Hidden grievances have begun to emerge as to why the Kano State Deputy Governor, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, made a recent political outburst when he said he will not join ticket with Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje come 2019.
Supporters of the camps of Governor Ganduje and his Deputy are already embroiled in war of words, with each side blaming the other of being disingenuous.
Some loyalists of Governor Ganduje alleged that the deputy governor was only playing a proxy war considering his relationship with an ex-Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who no longer saw eye-to-eye with the governor.
On the surface, loyalists of the deputy governor said their principal was only angry with the immediate past state chairman of the ruling APC, Abdullahi Abbas.
Abbas, yesterday, resigned as the state chairman of the party but was hurriedly nominated by Ganduje and immediately screened by the Kano State House of Assembly for appointment as commissioner.
The question that is still begging for answer is the wisdom behind his redeployment as commissioner and whether this change of event will cool the already heated political atmosphere in the state or not.
Some people argue that Abbas was simply “demoted to appease the deputy governor” because the position of state party chairman is by far better than that of a commissioner.
However, others see it differently, insisting Governor Ganduje is playing the game carefully, trying hard not to lose his deputy in the political logjam and at the same time not sacrifice a loyal party chairman who is willing to do everything possible to appease the governor by fighting on his behalf.
Latest trouble in the Kano APC, and by extension the government at large, started when Prof. Abubakar in a leaked audio clip that went viral on both social and conventional media said he would rather return to Bayero University, Kano (BUK) where he belonged after the expiration of their tenure on May 29, 2019.
The deputy governor made the statement at Mambayya House while addressing his supporters from Gwale Local Government Area of the state on recent happenings in the APC in the state.
He complained bitterly about the sudden removal of his ‘blood’ brother (apparently by Abbas) from his position as the Chairman of APC in Mandawari Ward in Gwale Local Government Area of Kano.
The deputy governor also complained of how his official portrait was replaced with that of another politician in his birthplace.
And seemingly referring to his benefactor, ex-Governor Kwankwaso, the deputy governor said, “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.”
Spokesperson of the deputy governor, Alhaji Usman Bello, had since confirmed that the clip actually contained the voice of his principal.
“Yes, it is his voice. However, my boss has no any problem with Ganduje,” he said.
He also said his principal did not say he would align himself with Kwankwaso as widely reported by the media, noting that “he only called Kwankwaso a leader in the clip.”
However, this clarification, including the action taken by Governor Ganduje, could not bury the acrimonious mood in Kano.
Similarly, it was gathered that the sacked ‘blood brother’ of the deputy governor had been reinstated shortly after a directive by Governor Ganduje through his Commissioner for Information, Mohammed Garba. But it seems the temperature is still high in Kano.
A member of the House of Assembly said the outburst was long overdue considering the sour relationship that existed between Prof. Abubakar and Abbas.
According to him, “I can vividly recall that during Kwankwaso’s era, the current deputy governor was given too much power, far and above Abbas, who just resigned as APC chairman.
“He (Prof. Abubakar) was then the alpha and omega of Kwankwasiyya in Gwale Local Government Area and all critical appointments from Gwale were done in his favour.
“However, with the turn of events, Abbas now got an opportunity and is taking revenge,” he said.
But a source within the government confided in Daily Trust that the deputy governor’s frustration was beyond Mandawari Ward, saying it was a clever way of getting at Governor Ganduje.
According to him, there was no critical issue taken by the APC in Gwale which did not favour the deputy governor.
“The state government recently appointed Interim Management Officers (IMOs) for the 44 local governments and the deputy governor was favoured because his candidate was considered.
“Whenever a critical issue comes up, the stakeholders always favour him. If there is a crisis in a family, the first person to be approached is the father. Why did Prof. Abubakar take the issue to the media? Why can’t he approach the governor as the overall leader? He is not the only party member that felt bad with the recent restructuring, but nobody approached the media.
“There are procedures and channels for resolving this kind of crisis. When you are talking of a problem that affects a state’s deputy governor or party chairman, you are talking beyond local government or ward because they are all major stakeholders in both the party and government.
“I can confidently tell you that even during Kwankwaso, there was serious political squabble between Abbas and Prof. Abubakar, but none of them took the matter to the media and embarrassed Kwankwaso, why this time around?” he asked.
He said it was deceptive for the deputy governor to come and tell the world that he had no problem with Ganduje.
“If there is no problem between them why did he say he will not join ticket with Ganduje come 2019? Why did he call Kwankwaso his leader instead of Ganduje? It is there in the clip.
“If he is not fighting Ganduje, who is he fighting then? Who does the statement embarrass, Abbas or Ganduje?”
Reacting to the allegations, a supporter of the deputy governor and a gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Change (PDC), Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmad Umar, alleged that there was a grand agenda to impeach the deputy governor by Ganduje’s people.
“They have the agenda to impeach the man. Since he became deputy governor, government has refused to complete the renovation of his official residence. He is still residing in his personal house.
“They have strangled him politically because they want to remove him from his position. Prof. Abubakar has no intention whatsoever to embarrass Ganduje. Rather, he was frustrated by the party leaders.
“But I can tell you even if they impeach him, he can go back to the university and continue with his career,” he said.