By Oluseyi Da’Silva
Sometime in 2014, during the hard times of aviation fuel scarcity, I was traveling from Lagos to Abuja. I got to the Airport in Lagos as early as 7.00am and when there was traffic hold up, I had to jump down from my vehicle and take a bike because flight schedule was 7.45am, MedView. Getting to the airport, we all waited for the information desk to hear departure instructions only to hear that our flight is been delayed till further notice. We were at the airport till 6.00pm and at last our aircraft was to take off. As we were about taking off, the captain announced, giving reasons that we would first land in Kano to purchase aviation fuel and then return to Abuja, our actual destination. The captain’s suggestion provoked some passengers and was eventually resolved as we agreed on going to Kano and then to Abuja. When we got to Kano, right from the skies, it was like we were in a country’s airspace, different from Nigeria because we saw a brilliantly beautiful city, unlike of a Nigerian settlement. Senator Olujimi, representing Ekiti State at the National Assembly was on board that flight, she was one of those who calmed nerves down; we got to Abuja together midnight, I think around 1.00am. I have never been to Kano, so I asked how come Kano has a different grid from the national but the Igbo gentleman beside me responded, “Kwankwaso is the performing Governor here, I don’t like him, but he is doing pretty well. I think he is preparing to be President. No Northern governor performs like this.” I looked at the man and asked, sentimentally if he is a member of APC and his sharp response was “God forbid, No be APC na Panadol.” Ever since then, I had been following this gentleman governor.
I later searched for his profile and discovered more than I desired of the personality of a Presidential material for Nigeria. I followed his several achievements and how he was instrumental the installation of his deputy, a supposed loyalist, Ganduje as successor. At first I detested the act of installing a successor but later, I reasoned it out that there is need for a good successor, who understand his ways and will continue the good works, because like they say it, success is not achieved until your successor is proved to be successful. Could it be that Kwankwaso had done more than the people expected of him leaving nothing for Ganduje to do or that his successor was a figure head, while he was deputy. I expected a successor who shares the vision of his predecessor and if possible towing the line of his vision After much analysis, I realized an ugly trend and a misnomer that happens in our society; most successors installed by their boss end up betraying them, either out of overzealousness or mistaken steps, trying to carve a niche for themselves and prove to be different from the predecessors. If not, why on earth should a deputy, who was loyal till being installed as Governor turnout overnight against his supposed godfather?
I stand to be corrected; Kano is the largest state in Nigeria and also the commercial heartbeat of the entire north and next to Lagos in Nigeria and Africa. Engineer Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso now a distinguished Senator of the federal republic of Nigeria has not only proven that he is a Presidential hopeful, he has also proven that he has all it takes as a scientist, an engineer and respected educated northern elite. Kano, a cosmopolitan society like Kaduna and Lagos harbours a good number of non indigenes and even foreigners. Kwankwaso’s level f achievement delivering dividends of democracy to the people has earned him a place in the heart of the people especially the Kangiwa. Talking about his numerous achievements will sound an exaggerated statement until we saw in physical terms the jaw-dropping works, construction, social and developmental, as they say ‘Gani ya fi ji’ meaning, seeing is believing.
I think one of the sins of Senator Rabiu Kwankwso is that of haven done all that his successor could aspire to do. Dividends of democracy was lavished on his people as if he was telling them that they are the reason for his becoming the governor of kano State; no wonder they voted massively for him to become Senator representing his senatorial district after he came second to Buhari in the pre 2015 APC primaries.
He gave the people a promising future and laid a solid foundation for a progressive, revolution Patterned economy that can effectively compete with any such economies in West African sub region. I remember when the Boko Haram insurgents attempted an entry into Kano, his ingenuity and pragmatic steps in leadership curbed the menace. Kwankwasso, the visionary leader of his people, it was who restored family values by introducing mass wedding in Kano State. Without fear of contradiction, it is clear that he had surpassed all past governors that ever governed Kano State.
I need not visit compendiums nor archives, a mere mention of Kwankwaso to the common man on the streets of kano will tell one of a leader, loved and respected by his people. The Kwankwasiyya, the name his followers adopt for themselves as a logo has become household in Kano and is no doubt a threat to the unpopular present regime in Kano. Political watchers opined that Ganduje would have just managed the shoes of his predecessor that is too big for him but he decides to destroy the shoe in a prodigally wasteful manner.
When I read in the news that Kwankwaso is having problems entering Kano state, I delved into these facts and realize that some Nigerian politicians are rare breeds, they do not appreciate hard work by other but prefers to celebrate mediocrity. Kwankwaso is not having problems with the people, rather, his feat threatens some interests in Kano and thinks that silencing or victimizing him will be the solution, but unfortunately, Nigerians ask questions and when answers are to be given, it points to an exposure of the weakness of the anti Kwankwasso group who are better described as enemies of the people.
Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwasso has paid his dues in selfless service to the people and written his name on the hearts of his people. Like
Shannon L. Alder said “Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others
and the stories they share about you.”
I recall that if not for APC’s preference for Muhamadu Buhari, in the pre 2015 primaries, he came second. For such a person to have mustered support to have come close to the then Generl Muhamadu Buhari it means he is a man to be watched and marked down for Presidency at the appropriate time if we really have the interest of Nigeria at heart. Installing politicians whose vision is just to feed fat on national treasuries and enrich themselves at the expense of the Nigerian people is no longer in vogue, the people are revolting soon. If Kwankwso’s enemies forgot his good deeds, the Kanawa will never forget.
Kwankwaso did not just become a visionary overnight, early in life, he had been educated to lighten his heart prepared for this future. Kwankwaso was born on 21 October 1956 in Kwankwaso village of Madobi Local Government Area of Kano State. From his school days, Kwankwaso has been active as a student leader and was an elected official of the Kano State Students Association. Graduating as an Engineer made him an excellent material for building a society. Order and planning is a rule among engineers, no engineer will start building a house from the roof. His background prepared him for good planning and eventual execution of his projects. In my considered opinion, I expect that Senator (Engr) Rabiu Musa Kwankwasso to be welcome into Kano with red carpets and not the state governor’s blackmail that he is a treat to security of the state. How will the crowd puller not be welcome by those who see their man come home? This trend need be well managed not to discourage hardworking and sincere politicians in the country. God bless Kano State and the Federal republic of Nigeria.