently, said Professor Abubakar would continue with politics since he joined another political party after dumping the APC.
“I was at Mambayya House when Professor Abubakar made the announcement that he would not join ticket with Ganduje in 2019. What actually happened was that some boys started praising him with all sorts of political slogans, and in response he said his hope was to complete a successful tenure and return to the university. But now, things have changed before the end of the tenure. Professor Abubakar resigned his position and joined the PDP, and by doing so, it means he will continue with politics,’’ he said.
He said their journey into politics was influenced by the people; hence whatever decision they would take, they must consult the people. “I am sure Professor Abubakar will not take any decision regarding his political future without consulting the stakeholders. This is our tradition in Kwankwasiyya and we will continue with it wherever we find ourselves in politics.
“On whether he will contest for a political post or not, time will tell. In the next few weeks, the former deputy governor will make it public, whether he will contest for any political position or not,” he said.
With recent political developments in Kano, it will be difficult to predict the political future of the former deputy governor.
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